I had the best intentions of finishing that rambling road trip to Oregon awhile ago, but life, or perhaps I should say death had different plans for me. October is the end of the Celtic Year when the veil between the worlds is thinnest and if you pay attention you can feel the spirits on the other side as the darkest time of the year prevails. With my best friend dancing with cancer for the entire year, I was walking the line between Life and Death – living large for me and Melinda, so I could come home and sit on her couch with my now bald friend and tell her stories of my adventures, so listen up friend….
Joey and I left our wooden haven for Crater Lake and picnicked by the deep blue waters. (I ate too much cheese). Then we headed for the quaint town of Bend to visit Deschuttes Brewery, where we met a lovely couple who told us we must visit the waterfalls in Silver Falls.
By the way, you get FOUR FREE tasters at Deschuttes (my favorite is Fresh Squeezed). We walked behind the falls and I grazed my hand on the wet rock and moss covered railings, leaning over to feel the mist. Fairies live here – spirits on the other side of the veil.
We shot out to the coast and camped in Newport with a visit to Rogue Ales Pub House. The boats creaked in the harbor, as salty as the characters in the bar. And the kimchi crab sliders were insanely delicious!!
We got fresh oysters in Coos Bay to barbecue at the family wedding on cousin Elise’s Oshala Farm, where Joey met another 20 or so of my free-spirited, gypsy relatives and see how very close this apple stayed to her roots. We stayed in a tree house in Cave Junction, about 40 feet above the ground.
Oh yes, Melinda, it was a grand time. A few weeks later I went with good friends to the Hollywood Cemetery in celebration of Dia de los Muertos. It was then I got the first real awareness that you were not going to be with me much longer and next year, I would be dedicating an altar to you. I just about lost it. So I wrote you a letter and told you how close to the veil you felt and asked you to give me a sign so that when you were gone, I would know you were nearby. We forgot to do that.
Or maybe neither one of us wanted to admit what it meant to have a tumor so big. Or that when it popped or whatever it did that the poison was now filling up your entire body. We made plans to go on a double date to Big Bear the first week of December. But you were too sick, so Joey and I went alone. I beat Joey in bumper pool and wanted to have you there. You never met Joey.
Three days later you went into the hospital, two days later home to hospice and two days later you transitioned to the invisible realm, behind the veil. Ah, girl, I miss you. You passed the same day as my father five years ago and again I await El Nino to mirror the deluge of my tears. I hope you felt honored with the ceremony I created for you. The day after your transition is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, who has always been a source of comfort to me, and who has offered signs of her omnipresence for 500 years.
I recently looked up our text messages
YOU: Thinking of you and all I love and how I want to spend the rest of my life showing my love
ME: I hope you take decades
YOU: That’s the plan.
I still feel you, girl. I know you are here and I will continue to share my adventures with you, my beloved friend.