Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

A Farewell to a Friend

I lost a friend today. Really lost a friend – not through misuse, abuse, or long-term seperation. I lost this friend because she died today.

I’ve not much experience with this kind of thing. Family members and acquaintances, yes. But a friend – someone who wants to come to your party, even if it is in Sicily, someone who covers your back when it is needed, someone who will have an 11:00 A.M. prosecco with you – this I have not lost before.

So I am having a bit of a hard time even knowing what I am feeling, or feeling what I am knowing. For sure, there is a section of my gut that feels kicked in, deflated. And there is an emptiness where my friend once was, but not totally, because I have this crazy feeling she’s hovering, waiting to make sure there are plenty of cocktails at her memorial. Cocktails and maybe some serrano ham or good gorgonzola. She’ll want people to eat, to drink, and to raise their glass to the New Mexico sunset while a fire burns and her kids smile through their tears.

I’d like to write a bit about my friend Nancy. We meet lots of people in our lives. Some stay a couple of years, some split right away. Some are lifers. Some ease in softly, and ease just as softly out. Not Nancy. She barrelled her way into my life fueled by Italian cigarettes and Spanish brandy and a deep and primal love of life. She was a giant with a huge heart and a deep love of the space around her. I knew her in Florence, when she was a part of Florence and the life there, when she knew all the guys down at the San Ambrogio Market, like the guy with the best gorgonzola, or the guy who could maybe get her a big turkey for Thanksgiving, or the old man with the tastiest sausages. After, she’d head on down to the bar San Ambrogio, or one of the cafes in Piazza Santa Croce, for a glass of white wine or a Mojito. I bet they are still wondering where the hell she went, in the Florence neighborhood she loved.

Yeah. She blew into my life in Venice, blown by Botticelli’s winds and unseen forces, and immediately asked me to come down to Florence to stay with her cats while she went off to Sorrento, something I was more than happy to do. It was the beginning. When I met Nancy it was like I’d known her forever. Longer than forever. Even though she is not here now, that hasn’t changed. She was part of the fabric of my life – a friend of my best friends, a friend of my mothers. She was part of their fabric, and we were part of hers.

Just as she blew her way in, she blew out. In a heartbeat, she was gone. No real goodbye, just a wha-the-fa. Somehow, it’s how I knew it would happen, though that doesn’t change the shock of it all.

I’ll be there, come Saturday, with the biggest Mojito of all, raising my glass to that New Mexico sunset, raising my glass to Nancy. Crazy, fierce and totally unique Nancy. Smiling, through my tears.

2 Responses to “A Farewell to a Friend”

  1. Chris Says:

    Very moving, Shannon. Nancy would have loved it. (And you made me cry.)

  2. colleen Says:

    That’s a lovely tribute to Nancy. I know you were very special to her, too. She’ll live on in our hearts, and be in our thoughts every time we drink a mo-hee-to …

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