I went rock climbing with a good friend of mine this afternoon. It was fantastic. We experienced that relaxing combination of some good climbs, a lot of good chat time, some really good belly laughs, followed by delicious Pei Wei. There were even a few tears.
I’ve been back in Texas for quite awhile now. My friend has been bugging me to go climbing with her. We used to do it a lot when I lived here before. I’ve been reluctant to go though. For one thing, I’ve felt badly out of shape. But it mostly has to do with the fact that there is only one good climbing gym relatively near by and it’s where Mindy and I used to go.
Shortly after I moved away my other friend (who I went with today) started going more regularly with Mindy. Mindy taught her to climb. It was their thing – their unwound and stretch the muscles and talk thing. I found out today that she was sitting at home, waiting for Mindy to get off work to go climbing when she got that awful call. I remember exactly where I was too.
If you know me personally or have read my blog awhile, you probably know about Mindy. I called her “Sunshine.” She was my good friend and roommate and confidante and salsa instructor. She died in a car accident 3 years ago last September. And the sun was a little dimmer.
So, I’ve been reluctant to go back to the place that was “our thing.” Moving back to the area really brought home the fact that she is gone. Since I was living in another state, it was sometimes easy to forget that she was really gone. I’d been dreading this day – knowing I needed to go back to the gym and move on and experience the pleasure of climbing again.
So yes, there were a few tears. But it was really good to reminisce about her in that gym, and laugh about her antics, and basically revel in the good memories. It’s been a long time coming. It still hurts. I still get choked up a little when I hear a certain Juanes song, or eat brazilian stroganoff, or see her reflected in the expressive face and personality of her beautiful niece.
But the bitter-sweet is a little more sweet these days.
I still miss you girl. Your birthday is coming up next week. I wish we could go dancing. I wish you would try, once again, to teach me to shake my booty; you swore it wasn’t hopeless. I wish I could see the sparkle in your eye, feel your hug, hear your infectious laugh. See the way you look at your Johnny boy. Watch you toss your niece and nephews in the air; they are so beautiful, you’d be so proud. Mostly I wish I could tell you thank you, and try to explain what your friendship meant to me, and tell you that though I miss you all the time – it’s a lot less painful and a whole lot sweeter. See you soon Sunshine.