2012 has been the worst year for me so far in my life. I lost my best friend to a car accident, and it’s things like this that make you realise that we are only here for a short while, and that no matter what, we are travelling alone and however much you love someone, or how much you think you are joined to them, at some point you will be separated and you’re flying solo.
Donna Bendistis Jubb was a beautiful soul. Sometimes troubled (as we all are) and sometimes unsure, and sometimes worrying about work, and money, and her children. But always optimistic, bright and alive. Even as she was cursing some spate of bad luck or frustrating work project, she was planning her next GNO (girls night out) or scrapping weekend, or work trip, or visits with friends she had not seen for years, or trips to the beach – which was her haven of peace and sanity, and the one place that always centred her, calmed her. She loved to tan (oh how she loved to tan!!) and listen to the waves and the hubbub of families fishing and boogie boarding with their kids. She loved the boardwalk at night, the sweet smell of cotton candy and popcorn, the ding ding of the amusement arcades and the taste of Kings homemade ice cream in Lewes.
Donna loved her friends and her family with a fierce passion. Passion was something she did in spades. Even though she was often called “The Little One” because of her tiny stature, her personality was sassy and bold and often her volume made up for her lack of height.
She was generous to a fault – would hardly ever let you put your hand in your pocket to pay for anything. But she could also accept kindness graciously when needed. Her smile was bright and white and BIG. Her husband Brian always said she could “eat an apple through a picket fence”!! I like that.
Donna was my champion as far as my writing was concerned. She loved and cared for me enough to be brutally honest about my work. She told me what didn’t work as much as what did. She said she hated the parts she hated, and that she loved the parts she loved. She was a no bullshit kind of gal. Because of her, my writing is better.
I’ve struggled through the last ten months without her, and it’s been incredibly hard. It was our habit to email several times a day. Sometimes we “talked” through emails for an entire work day (yeah, I know, that’s bad! But we did do our work at the same time!), and we talked about things that you only tell to your soulmate. We spoke on the phone and of course we met several times. We’ve laughed and cried together. Now, when I have something I want to tell her, it takes a few seconds to realise I can’t. But that will pass.
So leaving 2012 behind is kind of bittersweet. I want to get away from it because it is the year I lost my soulmate. It’s the year that hurt more than any other time in my life.
But it’s also the year in which she last existed – so how can I want to eliminate that, strip that memory away?
All I know is that I am excited to get into 2013, because I want to move things along. I want to do something with the writing that she had so much faith in. For Donna, I want to succeed.
And I want to prove I can be happy again, deep down in my heart, even with her gone.