Today, three people whom I call family have driven from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara. Their purpose, as in the Jewish tradition, is to attend an old friend's memorial. My foster mother was one of Leah's closest friends: "We were like sisters, since we were six years old," Doris has told me many times in the last month. Up to three weeks ago, Doris and Leah called each other weekly, sometimes more.
Now, Doris, her son Glen, and daughter Lauren, drive up Pacific Coast Highway to say a final goodbye with Leah's family and friends. They will celebrate Leah's good life with stories, photographs, good food and so much laughter.
Knowing how sad Doris is at Leah's passing makes me think how incredibly important it is to be a good family member, to be a good friend, to be proactively loving in our lives. We can't wait for others to show love. We love, we care, we reach out, we nurture. It's our job, as hard as that is.
Tiny Tim's Garden is not perfect, and I'm too old to expect perfection in the garden or in the gardener, or in my friends and family. My graced life has evolved from so much despair and pain as I searched for love, beauty and truth. Now, I am nothing but grateful for the wondrous good in my life. And in the garden, with cats, family and friends here and around the world, life and love are triumphant over death today.