i've been thinking about my friend melissa all month.
after a six year battle with cancer she passed away on september 7th.
but always kept hoping she could pull through.
i went to grad school with melissa's husband ned, who is an amazing painter. we became friends after grad school, as we held these rotating dinners with other friends we knew through art school. here we are celebrating melissa's birthday last year. it felt a little miraculous and wonderful to be celebrating another year of her life.
i want you to know that she was a gifted and beautiful person. that she loved beautiful things, and travel, and good meals, and laughing with friends, and making art, and writing, and pursuing justice, and succulents, and flea markets, and cooking, and speaking french, and her husband, and her cats, and being an aunt, and her family, and celebrity trash, and all sorts of vintage treasure.
she was incredibly smart, and funny, and witty, and self-deprecating, and kind, and sarcastic, and patient with my children and adventurous.
i liked going on walks with her or sitting in her backyard in the sun talking.
i know you did not know her. i know that i only knew her for a portion of her life, and that what i knew about her is only a small part of who she was. but i want to honor her, and who she was, by telling you the part of her story that intersected with my life.
the last night i hung out with melissa was the week she died. matt and i went over to hang with her and ned. the boys played backgammon and i sat with melissa and watched mindless reality tv and hung out with her as she wandered the house. at one point there was a ridiculous reality tv show that came on. i think it was called dating naked, and the contestants meet each other completely naked and then decide through a series of faux dates if they want to keep dating or not.really? i don't think you can get more superficial. it was a profound juxtaposition - the most shallow and insipid version of relationships and what i was experiencing in their living room: ned gently taking care of melissa, rubbing her back, getting her what she needed, and the two of them loving each other through everything. our culture's idea of physical beauty and spectacle on the screen was in stark contrast to the true beauty of two people who love each other through sickness and health.
today, if you see something beautiful or laugh out loud or taste delicious food, you can think of my friend, and how she would have loved it. thank you for reading about my friend.
i will miss you melissa, and i'm grateful for all you brought the world while you were living in it.