I received some sad news last week. One of my first friends in Houston passed away quite unexpectedly from a brain aneurism on Friday. I first met Jeanette at a Family Constellations workshop I facilitated during one of my visits before moving to Houston. Her name was picked and during her constellation it became very clear what a kind, generous person she was. That remained constant in the years that followed as we did more work together, shared lunches, and got to know each other even better. I’m so glad she joined us at the Big Sky Retreat last year. Not surprisingly, she became fast friends with many of our attendees, including my sister and another friend from Fort Lauderdale. Her kindness, generosity, and positive energy made it very easy to love her.
That sentiment was shared over and over again by friends and family members at her memorial service. Every single person also talked about her amazing cooking and the joy she felt when preparing food for people she loved. Jeanette owned a restaurant with her first husband for many years so she knew how to make everything just right, infusing her love into every morsel. About a year ago, she invited me, my partner, and a mutual friend to her home for a taste of India. To say the meal was delicious would be an understatement. Everything was delightfully flavorful, and it was way more than a meal. It was an experience! The spread she prepared made us feel like royalty.
When I heard the shocking news of her passing last weekend, I was speechless. As I sat on my meditation chair, happy memories of her flooded my mind followed by an idea. It occurred to me that the best way to celebrate Jeanette was to visit an Indian restaurant for dinner and enjoy a delicious meal in her honor. I believe that’s what she would have wanted us to do. My partner told me Jeanette knew the owners of Indika, a very nice restaurant serving modern Indian cuisine within walking distance of our new home. Everything about the meal was wonderful and I think Jeanette would have approved. We ordered rose cake for dessert knowing she would have insisted we indulge. As we were finishing the yummy cake, another server stopped by our table offering us each a complimentary butter cookie. Although our bellies were full, we accepted what felt like a gift from Jeanette. It was so typical of her generosity. Just when you thought it was done, there was just a little bit more.
I will miss our lunches and her peaceful presence at Miracle Monday. Although I am sad for her family and all of us who loved her, I can honestly say I am happy for Jeanette. Family was everything to her, and one of her biggest concerns was not being able to be there for all of them because they were spread across the globe. We received a text message from Jeanette just two weeks ago. She wanted to schedule a lunch with us when she returned from another trip to India. She added, “I am trying to figure out how to live between the two countries effectively.” Well, I think she found a way to be with all of the people she loved at the same time. As my friend Rev. Karen Tudor often says about those who have passed, “She didn’t go anywhere. She went everywhere.” Bless you on your new experience of limitless love, sweet friend. Thank you for everything, including those cookies!
All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing. I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had.
A Course in Miracles – T-5.IV.8:2-3
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Until next time, may you remember that love is limitless and your loved ones are always just a thought away.