Sharing Vilma’s birthday with IWC friends
When a friend dies, many of us wish for… just a few more moments…
Just a few more moments… to whisper endearments… to express our thanks for their kindnesses… to apologise for any hurt we may have caused… to say how much we will miss them… and to let them know that their friendship has been a blessing and an honour.
For about three decades, Vilma Morey and I were part of an eclectic collection of women who would gather in one another’s home, every second Thursday. In retrospect, we realise that these bi-weekly get-togethers were in fact, a life line. We were all different, with our own perspectives and pasts, but somehow we became… a sisterhood.
Of course each person’s bonds were not equally close with everyone in the group… except when it came to Vilma. To a one, we knew she was special, and she spread her “white light” unconditionally. Vilma had many interests: collecting, dream analysis, meditation, reading… she was curious about everything. And yes, she had opinions. She was not shy when it came to saying what she felt… but always in a kind way. We all adored her.
And because Vilma was such a fine friend, she was blessed with reciprocity … her nephew, Rene loved her and Quique like a son… Eric, came from his town every day to care for them… Nancy made sure Vilma never missed a dialysis appointment… Lenny’s accomplishments filled Vilma with pride… Pat and Jacquie were her beloved neighbours.
Over the past decade, even in Merida, life has become much busier… and sadly, our Thursday group stopped meeting regularly. Our time was commandeered with the busyness, the concerns, and worries of our growing families, waning careers and so on… except for Vilma. Even though her health had declined, she still had energy and time for everyone… her aging husband, her frantic friends, the scholarship girls she mentored. With a smile, she used to say, “The IWC is like a smorgasbord… there’s a lot to choose from, and you can pick what you like.”
In recent years, I sometimes felt like an unfaithful friend because I could not spend much time with her. And then… less than a month ago… Chloe hosted a reunion of our Thursday group, and I was pleased to drive Vilma, Pat and Lorna Gail there.
The evening’s weather was Merida’s finest, the food was abundant and caloric… we sat around the pool, and later inside, in a circle… catching up on one another’s news, and sharing our special friendship of so many years. It was close to midnight when I returned the ladies to their homes. Vilma was the last, and before she went inside, she took my hand and told me how much she loved me. We talked about all the funny and wonderful times we have shared. I walked her to her gate, watched her open the door… she blew me a kiss, and that was the last time I saw her.
Although I was not aware of it at the time, I now think that Vilma knew she would soon be joining her dearest Quique. She believed in an Afterlife… but before she travelled there, she wanted us to have just a few more moments. What a gift…
In the coming days, I look forward to hearing others’ stories of … just a few more moments … with our stellar friend, Vilma Morey.