Amidst the hectic activities of Memorial Day came the sad news that Sophia had passed away. Just the day before she was sitting on her porch reading a letter, I waved as I passed her house. A group of us were at the beach that Sunday and continued the cocktails at my house into the early hours of Memorial Day. That’s when we received the call that Sophia was gone.
Never once saw anything but determination from her to beat the odds. Originally given thirty days to live she managed to make it thirty more including her forty-third birthday earlier in May. She maintained a positive upbeat energy throughout the short ordeal. No feeling sorry for herself or allowing others to express pity. I think she dismissed the possibility that she was going to die or created the illusion of such. She wanted everyone around her to be comfortable and happy so, “We’ll have none of that kind of talk.”
Soph and I were guilty of the same guilty pleasure that of partaking in a little smoke. I had stopped by a few weeks earlier and she had arranged an office of documents that surrounded her bedside headquarters. She asked me to do one thing for her and that was to bring a book of rolling papers. She reached under a stack of envelopes, asked for the papers, and rolled a big fat crawdad that we both enjoyed. We never once discussed her illness and honestly it never occurred to me to do so. In hindsight it was as if nothing were out of the ordinary plus we were laced. We hugged and then I left.
Wednesday was Soph’s memorial service, a sad affair put together by hillbilly lesbians, all in all it was poignant and reverent. Soph’s mother made me cry by ending with, “Thank you all for loving my daughter”. I’ve neglected to mention that her mother has terminal cancer as well and was given three months to live six months ago. Isn’t that the saddest thing? She’s going to outlive her daughter but only by a few months.