I have a Facebook profile for my family that I check only once a day just before I go to sleep. It links me to my family and relatives abroad as well as my old friends back when I lived in the South Bay and by default, my high school classmates. I check this profile mainly for my family and relatives and some are more vocal than others.
The vocal ones are the ones I look forward to reading. Some of them post about their kids; some post about their dinners out with the rest of their siblings, like my aunts who have a busier social life than I do who do this as a way to get the introverts out of the houses and have fun at the same time); and some post about their hopes and dreams – all of them always bringing a smile to my face just before I’d close my eyes and go to sleep.
My cousin Loida was the latter. She was bubbly, always smiling in her pictures, and always positive. She was always hoping to find true love and would tell me how lucky I was to be with someone who loved me and to have children. Now and then via Yahoo Messenger, she’d ask me if I knew anyone I could introduce her to; she didn’t want to grow old alone. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anyone. But she never gave up searching. She never gave up being happy, if not for herself but for everyone who looked forward to her daily postings of flowers, smiles, and hope. And then one day – this past Sunday – she died.
She was only 48.
It’s hard to process the emotions going through me at the moment (last night) I first thought it had to be a cruel joke to this one, while I’m sipping my coffee trying to find the words that for a writer, I’m doing a piss poor job doing. It makes everything else I write on this blog insignificant, whether it’s about my writing process, the highs and lows of indie publishing, the missteps of book promotion or whatever else. They all become insignificant in the face of loss and most of all, unexpected loss.
Hug the ones you love. Tell them you love them even if they don’t say the same thing back. Just say it. Tell them they matter to you. Pick a flower from your garden and give it to them; take a picture of it and post it on their wall if they’re too far away. Write a poem, even if it’s just a line. Make them a sandwich. Tell them you wish them well. Tell them they matter.