This weekend seemed to center around women, not necessarily by design, but due to the circumstances occurring around me. My boss scheduled our holiday celebration on Saturday night, a great idea after letting the hustle and bustle of the season fade. We were initially scheduled for a dinner party at Spin down in the financial district of San Francisco. At the last minute, there was a double booking, so we switched from ping pong to bowling.
Rick and I decided to splurge a bit and book ourselves for two nights at the Marriott Marquis right in the heart of the city between Market and Mission. We made dinner plans with our friend Paul on Friday night at a fabulous Mexican restaurant right next door. What we didn’t realize when the event was first scheduled, is that the Women’s March of 2020 would be taking place on Saturday, right in front of our hotel. The older I get, and likely also because I now live in such a rural environment, I’m not the biggest fan of large crowds. I cheer on the participants, but you will not likely find me amid the masses.
Rick and I decided it would be fun to be totally decadent and stay in our hotel room all day, order room service, bring our books and computer, play games and not even think about leaving the room until late in the day when the crowds had dissipated. As the weekend progressed, it turned out I couldn’t have been happier with a slow day to process my feelings.
Some of my readers may remember me writing about the passing of my friend, Carrie, a few years back. Our dinner plans on Friday were with her husband Paul, and a wonderful woman Lisa he has recently started spending time with. Even though it’s been over two years since Carrie’s passing, I still find my throat closing and my eyes welling up when I think of her. Rick kept glancing my way throughout the dinner, I’m sure worrying that I might not handle the evening well.
And he was right to be worried. I’m nothing if not emotional, and at times I don’t do the best job of masking my feelings. I could at times during the dinner see myself from a bird’s eye view, completely split emotionally speaking. Part of me still wants to rage at the injustice of my friend’s early passing, and yet here I was being called on to meet this new friend of Paul’s, who I must admit is an undeniably lovely woman. The battle that raged within me quieted quickly as I found myself genuinely enjoying the conversation and the fantastic food, and getting to know this new woman that I could envision as a friend. That’s when I knew that Carrie was not far from us in spirit and was sending her love our way.
We parted ways fairly early as they had another event they needed to attend that evening. Rick and I made our way back to the room to settle in. Rick continued to look at me sideways, probably still waiting for the dam to break. And of course, I did end up crying a bit, but they were just tears that still needed to be shed over losing my friend so unexpectedly. And I’m sure they won’t be the last. But with the prospect of Paul having such a wonderful new companion, there is at least a new light for me to consider.
We awoke Saturday morning, enjoying the comfort of a Marriott bed. They are the best! It was great not needing to rush anywhere. I yawned and stretched and slowly reconnected with the world around me. I knew that the streets below me were probably filling as I lounged. I was happily cocooned 29 floors up. Once I was awake, I opened my phone and received not one, but two disturbing messages.
The first was from our friend Janet telling us that our friend Ann’s mom was suffering from congestive heart failure and that they would be putting her on hospice care. God bless those hospice workers, God’s angels on earth to be sure. We exchanged texts and tucked the sad news in our hearts for continued prayers.
Next, I read my niece’s blog post about her sister’s breast biopsy that had just taken place. Within minutes I was texting my niece Wendy to send my support and love while she awaits the results. We, too, exchanged texts, and I tucked away Wendy alongside Ann in my heart. So much emotion and it was only 10:00 o’clock.
The morning progressed, and Rick fell back asleep, snoozing quietly beside me. I welcomed a few moments to myself playing solitaire on my computer, letting the tears intermittently slide down my cheeks. The thousands of women 29 stories below me lining up on Market seemed to offer up their strength. I kept thinking about what lovely creatures women are.
And I love men just as much, but that’s another post. This 24 hours had been a lesson about females, my friend Carrie, Pauls’ friend Lisa, my friend Janet passing along the news about my friend Ann fearing the loss of her mother Janet, my niece Wendy worrying about breast cancer, my niece Margie, the messenger. I had to take a pause to realize the women in my life are a force.
Feeling my own need for a bit of reinforcement, I texted my sister in law Lorene, not telling her anything about the day, but just saying I missed her. We both typically move at lightning speed, and it’s a toss-up whether we find time for a phone call, usually not. But within two hours my phone was ringing, and I can’t tell you how nice it was to tell her about my day. She, of course, offered her unconditional support, which can always be counted on, but more important than that, it was just good to hear her voice, to laugh and commiserate with my sissy.
I closed the afternoon out, texting also with my friend Colleen, positive subjects about babies on the horizon and our lovely daughters. 24 hours embracing women on the 29th floor of the Marriott, I didn’t even need to go downstairs to where all the action was. It’s a day I won’t forget any time soon.
Our holiday party was a great ending to the weekend. We enjoyed the comradery of my work gang, also headed by an amazing female. I awoke Sunday morning excited to get back home to write.
To the women in my life, past present and future, those who have passed and the new friends I see on my horizon, I love and thank all of you for being the amazing people you are. And to the ladies who marched this weekend, thank you for your efforts and your commitment to making the world a better place.