Occasionally, even a movie about dance, comes out with a line you’ll never forget. I took some liberty in changing the word marriage to love, but personally I think it’s more fitting anyway. You don’t have to put a ring on it to “get it”. Susan Saradon answers a question in Shall We dance:
"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet ... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But when you love someone, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things ... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."
I’ve been a witness to a few beautiful events over the past couple of weeks. Some exciting, some hopeful, and one tragic. I’ve been a part of celebrating life at almost every stage and I’ve realized how lucky I am to be there for it. Not everyone has friendships like this. But to me, they mean everything. I would do anything to make their wedding day perfect, I would buy the largest bubble in the world to protect my friend’s daughter on her 2nd birthday, and I would quite literally lay down my life to take away the pain when my dear friend’s mother passed away. But I can’t do that. I can only repeat and follow through on the two simple words I’ve come to learn is all we have to offer… “I’m here.” As the one giving the comfort, it feels like nothing. I feel helpless and quite honestly useless, but when those I’ve had to lean on in return say the same to me…it means everything.
At Biggie’s (or as I called her, Miss Fancy) funeral yesterday and in almost every thought I’ve had since I got an email on April 30th that treatment wasn’t working, I’ve been acutely aware of the cycle of things. Birth, Life, Celebration and Memories, and eventually death. I don’t like the loss of control or not having a choice in when these things happen. I want to know why. I want to understand How THIS could happen. I can’t. It’s not my place. But when you truly love someone? Friend, companion, lover, or otherwise…you’re there. You laugh together, you forgive together, you celebrate together, and you cry harder than you ever thought you could because you just don’t want them to hurt. Ever. It’s beautiful and scary and a hard way to realize, you’ve grown up.
We hear it all the time. Life is short. But when you see it first hand, it’s hard to think of anything else. So yesterday, we cried. And we laughed. And we celebrated loving an angel in the only way we know how. I won’t ever forget the way I felt when I first met Biggie. And I won’t ever forget the way I felt the last time I got to see her. Because I knew I’d just witnessed something and someone that would change my life forever. I was right the first time and I know I’m right now.
Remember to make everything you do with your loved ones count. The small moments are never small. I keep thinking about the time that lies ahead. I don’t know that there will always be happiness, but I know I won’t miss a chance to stand beside the “family” I chose. When we want to drink champagne, we shall drink. When we want to travel the world, we shall travel. And when we want to dance in each other’s presence and celebrate our lives, whatever life may bring, we shall dance. Right then. In that moment. And with wreckless abadon.