January 4, 2014
I know I have been absent from here for the past two weeks. As Stephanie and a few others have testified to, sometimes life just gets in the way and things that seem important fade a little in the face of reality.
My dear friend Mimi lost her battle with n-stage kidney failure on December 17. My husband had just returned from visiting her over the weekend when our son called, sobbing, saying how he needed to go see her. We discussed it and I realized that even though I had decided I didn’t want to be there that “being there” was exactly where I needed to be, so I threw a few things into a bag and we picked up my son and drove the two and a half hours back up to Mimi’s….
Mimi was living in a twilight world when we arrived. She no longer slept–she spent a lot of time sitting up in bed with a confused look on her face. I am pretty sure that she had no real idea who I was for the two days we were there.
The reality of death, when you look into the face of a loved one and realize that “this is it” is harsh, sobering, and very, very final. I sat with my arms around my god-daughter as she sobbed and wished for her mom to just go–she was so exhausted from caring for her for these past six months without any real rest or help yet she felt extremely guilty for even thinking these thoughts. How do you tell a child it was okay to wish her mother would die? Yet that is exactly what I did–because I understood her pain and had lived it myself as I watched my own mother pass after surgery and a stroke three years ago.
Mimi wasn’t like anyone else I have ever known. She was infuriating at times, maddening at others, and one of the strongest and smartest people I have ever had the privilege of arguing with! We have known each other pretty much our entire lives–we grew up in the same town and my cousin dated her brother back in the day–but a little over twenty years ago she and my husband met and they became best friends. I am still not sure how much of this has sunk in with him. We were there when she passed and he stayed with her until the coroner arrived to take her body away. I am going to just post what I wrote on my Facebook page, and I am going to add a link to a video from YouTube that will show you what kind of woman Mimi was and maybe you can understand the monumental loss we, and the entire world for that fact, have suffered.
“At 330 this morning (December 17, 2013) our dear friend, sister, and devil’s advocate, Mimi Peck, passed away peacefully in the arms of her amazing and loving daughter, Mariah Peck. Her son Sean and her sister Avonelle, as well as our son Vincent, were also able to be here and share in her last moments. My heart is saddened at the loss of a life-long friend. We shared many things throughout our lives, but the greatest of these were her children, Sean and Mariah, whom she allowed to become not only part of our lives but most importantly part of our family. Her life wasn’t easy–anyone who knew Mimi knows what she was like. She always had an opinion and her opinion was always right! Well, except with me. I could be right sometimes! I will miss her passion for the things she believed in. Her creativity. Her constant sense of rightness and her conviction to follow through on those things she believed in, even if everyone else said she was crazy. Mimi and I have had our disagreements over the years, but we have always loved and respected each other despite those differences of opinion. She was my husband’s best friend, confidant, and support–she loved him fiercely and was always there for him no matter what. We weren’t ready to say good-bye yet but the renal failure and related health issues have taken their toll on both her mind, her emotions, and her spirit. She fought up to the end because if nothing else Mimi loved a good fight and she wasn’t going to give in to this without hitting back! But this morning she decided it was time to go, and so with those she loved the best surrounding her she allowed her spirit to walk free of the physical suffering into the light of the universe…. She would not want us to grieve but to instead rejoice with her as she joins in the ancient dance of the stars with those souls that have gone on before her. We love you Meems…. Follow the light…”
The link to the video… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlD0H1eKyS0
This was Mimi. Her final gift to us was little baggies with sparkles and confetti mixed in with her ashes that her daughter and sister made up for her friends to share. Mimi loved sparkles!! We will be scattering some in Tahoe and some at Bethel Island, two of her favorite places. I think I will be making a trek to Elkton, Oregon, and sprinkle mine in the Umpqua River at a place called The River Inn. I will bring some for her friends that own and run the place so we can share in that little ritual. It is my favorite place in the world and it will make me happy to have a little bit of Mimi there with me always.
Well, didn’t mean to be so macabre or a downer–life is what it is and as 2014 rolls in I am sure it will be a great year filled with much love, happiness, and good times. My god-daughter is doing well and has a lot of support from her flight team and friends. My husband’s health remains good. My older son is moving out today with a room-mate and the younger kids should be moving out by the end of the month. That leaves me with my two girls and my daughter’s boyfriend who is a great guy and whom I actually really like! He gave her a promise ring for Christmas so who knows–I may be announcing a wedding later this year!
With the dark times there always comes the light. Mimi has joined that light and I know that she is happy and healthy once again. December is traditionally a time of darkness–hence the lights that adorn our houses and Christmas trees, to chase away that darkness–and January means the return of longer days and the promise of warmth and light. So Happy New Year to all and may we all “walk into the light” and leave the dark times behind in 2014!!