Last Sunday would have been my friend Carrie’s 34th birthday. I felt emotional and sad and wanted desperately to just pull the covers up and hide for the entire day. I didn’t know how to handle it. My boss, an amazing woman suggested sending her a card; so I did. It was a comedy of sorts though and I just have to wonder if Carrie was watching me from wherever she is giggling with and at me. I purchased three balloons for her, one was a pretty mylar heart that said “You’re so Special” the other a round mylar that said “Happy Birthday” and finally just a pretty purple one with stars all over. I purchased a befitting card… well I guess befitting since Birthday Cards are traditionally for folks that are still living, on this earth you know… and not just in our hearts. Anyways. I knew I wanted to go to my favourite park in Springfield so I made the drive; snuck onto their little dock (it’s locked in the winter time) and lo and behold my darn balloons would not fly. I was devastated. Bummed.. by now sun was setting and I had really wanted to do it in the light, right before it got dark. I got back into my car and decided I knew exactly where I could find a big balloon that would indeed get my card to her.
I pulled into the Ford dealership near my house, my heart was pounding like crazy. I went to the service desk and asked the young, not-even-twentysomething if I could have a big balloon. Her co-worker looked at me strangely and said she would go check. When she left I kind of had a moment with the young girl (who later introduced herself as Jessica) and told her I was just trying to get a card to my friend who had passed away. She welled up and told me her friends funeral was later that night; we commiserated while waiting for the other girl. Then… POP… a balloon just burst and I kind of giggled. Another loud POP and the co-worker stuck her head out, red faced and giggling. Third time was a charm and she gifted me with a big, beautiful red balloon. I thanked them profusely.
Oddly, or perhaps not so, my favourite “go-to” park was right behind the dealership and so I drove there, parked and walked to my favourite tree… you know the one I’m talking about, the one that holds all my secrets. I said a few words and let the balloons go. My heart was big, so big. I miss her so much and I ache for her mother, father and brother as well. I have so many questions, so many emotions… some not so pretty. I know her passing is not something I will ever get over…
Anyways, I did take a photograph of the balloons flying away. Then I did an edit and merged a piece of the words on the card onto the top of the photo. I really like the way it came out… I feel like it truly expresses all of my feelings in that moment, on that day.