Last night, I had a terrible night’s sleep. I was dreaming so vividly. Unfortunately, many of the people in my dream were loved ones who had died. When I woke, I said to myself, “We are all going to die.” I wasn’t saying it in a morose manner –actually just more in a matter of fact way.
Walter was having coffee and I started telling him all about my long dream sequence. While he pretended to be listening, I knew he really didn’t want to talk about dead people. I ended the conversation with, “The moral of my dream was that we must enjoy every day.”
I then called my sister and said, “Do you know if any of our elderly relatives passed away last night??” I just had this feeling. She assured me everyone was fine.
The past week had been difficult. First, I had a difficult business week. Then one of our good friends, Dr. Robert Smith, passed away. Although he was 93, he was spry and in fact still worked. Perhaps that’s why I had my “death dream.” While I was a bit shaken by my dream, I was looking forward to my early manicure and pedicure scheduled with Cindy, who is quite wonderful.
For some reason, I still felt unnerved, so before I left the house, I decided I needed to get centered and took out one of my favorite books by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. I was definitely going to read that today.
As always, when I arrived, Cindy made me a cup of delicious Vietnamese coffee. I really love it. I was texting and took a sip of the coffee and somehow spilled some on my blouse. I thought, “How did I miss my mouth?” I laughed. Cindy was very concerned, and I said, “No worries, it’s only a couple of drops and I’m going right home after this.”
I then took another sip and got coffee all over my shirt. I realized that the plastic cup was defective, and the coffee was pouring out of a slit. Cindy, Annie the owner, and the receptionist all came running over to make sure that I was OK and that my blouse wasn’t ruined. (It might be)
I laughed hysterically and reassured them that “If this is the worst thing that happens to me today, then I’ll feel blessed.”
All of a sudden, all the gals were speaking Vietnamese, when I heard my name. I thought they were talking about the coffee fiasco. Then Cindy said to me, “I have to tell you something –Nina died.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked three times, “What did you say?” Nina was my original manicurist and then Niccie took her away from me when Niccie would visit. Nina was amazing. She would create different and unique nail designs for Niccie each week. Her joke was she had to continually outdo herself. She really LOVED Niccie.
About six months ago, Nina, her husband and their 8-year-old son moved to Texas. About 8 weeks ago, Cindy told me Nina had cancer, but she was doing OK. I was concerned but I really didn’t get details. I assumed that it was treatable.
Nina was 37 years old, beautiful, fun, talented, warm, caring and always had a gorgeous smile on her face. I couldn’t believe my ears. Then the girls started showing me photos of Nina. They even had her memorial service on video. I saw Nina in her coffin. I watched her Mother sobbing hysterically. I looked at her husband who just seemed in shock. And I saw her little boy not knowing what was really happening.
Needless to say, I cried. I’m still crying. Of course, I hate cancer. But this is even deeper than that. It makes me think about my faith. And why bad things happen to good people.
I don’t have any answers. I don’t even have a moral to this story. Oh, I can give you the cliché “Make every day count,” but that’s really not enough.
For now, all I want to do is be quiet and embrace my sadness. It’s amazing how every moment of every day, someone impacts your life in unexpected ways. To beautiful Nina, I pray that there is an amazing afterlife. Frankly, today, that’s all I’ve got.