Two weeks ago I lost my sweet friend, Lourdes, quite suddenly to a brain aneurysm. When someone dies, the tendency is to forget their flaws and paint a beautiful picture for memory’s sake. The truth about Lourdes, though, is that she was one of those rare people whose imperfections were just part of what made her so wonderful. She honored her Hawaiian roots every moment of her life through both her playful, loving personality and the kindness and gentleness of her Aloha spirit.
A few months ago, Lourdes walked into my office and declared “I want to go to Marjorie.” Anyone who knows me well (and even some who don’t) know Marjorie is my favorite restaurant. B once told me that I am more myself when we are there than any other time. It’s my happy place. Lourdes saw some of my photos from Marjorie and decided it was time for a visit herself. I told her there were very few people I was willing to take there, but I would be honored to take her. We promised to make a visit soon.
Not long after, she took a job on another team. The opportunity she accepted was fantastic for her personally and professionally and I felt truly happy for her, but she was always such a bright spot in my day that I was selfishly very sad to see her go.
We managed to get dinner on the calendar for December, but eventually we cancelled thanks to work responsibilities. We never did make it to Marjorie together. It’s odd the places one’s brain goes when tragedy strikes. When I heard she was in the ICU, my first panicked thought was that we hadn’t had our dinner. I felt instantly guilty for focusing on something so seemingly trivial. Really I was panicked that I hadn’t spent more time with her, hadn’t had the luxury of lingering over amazing food and drinks, sharing the endless laughs that were always a sure bet with her, enjoying the beauty and warmth of the space and its hosts.
After Lourdes died, one of her close friends who also works in my office came over to my desk, hugged me, and the first words she said to me were “You have to go to Marjorie.” I didn’t realize Lourdes had told anyone about our plans, but I was comforted knowing she looked forward to it as much as I did. B and I had already made plans to go Saturday after her Celebration of Life. It seemed fitting to close the day dedicated to her remembrance with a visit. And so, after a beautiful celebration, we went.
We had all our usual favorites. I had my Trenchtown cocktail and we had Plantain chips to start. I was so happy to see their amazing Crudo back on the menu and ordered it despite my plans to have their True Burger as well. We shared a Chocolate Pot de Crème (one of our favorites from their old location). We ate too much. We laughed. We talked… to each other and to our lovely Marjorie friends.
I am still deeply saddened that I missed out on a special experience with a wonderful friend, but I know, without a doubt, she would have loved that I chose to honor her in this way. Aloha, my friend. I miss you terribly.