If you needed me
I would come to you
I’d swim the seas
For to ease your pain
— the prophet Townes Van Zandt
I didn’t know Sarah very well. The problem with being a recluse is that it makes you reclusive. But I knew her through Mandy.
Mandy was Sarah’s aunt. I accepted early on in our relationship that if forced to choose between Sarah or me, I would become a fond memory. They had a bond, a love, an understanding.
Sarah had an artist’s soul. She had her ups and downs, the way artists do. But she had a glowing spirit, that joy that is shared only by artists and newborn puppies. I think Mandy, who has always been an artist whether she wants to be or not, was drawn to her as a kindred soul. They were partners on the roller coaster of life, screaming and laughing, terrified by the hairpin corners, swearing never again, and then jumping back on for another ride.
When I would come home, I could tell Mandy had been talking to Sarah because she was would be so happy. Sarah understood her. They would talk about things she could never talk to me about. Their jobs, their joys, their frustrations, their lives. They understood each other. I was always so grateful to Sarah for being there when Mandy needed her.
I asked Mandy today to tell me about those calls. What were they like? What did they say?
She just starts sobbing again.
She pulls her hoodie up over her face. “She’s irreplaceable,” is all she can say. Then she can’t stop crying. My heart breaks for the hundredth time in two days.
Sarah was always there for Mandy when she needed her. Always. In some way, I suspect she always will be.
How can you know if you made the world a better place during your short stay? I suppose it’s all about whether or not you made a difference in the lives of the people you loved. She made a huge difference in ours.
I know it’s just a matter of time before you move past the profound sadness and start down the road to where just the happy memories remain.
I think it’s going to be a long, long road …
Our refrigerator in Corpus Christi. Mo says she wishes she could show Sarah. She would say “HEY LOOK YOU’RE ON MY REFRIGERATOR.” Sarah would say “HEY YOU PUT A BOTTLE CAP ON MY FACE CUT IT OUT.” Then Mandy laughs, for the first time since the sad news. Thank you, Sarah. For everything.