It was a late August night when the sunset seems to last for hours, and even past the sunset the lights in the tree and the solar lights and the company make another sort of day out of night. It was the sort of Alberta night, the sort of party where at the very end, when you send the last person home, you pour another scotch, drink it, and then turn out the lights. You can deal with the food and the mess in the morning.
That was a year ago August.
Yesterday, on the shortest day of the year, Anne left. She had been in ICU, only a few blocks from my house, for the last month. You would think Covid, but no. Atypical pneumonia. One they struggled to treat. Her body, broken by MS, broken by other things, finally unable to fight.
She chose this. She said her goodbyes, decided that this was the best path forward. I have wept at the update that she was going, wishing that the angels would sing her on her way. I wept again at the update she was gone.
And I think of Anne in her snazzy motorized wheelchair, Art beside her, filled with love. They had their own sort of light, the two of them. The world is darker today and we are less without her.
Late in the summer of 2021, when we are vaccinated, when it is safe, I’ll throw another party. The sunset will last for hours, the merriment will make the night seem like day.
We’ll raise a glass, to absent friends. Think about the hell we lived through. Stare at the lights in the tree and remember how they fell on her face. And we’ll miss Anne.