June 30, 2017
I accepted the invitation by Carol Vaughn of Carol’s Costa Rica Club – to present a few words and read from my recently published book, A Woman Awakens: Life, AfterLife.
And there I was – surrounded by twenty-five friends and fellow ExPats as well as a few Ticos sitting at tables just before lunch.
It was not lost on me that we were in the back area of Bazookas restaurant – a place that has been a touchstone since I arrived in Costa Rica nearly nine years earlier. My first breakfast in the San Isidro was at Bazookas. And it was at Bazookas that I first met the other ExPats (aka Immigrants) who would become my friends and fellow adventurers as we gathered for lunch each Thursday after the feria (the market). And of course it was during one of those gatherings that I first met Frank, a Canadian ExPat who had arrived twelve years before.
This day I was a bit nervous.
Though I had considerable experience speaking in front of others, this time felt much more personal. It was one thing to present a talk about watercolor pigments or the merits of the sable – synthetic wash brush and quite another to talk about one’s personal life. And I was about to talk about a deeply personal time in my life, which was part of my book. I was about to read about the events of the morning when I found Frank no longer breathing.
I opened the book to page 187 and began reading… and in the midst of the four pages that followed I very publicly read about Frank’s blue dress. The memory was both poignant and personal and as I read, there was laughter and also a few tears. Most of all it was a tribute to dear Frank who seemed always to be most comfortable with just who he was.
My reading ended with the words I read from the book, which were equally applicable to the current moment.
“I have no idea what anyone thought and, most importantly I savor this as one of my most loving memories surrounding Frank’s passing. And I believe that Frank must have chuckled too.”