In the course of the past week, two very wonderful women who lived in San Miguel de Allende have passed this life. It seemed so random, and so horrifying, that these two events, totally unrelated, could happen in such a short stretch of time. Both left by natural causes, and neither was expected.
I had met Lulu Torbet once, at a little get together when we first got to town last fall. I had always hoped to get to know her, but our paths just never crossed again. But, there are so many mutual friends, and I feel like I did know Lulu because of the love that has poured out to her by her friends on FaceBook.
Last night we went out to dinner at a local restaurant, Agua Miel, and learned that Caren Cross was in very serious condition. This morning I learned that she, too, had left this plane. I met her only once, at a small dinner party. But, I felt I knew her from a wonderful documentary film she had done about people who come to live in San Miguel, “Lost and Found in Mexico.”I really liked her, and again, I was hoping we would become friends. That was about a month ago.
Both these women were about my age. They were both vital, and youthful, and wonderfully alive. There are certain things, that when they happen, make the concept of mortality very real. I have never wanted to be “old.” Some of you have heard me rant about “if I ever say I’m ‘growing old gracefully,’ take me out and shoot me.” I think being in Mexico has changed me in a lot of ways, one being that I have a very different attitude about getting older. I don’t care if I grow old gracefully, or disgracefully. I just want to stick around for it. And I want to get as much joy as I possibly can out of all the days of my life. When you stick around long enough, you finally get it that life is all about joy. Some people say they “have no regrets.” Any regrets that I might have involve anytime I let someone or some situation steal my joy. I also regret that I have often overlooked the joy in very simple things. I intend to change that. In fact, I’ve already been working on it.
The beautiful thing about both of these women who departed was the joy that you could see in them. The movie that Caren did was all about joy. And when I look at all the photos of Lulu on FaceBook, I can see the joy she brought her friends. I personally believe that there is life after life. While I don’t pretend to know exactly how that works, I believe it does. And, I believe these two beautiful spirits are living that life after life now and always.