Two years have passed since my cherished friend Amy died ... two years ago this morning, the phone rang and my life was forever diminished by the words I heard when I answered. While not a day goes by that I don't think of Amy, at the end of this second year without her, my thoughts are more often happy ones and the sadness I felt for so long is background noise rather than the music of my days.
All around me there are treasured reminders of her: growing in my garden, hanging on a wall, sitting on a shelf or tucked in a drawer. Just as treasured are those times when I'ms out and about and I see something that brings her to mind so vividly that I feel sure she's right beside me, sharing the moment. Yesterday, as I drove down one of the alleyways I often take to get home, I hit the brakes because of just such a moment. Proudly displayed on either side of a suburban garage were two concrete statues of griffins, the legendary beasts of medieval times that have the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.
Why was this so evocative of Amy? On one of our first outings together, Amy, her daughter Gaby and I toured a number of homes and gardens in the River Oaks area of Houston as part of the Azalea Trail. This is one of Houston's oldest and most stately neighborhoods, with some magnificent homes and beautiful gardens. However, one does see some missteps even in such palatial areas. As we drove down Kirby Drive, we were struck by the sight of concrete lion statues situated on either side of the front door of a contemporary home, to which they were truly ill suited. All three of us exclaimed over the sight and Amy's words became a catchphrase for the two of us: "Inappropriate Lions."
So when I saw those griffins yesterday, the second anniversary of her passing, I felt quite sure that it was a message from Amy, an acknowledgment that she is indeed beside me in spirit, laughing and lamenting those inappropriate lions. Your physical presence is sorely missed at such moments, my beloved friend, but your unique and colorful spirit is celebrated.