A Tribute to My Friends

Today I will make colorful tuna fish for lunch in memory of Fandia Shloul, who passed away exactly ten years ago. Maybe it’s weird, but I do this every year to honor her bright spirit. We worked together at Kingston Pizza, and when she was in charge of making the tuna, she would put all sorts of things in it…it was rainbow tuna when she was finished. Sam might have made a comment here or there about how that “isn’t how we do it here,” but, really, no one (including him) ever minded. It was what she did – she brought that brightness of hers into the most mundane of things.

The last time I saw her was at a house party a few days before she died, and I am reminded again that we never think it will be the last time.

When she and Geoff and Dan went missing, I was on a humongous cruise ship in the middle of blue Caribbean waters. The stark contrast between where I was and where they were was unbearable.

Two days from now, Robert Sheehan would celebrate his 33rd birthday. I want to honor him today, too – even though I still get mad at him for leaving. He and I shared stories (usually hilarious ones) that no one else in the world could know, or could reminisce about, like Bobby could. He has been gone now for about 1.5 years.

In a grand gesture of friendship, Bobby was the one who got in touch with me on the cruise ship that March ten years ago. He called the captain’s office, and let me know what had happened and that they hadn’t been found and things weren’t looking good. He wanted me to hear it from a friend, instead of on the news or from some random source.

I’m not writing this to re-hash the pain of their losses, though to make sure I was getting my dates right I looked up some of the news articles and could barely read them. All the feelings come back, fresh.

The reason I am writing this is to remind you and remind myself that we honor our dead by the way we live our lives. We can carry on Fandia’s brightness since she isn’t here to do it, and strive to nourish our friendships in the ways that truly matter, like Bobby did… Even though sometimes he could be such an ass. 😉

In loving memory of our friends.


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