Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reflecting On The Day To Come

It's morning.

It's dark.

I'm feeling sad.

We are about to head to New York City where we will attend the YAI conference again this year. However, this year will be different in one major way. Manuela is not here with us. It had become tradition for us to travel down to NYC together, in a rented van, and attend the conference. We'd stop in Binghamton at Wegmans for dinner on the way down and dinner on the way back. We'd introduced her to their 'Garden Cafe' and she loved it as much as we did.

The drive, there and back, was full of chat and chatter and lots and lots of laughter. We'd plan out things for the coming year, dream big dreams, share dark secrets. Busy people, even those who work together daily, sometimes need to be shut up in a moving vehicle to be able to actually connect. And connect we did. It was on those drives that our friendship renewed and solidified itself.

In New York, itself, we always went to Ellen's Stardust Diner, one of my favourite restaurants in the world, for dinner and I can still remember Manuela being captivated by the atmosphere and the music and the food. It was great to share something with her that she, too, came to love. Joe and she had their own traditions. They'd get up really early, for them, and go out for a walk up to Central Park. Every morning. Joe never told me what they talked about, this was their time and it was private. I respected that, and after maybe ten times, never asked.

There's more. Like Manuela's shopping at Macy's. Like, even, the conference itself. Like so many things.

Like so many things that aren't going to happen this year.

Manuela passed away almost a year ago. She was a young woman. She was a vital woman. She was very alive. And then she wasn't.

And I miss her.

Particularly now.

It's morning.

It's dark.

I'm feeling sad.

The trip is ahead of us. I know we'll have fun. I know that we'll go back to Ellen's, I know that we'll do what we always do in New York. I know that we'll continue with our traditions. I know that.

But we'll have a new tradition.

Missing Manuela.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...

You are a good friend, Dave.

Anonymous said...

There was so much going through my head while reading your post, but it boils down to one to one sentence: I am sorry for (your) loss of a good friends and I am grateful for (your) memories!


CAM said...

Sometimes I think about her, as if she were still alive. And then, all of a sudden, I remember she is gone.

John R. said...

May her memory flow through the trip....the sadness, the joy, the something specifically in memory of her at Wegmans...that Garden Cafe is so freakin' great...I travel over two hours to shop there!!...bring her with you as only can inside your heart. I hope the YAI Conference is successful!!!

Atomic Geography said...

40 years ago I met my wife and my best non-wife friend (Bob) in the same week. A few months ago Bob died, and for me too, there are those special food moments that seem to especially sharpen the feeling of loss. But they are also great times to remember a friend.

I live in Vestal, just across the river from Wegman's. We had their meatball subs for dinner tonight.

If you want to meet a reader, drop me an email.

luberman said...

Dave, a beautiful tribute. Your and Joe's presence at our conference means a great deal to all of us. You are definitely keeping her memory alive.

Kristin said...

Abiding with you as you miss your dear friend, Manuela. I've been missing my brother-in-law lately too.

Belinda said...

Oh, Dave, I was sorting through my archived emails last week, searching for something I had lost. In doing so I found some with Manuela's name in the group list. A wave of sadness came over me. I can't imagine how much you must miss her. I will never forget her kindness, her big, soft brown eyes, full of life and laughter.

Anonymous said...

When my Dad died a friend told me "In time his death will allow you better reflection on his life". With time I have found this to be true. I wish the same for you and your friend Manuela.

Anonymous said...

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” ~Eskimo Proverb

Anonymous said...

You are right. We are all missing Manuela. Change is hard. Regardless.
We all need to take a collective sign and hope what will be will be.