Dating Kit

Adventures of a Single Girl…

Sunset on the Day, not the Friendship

on October 4, 2017

A few months ago I told you about my dear friend Kez who had just died, having lived, and suffered, her whole life with Cystic Fibrosis.

Recently, it was the first birthday for which she was no longer around to celebrate.

I was away at the time, on a much awaited holiday.

At Kez’s funeral, a few of her friends and I had discussed getting together on her birthday, to break bread and celebrate her life. Generally, I don’t like hearing people say that So and so “wouldn’t like you to be unhappy” or whatever. But as we discussed getting together, it really did feel like something Kez would love. She loved to celebrate, and particularly with good company, and who better than her friends?

However, when the time came, it wasn’t possible as her birthday fell during the week, and we all live scattered across Melbourne. So, I booked my holiday, leaving on her birthday and decided that I’d do something on my own to commemorate her day- the first completely pain, cough and everything else, free. I thought maybe I’d go somewhere and have a nice dinner and raise a glass to her, and throughout the day I thought that watching the sunset might be lovely, too. I was sad about being alone for the day, but then, Kez and I’d had many birthdays apart, due to her illness, and us living on other sides of our fair city.

I was at Surfers Paradise, at a hotel 200m from the beach, and throughout the day had thought how lovely it would be to watch the sunset and reflect upon her life and our many moments together.

But, the day was full of travel and checking in, and soon the day was coming to a close. I was on the phone with New Guy and googling when the sun should set, and where the best vantage points were.

I stepped out onto my balcony and turned my head and saw that the sun was setting. I started telling New Guy why it was so important that I watch the sunset. I’d made a commitment to myself, and to Kez, and wanted that time with her. New Guy said that I should be happy she’s not in pain, and of course I was grateful for that, but it doesn’t diminish the pain and loss.

Inevitably, the tears cascaded down my cheeks, as I talked, and suddenly I realised that maybe there was a better spot from which to view it.

I rushed to the door, and looked down the hallway, and there at the end was a large window through which I saw the most vivid colours in the sky behind the nearby buildings and hills.

Of course, this just made me cry even harder as I tried to explain what I was seeing and why I was so upset. Then I realised that trying to explain was ruining the moment, so we signed off and I watched the view.

I got a lovely text from New Guy soon after saying that I’ll be okay, and to enjoy the view with my friend. Exactly. Through all the tears and half sentences, he’d gotten it.

Sunset on the Day, Not on the FriendshipSo, I stood there, taking pic after pic and enjoying the spectacle of it all. I knew that there was one thing missing from this scene, which was in my plans- a drink! So I raced back to my room and poured myself a Galliano and took it back to the window ledge.

It was a cloudless sky, and it was like a miracle was occurring before my eyes, as the colours changed over and over again.

I was just standing there, eyes front, taking it all in, and suddenly, a single bird flew across the sky. I watched it soar in front of the sunset, so calmly and effortlessly. Instantly I thought, that’s Kez. It’s weird, I know, and even in the moment I wondered why I’d think that. But, looking around that bird, I saw no others! It was beyond crazy, and most definitely a sign.

As I continued to watch the sunset, memories flooded back to me, and I enjoyed them as though they had all happened yesterday, but they were all months old at least.

And then, through the tears, and as though soundtracking my memories, I started to realise that I could hear a song playing.

I tuned in, and couldn’t believe my ears. It was the guitar riff from the end of Hotel California. I couldn’t believe it. How long had it been playing and I hadn’t realised? Well, obviously, the whole song because this comes at the end. But had they just turned it up? Or had it been playing the whole time and I’d only just noticed?

Whatever had actually happened, I didn’t care. It was yet another sign and I was both elated and freaking out, because that was a song that meant a lot to us. Years before, I’d gone to the Eagles concert with my husband, and had called Kez during that song (that’s the sort of thing I did if I was at a concert and a friend loved a certain song). We’d sung to each other down the phone line and gotten to enjoy the night together, at least in part.

And now, hearing the song while the gorgeous sun set over that Queensland horizon, it was as though she was saying, “that WAS me flying high, I was visiting you and showing you I’m okay!”

While I don’t go around spouting spirituality, I defo have experiences like this, and I’m open to them.

As I watched the last colour fade from view, I realised that if I put the initial stunned amazement aside, it made perfect sense that Kez would visit me, and on her birthday of all days; what a gift it was.

When the sky was completely dark, I left the window and returned to my hotel room. I dashed out to get dinner and came back in time to watch the Finale of The Bachelor.

That was a disastray, but I reckon Kez would have been laughing at me. Halfway through I was so sure of the ending that I got bored. Though I’m on a self imposed text/ social media ban during the Bachelor, I started chatting with friends. That never happens, but it did this time, and the chick who ‘won’ was earthy and crafty, exactly the sort of chick that Kez would have chosen for Matty J. Pfft.

The next day, I went out to explore the area. I’d wanted to go and get a picture of the “Surfer’s Paradise” sign which overlooks the ocean. It was a couple of blocks from my hotel, but I went the long way, getting to know the shops and restaurants along the way.

When I reached the sign, there were lots of other tourists there taking pics. I’d had no idea that it was such a tourist attraction. I felt a bit silly taking a picture of it, and it occurred to me that in Surfers’ small way, it was like the Hollywood sign. So I thought, fuck it, who cares? And I got my phone out.

Again, a lone sea gull flew across the sky and through my shot. Can you believe it? I was on one side of the road and at the other side, was the beach. The beach is a sea gulla mecca!! Looking around, I again saw no other birds. I sent up a silent, “thanks Kezzington,” and bought myself a twistie potato in celebration.
Sunset on the Day, Not on the Friendship
I defo felt that I’d celebrated the life of Kez, and hadn’t been as alone as I’d thought I’d be.

P.s. I typed this up outside my building while at lunch, with lots of people around me, and the tears flowed as freely as they did on Kez’s birthday.

Then I went back inside, and got back to work. I’d been listening to one of my playlists before lunch. I’d only installed Spotify on my computer that same day. When I hit play again, a song came on that I didn’t recognise. When I looked at the title, I nearly fell off my chair. Take a look at the pics below. As you can see, the song is not in that playlist.

Sunset on the Day, Not on the FriendshipXx Kit

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