Tomorrow September ends. Monday is the first day of the week and the month. I like that symmetry. Although I realize that officially the week starts on Sundays, for most of us Mondays signal the start of the week. Symmetry, proportion, balance have always appealed to me. I have looked for equilibrium and order in everything external as much as possible. Because, I suspect, the opposite is true internally. The hypothesis is that if things outside are neat and orderly, things inside will eventually be too. That has been the hope, albeit not the reality, most of the time.
September has proven to be a challenging month. When it began I hadn't the slightest notion that, at its end, life as I knew it would have changed forever. Never again would I be able to call Sonia to talk about nothing in particular, never again would she meet me at Panera Bread on Clybourn Avenue for lunch, never again would we dance our beloved Greek dances. And that idea (or reality) of "never again" represents the most difficult concept to accept. How is it possible that she will never again walk down Clark Avenue to Kopi Cafe on Saturday mornings? How is it possible that she will never again pick food from my plate instead of eating from hers? How is it possible that she will never again listen to my problems and find words to elucidate my concerns?
October will set out without my best friend. For forty years we shared dresses and earrings, joys and sorrows, friends and even a therapist, the quotidian and the extraordinary. Our relationship with our respective fathers brought us together many years ago when someone labeled us "red diaper babies." We had never heard that appellation before but laughed in earnest recognition of our bond. Politics, language, our past and present, even our physical appearance, branded us as "sisters." Sisters - not of the blood kind but by choice. Or, perhaps, by destiny. We were fated to be as close as sisters since the time we met so, so many years ago on the stage of the Notis Tsecouras Greek Theatre Company. As an only child I had always searched for friends to lean on, to hold on to for support and companionship. Sonia was there. The connection was made and it lasted until now.
My only solace now is to write about her, about us. And in this way, she remains in my heart and in my memories: laughing, eating, dancing. In this way, the unbearable sorrow her absence has brought may fly away like the twelve white doves that soared up to the sky above her resting place.