Thursday, November 28, 2013

i had a friend when i was in my 20's who really taught me about being a solid grown-up.  she was 13 years older than me.  for several years i had a tight knit group of friends in toronto and we often saw her and her husband.  when i first met them, she had just had a heart-breaking and horrible miscarriage.  it was my introduction to her positive and clear perspective.  she welcomed me into her family, so that when i was in toronto, i always would stop in and see them, eat with them, play with her children.  their home was that sort of home.  there was always good food.  fresh coffee.  a ready laugh.  
it was through her example that i learned to not get involved with the drama that circles around one, quick to entangle and difficult to tame.  i watched her and learned how to make people feel welcome and comfortable in one's home.  i learned how to smile through pain.  i learned how to let difficult times pass and welcome the good times.  and so i spent a good portion of my 20s with her as a role model. 
sadly, i can't remember the last time i was with her.  but i'm sure it was more than 15 years ago.  i got married and settled into a life that no longer included frequent trips to toronto.  and we fell out of touch.  but i would think of her often.  her smile.  her quiet kind demeanor.  her grace.  
i learned a couple of weeks ago that she was in palliative care and that immediate family were her only visitors.  a few years ago i learned from friends that she had been diagnosed with liver cancer in an advanced stage.  but she had beaten the odds, beaten the cancer.  or that was what i thought.  but tragically, the cancer had continued to ravage her and today was her funeral.  it seems unreal.  so very sad, but unreal.  for i haven't seen her in so many years.  but her spirit remains so strong and kind and alive.  i hope that i can pass on the gifts she gave me.  gifts that make lives better, stronger, happier and fuller.  those are good gifts.  i love you, olgica.     


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, what a blow, what a beautiful memory to have and to hold , your friendship, I'm sure she felt the same,

  2. Oh so surreal and sad Nettie .... What a great tribute to her, through words. Having been the recipient to your always warm invitations to visit, I would say she rubbed off and would be so proud of you! No matter how busy you get, your couch is always open for guests and long sorting conversations. Xoxo

  3. You evokd her spirit and friendship beautifully.
    I'm so sorry.