I Will Celebrate

I will celebrate, on this day, and every day . . .

August 13, 2002

If I sit in quiet reflection, will words come? A radio speaker, who'd written a book on travel, said yesterday, 'Travel is the mother of thoughts', or words to that effect. But all my life is a journey. And the thoughts come, unnumbered. A few are caught and set in visable form.

Shall I, have any today? Tonight is the memorial for Laura. Readings and music have been assembled, our friends will assemble, to commemmorate Laura on this day that is also the anniversary of Julia's joining us. I am not desolate now, for Laura had this insight, to not shy away from the love we both had for Julia. We broke the mold, we would be free and be three together. And now I am not alone.

Grateful that, for love still surrounds me. We will carry on this work Laura first began. And so I, this morning, commemorate a joining began eight years ago.

Here are Laura's own words of that time, back in 1994:

However, it was February and there wasn't any promise that I would ever recover. One of my concerns was that Joan would be alone and I wouldn't be able to comfort her, let alone take care of her. I knew too that Julia was alone and needed someone to love. Hoping to prepare Joan for my death I told her that I thought Julia and she could make a wonderful life together. Joan had always been attracted to the mystery of having a transsexual lover and, outside of myself, Julia was the most suited to Joan's requirements.

Julia appeared then, as she does now, to be the most feminine individual I had ever met. She is sweet natured, vulnerable, and genuinely compassionate. Her keen intellect and dry wit spontaneously produce the most wonderful puns, interspersed with more than a few terrible groaners. Her soft hands, softer than any I had ever held, her perky smile, and her gentle demeanor immediately endeared her to me. I felt as if ... as if I had known her in some past life. Which is a rather odd, although pleasant, sensation since I don't believe in reincarnation.

With my obvious feelings for Julia, Joan's interest in her redoubled. With my encouragement she began writing to Julia more earnestly. Her letters were chatty and informative, friendly, and they prepared the way for a deepening of the relationship. The three of us were drawing closer together with each passing day. My time of trial was the test of our character and of our developing love for one another.

To some the notion of preparing a new love to replace oneself after death might seem a little bizarre. For me, it celebrates life, expressing my desire for life to go on with as little anguish as possible. It does me no honor for anyone to wail and cry when I'm dead. I've dearly loved life. I have lived it with passion, milking every sweet drop of honey from it that I might. When I'm gone, I want those who love me, those I've loved, to continue with that same kind of passion. That will honor me far more than grief or mourning.

And so, we will try, dearest Laura, to live our lives with passion. And sometimes, dear Laura, part of our passion will be to 'wail and cry'. But we shall do with loud voices, unashamed of each tear. For we have loved, and yes, 'nothing can take that away'. But a strong love needs at times, strong tears. But we will rejoice, too, with tears, that we have known you, Laura. And today, we will celebrate. And every day of my life, I will celebrate, with tears, smiles and precious memories.

© Joan Ann Lansberry
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