My old friend, I remember getting mad at you when we were both silly teenagers and traveling through England. You see, me being a dogged writer, I remember the most ridiculous details about life.
Actually, you got mad at me first, because your hair was so long, I sat on it on the bus, and after having traveled several days together, we couldn't stand each other.
You were picky. I was carefree. You went by the rules. I always made an exception.
But we stuck together -- you, me and our other friends, like peas in a pod.
I remember it all like it was yesterday. And it's so ridiculous, isn't it? So ridiculous that I should remember that one moment on the bus between Coventry and London, because today, in the wind, in some unlikely place in Miami, I saw you buried, all 43 years of your life, six feet underground.
When we finally reconnected, years later after the college years, the growing up years, those couple of decades when careers, marriages, kids and all that had gotten the best of us, it was as if no time had passed and all I could remember were the silly times, because truly, none of it was ever actually bad.
Last night, when I got a text message from a friend about your funeral service today, I could barely breathe, but I managed to pull myself together. It's as if all of us crazy friends were back together again, reconnecting and reaching out over a span of time when so much could have separated us and made us indifferent.
But we're not indifferent.
Love among friends is still there. The thread has not completely unraveled; the fabric, though tattered, remains intact.
Now that you are gone, a quarter of a century later, now that I saw you buried today, the box with dirt on it, gosh, you are so much more than that. Your smile, wit and stubborn determination are characteristics I will always admire about you -- everything that was so apparent in our younger years. I always knew you'd be brilliant and I loved you for that, still love you.
As sad as I am, your passing is giving me strength and the inspiration to be something better. You are still making a difference. I was blessed to have crossed your path.
Rest in peace, M.