Because it was this time of year
I will tell this story here...
an anniversary thank you
to the woman I met on a Thanksgiving night
five years ago...
Around my neck, I wear two pendants
one is a paddle and one reads
(the other side of that, "sixasone")
they are my most prized possessions
and I am seldom seen without them!
On a beautiful patio belonging
to my favorite people,
we are gathered with collected food,
to talk and drink...
and give thanks
it's a long table of sixteen,
overlooking the darkened
and illuminated lake,
most of us, are artists and a few neighbors,
and some others I don't know...
it's a time of transisiton for me
having lost access to my partner
I am just glad to be somewhere...
anywhere with smart, witty, clever people.
Coming at me in long strides
is a woman over dressed for the occassion
(not to mention Havasu)
she's tall and blonde gorgeous,
in all black,
with a thick "foo foo" waist slinging
kind of belt,
fur something around her shoulders,
more "foo foo" hanging from her ears...
and around her neck...
(okay, lets face it, she was "foo foo" everything)
but I admit, I judged
and thought, "Who is this bimbo?"
Little, did I know then,
was destined to be my dearest friend!
Jennifer sat across from me
with her husband, it was their anniversary!
And was the sweetest, most engaging
creature I had ever met!
I was instantly crazy about her!
We had just started paddling and were newly
excited about the sport,
she expressed an interest,
promising to come the next day
I doubted it..."SHE, wasn't the type"
Yet, there she was on the beach
and every morning after that,
for the next three years.
Then there were four others
and we became "Sixasone"
falling in love with one another
and the sport,
we won medals and were inseparable,
Jennifer, the wonder glue
we came together for her,
as an assignment, a predetermined destiny...
because she was going to NEED us...
because... she had cancer...!
In that short time,
she gave me, US,
the friendship of a lifetime
our happy golden retriever type
she was my confidante and inspiration,
so unbelievably brave...
I would have walked to the ends
of the planet for her and back...
The last time I saw her
it was a "sixasone moment"
all together, last January
helping her take down the
in her house, she was weak...
it had an ominous sentiment of
finality to it...
but I was in denial,
had to be...we all were!
That day we felt like "us" again,
funny, together playful
Sixasone, she said...
"until I look in the mirror and remember"
The bracelets that we wore with
our theme song of U2s, "Its a beautiful day"
inscribed on it, didn't feel right to her
with her frail wrists
so we traded, mine for hers, hers for mine,
and I had to choke back the emotion..
it was significant,
and it was...
I never saw her again.
Now I also wear her paddle
and her name in Hawaiian
What I wouldn't give to be able to call
her as I always did...
and hear her say "hi, my friend!
Happy friendship anniversary, Jen!
I miss you more everyday!
Pam Piper Rain