Thursday, December 5, 2019

My Sweet Friend Gaia Has Gone to Be with Her Cats in Heaven

When I saw this picture of Gaia Fishler and Ori's announcement on The Non-Blonde that she had died, I burst into tears. I haven’t been able to write since that tearful day; I’ve been too emotional. Gaia was one of my first blogger friends and certainly one I knew was a saint. Did God take her knowing that Ori would take care of their cats on Earth, but needing a hand with those in heaven?

I can’t count the hours we spent on the phone or e-mail. I took the train to New York to shop with her. We still had unaccomplished plans for me to visit her at home. Legionnaires’ disease, the fire, rebuilding my house, unpacking what was saved and conserved, buying all new things, like upholstered furniture—and, of course, easing Charlie through all the disruptions in his life, being here for him—disrupted those plans. Now a grim realization that our reunion will have to wait for heaven has depressed me. I wasn’t supposed to lose a 49-year-old friend to heart disease.

At first, I panicked. I had to know how such a thing could happen. I called and wrote Ori, but didn’t know he had gone to Israel. I finally reached Gaia’s dear friend Josie, who filled me in on the heartbreaking details. I’m grateful to her, and I cry for her too. Losing a best friend can be worse than losing a beloved family member.

I am sure Gaia and I had been friends in another life—somewhere in time.  We both adored cats and their individual charms. We both appreciated art, beauty, antiques, reading, the natural world, good food, so many things in our lives. She was a better person than I am. We disliked many of the same things, dishonesty being one, but she lived with stressors so much better than I did.

I haven’t figured out how to honor her in a way that’s fitting of her example. If I had the money, I would start a charity to care for and love homeless cats, giving them a home like Gaia would have done. I hope she will send me an idea, something I can do to honor the time and wisdom she shared with us.

As I type through tears—yes, they are flowing again—I’m petting Charlie (he senses when I’m upset), thinking about Gaia, hoping that Ori and their Jersey cats will find the strength to go forward without her, knowing I can't adequately describe her here, and sadly acknowledging that Gaia is now a memory. I loved her.

Photo courtesy of The Non-Blonde