Growing up, one of my favorite people in the whole world was my mother's best friend, Sandy. She and my mother were absolute opposites. Sandy was a fashion queen with a beautiful inviting home and she could cook like no other. Sandy had a way of making things special even when all that was available was a camp stove and a Coleman lantern. I even remember her with hot rollers in her hair and doing her full makeup at the picnic table in our campsite. She said the natural lighting was wonderful!
Unfortunately, we lost our Sandy to a blood clot at the untimely age of only 50 years old. She had suffered from severe migraine headaches for the last 10 years of her life and we were never able to find out how or if this was linked together in some way. Oddly enough, I experienced the very first migraine headache of my life the day of her funeral and I have had them every 8 months or so since then. I cannot imagine how people deal with this incapacitating pain on an every day basis and retain any kind of sanity or sweetness as Sandy did.
Sandy may have died young, but her influence is still being felt in my life in ways that I am not always even aware of.
The other night while hosting our annual egg decorating and glow-in-the dark egg hunting party, one of my friends kids- Bridget, brought a friend with her. Bridget was literally bubbling over with excitement when she came in the door, telling her friend how her 'aunty' Jasmine was the best cook ever and how she was so lucky to get to come here. "My aunty Jasmine's house is the best place ever! Magic happens here. You'll see".
As the evening went on Bridget continued to espouse on all the benefits of being at our house. She would whisper to her friend about how those candles on the table were actually going to be lit when the food was ready. "She really will light them and they'll be so pretty, you'll see," she would say. "It's all about the atmosphere for her", her father told me. As I listened to all of this my heart was just full to almost bursting.
I never realized how much I mean to my lovely red haired beauty, Bridget.
And she was right, of course... The night did turn out to be magical. Bridget's friend was the one who found the very first special 'golden egg'.
This is more important to me than even what might be obvious on the surface. Bridget's love and trust is not just a sign that I have learned to be different from the way I was raised and to emulate those whom I have loved and admired such as my beloved Sandy. More importantly I have managed to affect change in a little life that once was broken much like my own. You see, Bridget is the genetic daughter of a heroin addict mother and a father who will reside in prison for life. I have managed to pass on to her some of my Sandy's warm and loving atmosphere. Sandy's touch did not end with her life and has continued on through me to Bridget. Nothing else I could do with my life will ever be more important than helping to mend the life of another hurting child in some small way.