Today’s make something prompt tells me to “do something in which silence is an essential component.”
I was going to close the door, plug my ears, and read. Get positively lost in a story, and then write how that felt or what I learned or some other response to the author’s words.
Then I got on Facebook and saw that my good friends’ daughter made a silent movie for school, reporting on Charlie Chaplin. Her work was so creative and funny and inspiring. Maybe I could do something like that …
Then I scrolled down a few posts and read the shocking news that a childhood friend of mine died today.
Rhonda died today.
She was having some kind of dental surgery and reacted badly to the medications or the procedure or something. And she died. She leaves behind a teenage son. And half a life, not lived.
I’m 44 years old, and Rhonda was younger than me by a few months. When we were small, we took gymnastics and dance classes together. When we were teens, we laughed together in study hall. Her mom cut my hair. We played together at the pool in the summertime. She was not my best friend, but she was my lifelong friend. In the past few years, as Facebook has reconnected me with so many people from childhood, she has been a regular source of smiles and head-shakes and LOLs.
And today she died. All of a sudden.
I’m taking my 15-year-old son for a consultation with an oral surgeon tomorrow afternoon. What timing.
My stomach hurts. I’m shaky. I feel a quaking energy that bothers me, makes me want to run or puke or scream.
But I don’t run. I won’t puke. And I can’t scream when the kids are trying to go to sleep. Instead I guess I’ll “do something in which silence is an essential component.”
I’ll close the door, plug my ears, and pray. I’ve got nothing to say, other than “WTF?” So I’ll just keep my mouth shut and listen through the quiet.
Farewell, Rhonda. I’m thinking of you, in the quiet.