Better on the Other Side – Friday Fictioneers

Good Thursday, my readers.  I’ve been struggling with this week’s Friday Fictioneers, trying to come up with something half-way decent.  I admit I’ve been a tad preoccupied this week with the death on Friday of my beloved aunt, Lucette.  Saturday is her funeral.

I have been asked, once again, to give the eulogy.  My cousin feels he’s too close – it is his mother – and says he won’t be able to do it.  I, of course accepted, having already made the decision to say a few words to honour her anyway.

It’s funny, I keep getting asked to do this “job”, having now done it for my grandmother, father, and husband.  I dunno, maybe it’s a calling!  One thing is for sure, there will not only be tears, there will definitely be smiles.  I can’t help it.  I will always try to find the sunshine in the dark; or, as Maya Angelou like to say, I try to be a rainbow to someone else’s cloud.

Thank you, always, to Rochelle for hosting our group.  And this week, thank you to Danny Boweman for the use of your picture (bet you didn’t know Rochelle would choose you this week, eh?)

To play with us, click on the blue frog to add your link.  Not sure how this shindig works?  Click on Rochelle’s name for the how-tos…

Get da code

©Danny Boweman

Better on the Other Side

She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain when she comes!

She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain when she comes!

Ever since she opened Rochelle’s email with this week’s pic, the bloody song had become an earworm.

For reasons she couldn’t fathom, the stupid song made her think of her beloved aunt, Lucette

“You’re on the other side now, Matante*.  I do hope it is pain-free and filled with beauty, as they say it is.”

Smiling through her tears, she pictured her aunt:  healthy, rounding the bend, drink in hand, singing the song.  Letting us all know she much better now.

 

*Here in Quebec (well in my family at least) we call our uncles “Mononcle” and our aunts “Matante”, which means my aunt.  We don’t just use the tante.  It has become a form of endearment to the point that we will say something like:  My Matante Lucette…  literally meaning  “My my aunt Lucette”!

Our Friendship

20140524_213735

I dropped you off after a delicious evening
There was good food and wine,
But the deliciousness came from our talk
Fun talk, serious talk, honest talk.
Driving home, listening to “Tonic” on CBC Radio 2
A jazzy version of “West Side Story” is playing.

I’m crying.

No, not the gulping, tear-flowing, hiccupping kind –
The throat so tight and the eyes burning kind.
It’s the “fight scene” part of the music
So representing what’s going inside of me.
My emotions are all over the map, fighting with each other
Yet I’m not sad, nor hurt and far from mad
I’m all of those and also glad.

You, my friend, had put a mirror in my face
And told me to take a good look
No, no, not in so many words
You pushed and you shoved and you pushed again
Not out of hate, out of love
Giving me shit for not committing to something
Telling me I’m brilliant and can do whatever I set my mind to
I look at you in disbelief and reply “oh please! in what way?”
You give me shit again! And again tell me I can (do anything)
I laugh and nod to placate you but also
Because deep-down I know you’re right

The song has changed to the velvet-voiced, Mel Tormé
Singing “Who Can Ask For Anything More?”

My mood has turned reflective
Who would have thought a friendship would bloom
In a woman’s-only gym, sweating to crappy dance music
A bunch of loud-mouthed Anglo broads taking up the corner
Of the mostly-French-frequented establishment
Convincing me to join you in that crazy Spinning class
Picking up our toddlers from the gym’s daycare
We’re not in the same tax bracket and it doesn’t matter
There are no feelings of “better than” or “not good enough”
It’s comfortable

Next thing I know, you are secretly invited to my 38th birthday
Where they put a “39” candle on my cake!
You fit right it and are nicknamed “Mouth” by my mother
It’s a sign that you are just like us

This is the real start to our regularly getting together
Outside of the gym for movies or lunch or dinner
We become a trio with Brenda, who is sadly no longer with us
We get together with husbands and kids

That said, we are happiest being just the two of us

Life happens: hearts broken, divorce, new loves,
Last-minute wedding invitations, death
We have times where we don’t see each other for months
But it matters not
We just pick up where we left off as if not a day has gone by

Though at times frustrated by your lack of ability to
Just pick up the damn phone and call
I’ve given in and accepted you for who you are as you have for me
I do know that if you do need someone for anything
I will be the first one you’ll call and I’ll be there for you
And when my turn comes
You will be there with a roast, a coffee cake, an Ativan

I don’t want to make the mistake I did with Brenda and Roxanne
They are no longer with us, it’s too late
So allow me to take this moment to tell you
While you are alive and kicking
Though, like me, you don’t come from an “I love you”
Kind of family, I’ll tell you anyway
I love you, my friend Patricia!

This will be us in many years!

old friends

And remember

bra