If you're lost and alone or you're sinking like a stone, carry on...

{things on thursday}

Stuff on Saturday

The crap I'm writing about at 10:59pm on Sunday.

There we go.

The past few weeks have been full of nonsense. There have been so many times that I wanted to sit and write, but I either felt too stilted, too tired, or just plain didn't care. It hasn't been a stellar time lately, and it would be so easy to just sit down and pour out sentences filled with woe. I could work the whole "It's my blog and I'll bitch if I want to" angle and let it all out.

But so much of it is just nonsense. Bickering with Pete as we try to get through this whole working-out-our-marriage thing. Trying to find an evenness in my baby, who has been so manic and disorganized lately. Just trying to live. The living is just so damn hard sometimes.

This past Friday, we lost a friend of mine to a rare form of leukemia. She gave it a long, hard fight but, in the end, her body just wore out. Dominica was a friend of mine, and she had a family around her that would have blocked a hurricane to keep her here. One of those family members, my dear friend Carmen, is one of my closest friends, someone who is a part of my own family. Her brother and her nephew Noah are left trying to pick up the pieces of a new life, one without their Dominica, and it's so fucking unfair that I can't find any words.

So, instead, I'll talk about this.

Back in February, Carmen's friend Jennifer was flying in from Florida for a visit. We had been hearing about her forever and were dying to meet her. We planned a girls night in Philly, but started to rethink it when we realized that Jen would need to fly in, get to Carmen's place in NJ, and get ready just to turn around and walk back out the door to go out. We didn't want to waste any potential hanging out time, so Marla and I hatched the brilliant idea to have a girl's night at her house. Her dining room has been newly painted and we hired a chef to cater the affair. We were staying in, but still going balls to the wall.

We settled on a "sparkle" theme, with all of us wearing a little bling. Marla and I had even glued crystals to wine glasses! Chef Mark started to cook and soon, women started to trickle in, laughing and noshing and talking loudly to be heard over all of the noshing and laughing. We sat down to the table to start our meal, but Dominica's seat was still empty. We were wondering if she was going to make it after all when there was a knock at the door. Dominica walked in and a huge cheer came up from the table- we were complete.

Empty chair? Where's Dom??
Dominica's arrival was the missing piece we needed to transform  a pleasant girls night into an evening of Epic Lady Nonsense that included wildly inappropriate discussions and a frigid dip into Marla's hot tub, where the water kept us warm as the steam droplets froze in our hair! And the dinner...oh, my. Chef Mark is a culinary genius and if he hadn't been showing us pictures of his children on his phone, I would have kidnapped him and made him cook for me forever.

I am not always a girls girl. I am awkward and easily intimidated and my low self-esteem makes it difficult for me to not feel like a loser in front of other women. Sad but true. But this night, among a mish-mosh of all different types of women, I felt right at home. There was a magic in the air and it wasn't just the copious amount of alcohol flowing about.

Oh, hell yeah! There she is! 
We all laughed and talked and even yelled way past midnight and into the next morning. It seemed like it would go on forever, but eventually, we all lost steam and, one by one, left to go home. When I got to our apartment, Pete was still up. I shared my leftovers with him and talked his ear off about how fun our night was.

If I had thought that the evening would be impossible to ever recreate, it's even more clear now. That night, Dominica's cancer seemed to be at bay, taking a rest after it had kicked her ass around for a bit. But, Dom was an ass-kicker herself, so we all figured she was one her way to better health and a beautiful life with her love and her son. But, back to life being unfair again, it came back, and this time it was just too much.

Right now, everyone is doing the holding up thing. Making arrangements, making phone calls. Dominica comes from a huge, tight-knit family, and judging from the endless stream of comments, pictures, and videos on Facebook, documenting the life of this woman, she is so loved. Her husband and her little boy have so many hands to help lift them up and so many hearts to use while they patch up their own.

Life is just hard sometimes, for no good reason. We all have some sort of cross to bear, and nothing annoys me more than when people try to compare sadness. "My dog passing beats your terrible asthma attack" and such. Each persons sadness is their own, and it doesn't help anyone to get into a sadness pissing contest. Instead, strive to share your good, and in the midst of your own, send some prayers and good vibes to a family who is desperately missing someone tonight.

Dominica, you gave it one hell of a fight. Thank you for always being so good to my Carmen, for being so stinking funny, and for loving Carlo and creating such a little spitfire in Noah, who PJ adores. There will always be a place at the table for you.

Rest well.


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Gwen said...

This is beautifully written. I remember Marla's post from that girls' night in and I enjoyed reading about it again from a different perspective. I'm so, so sorry about Domenica. Hugs to you.

Lori said...

You have a way with words Brie. I absolutely love you and your sis. I am so sorry to hear this about your beautiful friend, Domenica. May she have no more pain and rest peacefully. Domenica made such an impact in so many peoples lives. Its not fair that so many children and adults get sick, its unfair and I honestly hate it. It doesn't get easier, which so many say it will. I know from experience. No matter what Domenica will be in your heart and so many others and so will the beautiful memories, that no one can take away. God Bless Domenica, her family and friends and may you all remain strong. Xoxo