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I still can remember as if it was yesterday, when I went to buy these two vases with my dear friend Carmen.  We bought them in a small shop that sold unfinished ceramic vases.

She chose the colors she wanted me to paint them and I would have them ready the next time she came to visit.

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Carmen and me bought these vases so I could paint them for her.

As life turned out, the next time I saw her was in a coffin in her funeral a month in a half later.

These two vases remained unfinished for about three years, hidden in my kitchen cabinets, then on a shelf in my laundry room.

I finally brought myself to finish them.

I knew she wanted them to hang them outside her home, so that’s what I precisely did.  They’ve been hanging there for the past twelve years.

I’ve taken them down only when my husband has painted outside and when we have hurricane warnings up.

The one on the right has the hanger chipped.

You know friendship is a little like that sometimes little pieces of them break, but if it’s genuine it will endure time and circumstances.

These two vases are the silent witnesses of a friendship that was true and genuine.  Each time I see them as I enter or leave my house, Carmen’s memory is brought back.

I never got it when people would say that when a loved one died, they would live in you forever, until Carmen passed away.

She does live in my heart through our shared memories.  I’ve never allowed myself to forget her because she was an important part of my life, even when I hid her memories like the vases for a while.

Grief is something like that.  Any memory at all is painful, but then as time passes you begin to heal and let the memories flow and come back.

Our vases came out of their hiding and so did I.  The staggering pain of losing my friend came to an end as I rejoiced in the life she had lived.

Today they remain a constant reminder that life can be short lived, and that we control very little that goes on around us except the memories we chose to create with those who love and are loved by us.

Share a smile and a hug, and create wonderful memories with those who are part of your life.

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