Monday, January 31, 2011

the grief tour: stop no. 5

Bryan and I were blessed to have many longstanding mutual friends. Some of our dearest and best friendships, though, were made more recently.

I met JJ and Amber in college. My urban hippie friends with the endless tab at Good Beans, quick wits and compassionate intelligence. You need good friends to combat against the grim realities and encroaching miseries of Flint, and JJ and Amber are my favorite Flint folks. When Bryan and I reconnected, they quickly welcomed him into the fold. The Good Beans roundtable and the vegetarian dinner parties. And since Bryan died, they've mourned him with me. I could not have endured the last year without their constant goodness: their reminders of Bryan's wonderful qualities when all I could think of was the loss of him; their exquisite meals when I had little appetite; their epic Tours de Flint when bed seemed so much more inviting than the seat of my Schwinn.

My other favorite Flintite is Sue. Every girl needs a Sue: a beautiful person to check in on her and keep an eye on her spiritual needs. Sue lost her brother a few months before Bryan passed, and we have been allies in grief. Sue has given me the things I didn't know I needed, like stress-relieving yoga classes, walks in Formar and a weekly invitation to join her at church.

I wanted to leave a little bit of Bryan at JJ and Amber's home in Mott Park. So last night the four of us took the urn, the Kool Aid, a cup of coffee, and a jar of Daassa feathers out to the backyard. Under the tree, under the window of the living room and dining room where we spent many a night laughing and eating JJ's fabulous curries. A little more of Bryan committed to the Flint snow and soil.

"God gave us our relatives; thank God we can choose our friends"-- Ethel Mumford Watts.

1 comment:

  1. Amen Ethel Watts! I thank
    God that you have been blessed with such wonderful friends. My gratitude to Jay and Amber is boundless.