She's dancing in heaven you know. She is floating across the dance floor, to a melody played by heaven's symphony. She is smiling and dancing, and there is no pain, the cancer is gone and she can dance again.
March 2, 2008
In honor of Lisa, who passed away after a 14 year battle with cancer, on January 10, 2008. She lived her life, and never looked back.
There was magic in the air last night. I do not care to discuss the indiscretions that were made by anyone. I do not care what choices hurt whom, we weren't supposed to like her, but I did. That is not to say that I did not have my loyalties and that I thought all the choices made, were good ones, it is just that no matter what, she had a presence that could not be denied. Besides, who of us has never had indiscretions? That is what I thought, you have made indiscretions too!
That being said, magic was in the air. I got out of my car at ten until seven last night. The memorial was being held at the Marriott. The wind was blowing, and you know what they say, there is change in the air when the wind blows. I could not help but think, maybe everyone will be able to find their peace, or at least a little peace, with all this after tonight. My Tanto, flagged me down and we walked in together. Mini racing flags led the way to the Ballroom and a huge banner was hanging in the hallway in front of the room, "Cheers and Tears For Lisa" with her picture. As we rounded the corner, I saw a room full of tables and people and food. On every table there were t-shirts as center pieces; they were all her shirts. Shirts from trips, from racing weekends, from concerts. In front of each shirt there was a box with her picture on it (everything bore her name and/or picture, the dates of her life, and sometimes a quote) and two racing flags, two bottles of wine, and at each place setting, there was a folder with stories inside, a page to write a story or thought for the book that is to be assembled later. There was a pen with her name, 10 Lisaisms, and a wine glass. Then after we all settled in our seats, Bruce started off the evening. We watched a video, broken into sections of her life. It was complete with music to fit the section and covered everything from professional life to charity work to family and friends, travel, racing and her life with Bruce. Each section had special music and it was beautifully done. We cheered and we most certainly "teared". There was laughter and crying, but above all else, there was love and even joy. This was the party to end all parties. We have t-shirts bearing her face in a race car, a pen, a wine glass that says "I'm a lot of fun when you're drunk" one of her many sayings. We have a copy of the dvd that was played. There were stories told, funny, inspiring, touching and then there were the stories that broke your heart and made you proud to have known her, even just a little bit.
It strikes me as so sad, that we so often only know one part of a person's life. The part I knew for so long, was such a small piece and often clouded by what she meant in the family. But I watched a man, a formidable, loving, kind man, throw a party for the woman he so desperately loves, and watched him, as he shared his precious Lisa with all of us, and so unselfishly. I watched him smile, I watched him cry. It was a beautiful night.
At the end of the evening, after we had toasted, after we had listened to the stories, after we had paid our respects, one of her dear friends from the New Mexico Symphony played a concerto. It was beautiful and moving. As I so often do when listening to beautiful classical music, I closed my eyes for a moment and I could see her face. I could see Lisa, in my mind, she was wearing a beautiful gown, and floating around the dance floor, she was waiting for her prince to come home to her and until then, she was dancing, like a Princess in a Disney movie. The cancer was gone, her beautiful blond hair was back and she was having her party. It brought tears to my eyes. All I could think as I left that room was this: " I hope that someday, I have someone who loves me enough, that they would throw a party in my honor. I hope that when my time has come, that I have made this kind of impact on the world, and that I have brought joy to other's lives and that I have brought love to people. I hope that my life inspires tears of joy when someone looks back."
This morning I attended a wedding for a young couple, just starting their lives together. Tonight I honored a woman and the life she left behind. It was so life affirming to go from the morning, watching two young people, with their brand new love and their brand new life together, so full of anticipation and wonder. Then to round off the evening watching a man (far too young to have endured all this) and his exquisite love for someone, say goodbye.
It made me feel that I need to tell all of you that I love you. No matter what has happened between us in the past, no matter what will happen between us in the future, you are a part of my life and I thank you for that. You make my world a better place, just because you are in it.
The moral of today's story is this: Celebrate life. It doesn't matter how you do it, or who you are with, just celebrate. Life is a beautiful gift and we should all spend a little more time partying it up in honor of our friends, families, and ourselves, because we are awesome people! Thanks be to God for giving us another day on Earth and allowing us the time to celebrate those who have loved us, do love us, and will love us in the future.