September 9, 2018
I have to admit, since my Ailish passed away in June, I have had a really difficult time trying to adjust. I haven’t spent a lot of time out with friends, avoiding a lot of social activities. This is my first trip away, because I almost felt guilty leaving home, where Ailish and I have spent so much of the past 2 ½ years, and where Ailish passed away. I was afraid to leave her behind. I knew at some point I would need to rejoin society, learn how to move on and travel without my twin. I decided my first trip away would be to visit my best friend who knows me the best, and has been there for me unconditionally through the past 20 plus years. She is currently living in Georgia, so we planned this two week getaway for me. I have to say, it’s the best thing I could have done.
As my first trip away nears the end, I have had an incredible time out here in Georgia. We have eaten at some incredible restaurants, visited amazing places, met some wonderful people, and spent some much needed BFF time together. I have found moments during these past few weeks where I feel truly happy, and I haven’t felt that way in a long time. I almost wondered if I would ever be able to feel that again. I have met some really good people out here in Georgia, friends of my best friend and her husband. We went out one night for dinner with my best friend’s husband and his friend and wife. We laughed so much at dinner; I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard with people I just met. I met a co-worker of my best friend, who has one of the warmest and funniest personalities I ever encountered. We talked and bonded over tragedy, both knowing the loss of a loved one from cancer. It sucks to meet people who know the heartache and shittiness of cancer, and the devastation it leaves on a family, but it’s also comforting to talk to someone who knows exactly what you are going through.
I have missed my sister on this trip, it was always the 3 of us exploring and eating our way through new cities on our adventures. There was so many times where I would think to myself, Ailish would have loved this, she would have loved this city, or she would have loved this meal we just ate. My best friend had rented a lake house for us this past weekend and out of both bedrooms I had to choose from they both had 2 beds (one room had bunkbeds and the other had two twin beds). It was a stark reminder that I was now alone, that I would have to get used to her not being here anymore. There are tons of daily reminders, even when I am at home that forces me to face this fact. It is inescapable, and another thing I will have to get used to.
Savannah Trees at night, Ailish would have loved this picture!!!
Spending time with my best friend was just what I needed. We can talk for hours, eat at fancy restaurants, and be just as content sitting in the same room together in silence, or eating at a local fast food joint. No matter what it is we are doing, it’s fun because we are together. This trip with my best friend was just what I needed and it was also the sort of the kick in the pants I needed to get out and find my happiness.
After Ailish’s diagnosis, we traveled the world, made amazing memories, and spent as much time together as we could. Even though we were having some of the best times of our lives, there was always the cancer cloud looming over our heads. It’s almost like I didn’t know how to be really happy anymore, we were always wondering when her health would take a turn, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Well on June 1st, the shoe fucking dropped, and no matter what, no one can ever prepare themselves on how to deal with the aftermath. I know this will be a long journey and it will take a long time for anything to ever feel “normal” again, if it ever does. I just have to learn how to adjust to this new normal. For now, this is just what I needed, two weeks with my best friend to remind me it’s okay to laugh and be happy. I know this is what Aily wants for me too.
In NYC September 2017, me, Aily, Mary!!! Oh yeah, and we allowed my brother to join us!!! Ha ha ha