March 4, 2022 – Farewell for now Edwinsa Victoria Smikle
This is not a day I ever imagined I would have to wake up in; this day is a result of both a lack of imagination and preparation. I didn’t imagine it because it was unimaginable; and I didn’t prepare for it.
Today is the funeral of my dear friend. There should be some special term for friends like her, there is likely such a word in some language or culture I don’t know enough about. For now, I think I will have to just make one up. I will call our friendship spirit-partner-heart-friend.
From the moment we met Edwinsa Victoria Smikle owned a part of my heart. I was half way through my morning run, a route that passed her house. I was relatively new to the area and began running the new route only a few weeks earlier. It was maybe about 7:00am in the morning. The sun was bright and hot, and I was running at a good pace as I passed her home. She called out: “would you like some water?” The few people I passed in on my morning runs said ‘good morning’ and I responded accordingly as I continued running. Vicky, the name I came to know her by, presented me with a question that required thought before response. I stopped. I didn’t need the water but I did need this friendship. I knew that immediately. I sensed she also needed our friendship. She confessed that she had seen me run pass her house several times before.
For the first years, we saw each almost daily. I re-routed my runs so that I would pass Vicky’s home twice. On the first pass we waved to each other, we had arranged that I would return 20 to 30 minutes later (depending on how vigorously I scaled the hill). The second pass was not a pass but a break. She prepared water and fruits and we would sit in her fabulous garden overlooking the Sea. There, we shared stories about our lives, engaged in philosophical and theological debates, and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. We learned that truth and laughter were of central importance to both of us. We knew each other before we got to know each other.
Vicky was a retired teacher (she returned to the classroom and retired a second time), a fierce environmentalist (designing and building ecologically sustainable gardens and resource management systems); an avid nature lover (her personal garden included peacocks, a variety of tropical birds and fish, and a bee farm). She was a first degree entrepreneur and innovator. She also grew her own punkins, string beans, and orchids. She loved dogs. Cats, not so much. And, was an elegant hostess of hostess.
Living through this day has been one of the most difficult tasks of my adult life; and, for the record, I have not had an easy life.
May those of us lucky enough to have known and loved Vicky find peace and comfort, and hear her voice lulling us to heal well and spread our wings into the future. Thank you my dear spirit-partner-heart-friend, Edwinsa Victoria Smikle, for the illuminating presence and joy you brought to this difficult and tortured world; it was made more beautiful by you. God speed.