Friends and Loss In The Modern Age
Facebook... Twitter... I love the ability that we have to reach out and find old friends, renew acquaintances, and find new friends across the globe. It's a heady, fascinating thing. We get to meet new people, make friends in different cities... different countries.. and have meaningful dialogues with each other. We can transcend cultural, religious, and political differences, and establish real friendships, despite our differences. I have made many new friends this way, and found so many friends from my past that it boggles the mind. Some, I have sought for years (Yes, Don Radogna, I mean you). Others, I have thought about from time to time, and stumbled on while reaching out to others. It's an amazing time for us. We can use it to all come together, or to affirm the differences that our prejudices already have told us that we have. I choose the former.
Making new friends is exciting and fun, and it was through this means that I became friends with Ginger Lloyd Wood. I was pretty adamant during the last election about keeping Mitt Romney out of the White House. I just knew that his brand of Conservatism would be bad for the American Worker. Not to mention that when he had the opportunity to serve his country, as I did, he chose to go over seas in service to his church. I am not happy with the way that our President has performed, but I still would not pick Romney over him.
But I digress. It was through the election and my opinionated posts and blogs, that I came to know Ginger. She liked what I had to say, and trusted my instincts. I learned that she was battling cancer, and that she was afraid for her children and grandchildren of what would happen if the Romney's came to power. I assured her that her instincts were correct. After the election, we often communicated about the state of our country. Ginger was so afraid of what was coming to pass, thanks to the Tea Party and all the crazies who were basically calling for the downfall of the government. I tried to assure her that the world for her grandchildren would not change that much, if only we could keep things balanced.
Ginger was a religious lady. I am not very religious... no, that's not true.. I am not at all religious.. but we respected each other and, as I always said, 'Who's to say what is right and what is wrong? We need to respect and love each other, regardless of religious beliefs.'.. Ginger agreed.
When she took a turn for the worse last year, she asked me to pray for her. I asked her permission to have all of my friends and relatives pray for her and send healing energy. She agreed. The last that I heard from Ginger was just a month or two ago. She told me that she had had a crisis, but that she had come through it. That was the last that I heard until tonight.
Tonight, I heard that my dear friend, Ginger Lloyd Wood, had lost her battle with the hated cancer. I am so devastated that I cannot think. That's the trouble with this brave new world: We have more people to lose and to mourn.
Ginger, my dear friend, I salute you. You were brave and never complained or cursed your fate. Your concern was for the future that did not include you. You were a sweet, and loving soul, and I will always miss you. Rest In Peace, my dear, sweet friend. Know that you were loved.
John Zaffino, Kent Lakes, NY
June 11, 2014