Friday, September 25, 2009

Love, Lauren

Dear Raul:

I hope you've had a more restful week than last week. I don't know why the universal They insist that medical students must be sleep-deprived to learn anything.

I am learning to think of us as just good friends, as you have asked, but I would be lying if I said it's a skill I like. I am not trying to start a conversation you don't want to have yet, but if we can't be honest with each other, how can we be good friends? I miss you, Raul. And I miss thinking of you as more than just a friend.

I wanted to call you as soon as I got back to Santa Barbara from the weekend at the Pismo Beach house. But I needed time to mentallywork through the weekend's effect on me.

It was different for Clarissa and Ryan. They had never been there before, and so they started making memories from nothing, mostly good ones. The house is beautiful, has an outrageously fantastic view, is steps away from the ocean and Abigail paid for everything. The only damper on their perspective was Abigail's prognosis, something we all attempted to avoid thinking about anyway.

But I had been to the beach house before. It's where I found Abigail and the diary that terrible weekend she wanted to disappear - in every sense of the word. I's stopped it then; that course she had set for checking out on me altogether. But I can't stop it this time. No one can.

We sat at the same patio table, the girls and Abigail and I, where I had given Abigail that book of poetry Tom Kimura wanted her to have. But this time there was a different book on the table, When We Were Very Young. Also a book of poetry. I don't think Ryan had ever read a child's poetry book before, certainly not as an adult. It was a bit of a stretch for Clarissa, too. But I loved the book, probably because Abigail loves it and the reading of it has reminded her of much happier times.

I loved most the poem called The Invaders, abouta line of cows walking through a flower-strewn meadow: The first two stanzas are these: In careless patches through the wood/The clumps of yellow primrose stood/And sheets of white anemones/Like driven snow against the trees/Had covered up the violet/But left the bluebell bluer yet/Along the narrow carpet ride/With primroses on either side/Between their shadows and the sun/The cows came slowly one by one/Breathing the early morning air/And leaving it still sweeter there/And one by one intent upon/Their purposes, they followed on/In ordered silence. . .and were gone . . .

I just can just see it all. The flowers. The morning sun. The quiet cows and their lumbering stroll through the dewy grass.

When I told the girls that this one was my favorite, Abigail said, with tears in her eyes, that that was always her favorite, too. And I suddenly realized why she must like it so.


Her favorite flower. They always find a way to come back after a hard winter.

Take care, Raul. Don't work too hard. Life is short. . .

Love, Lauren.

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