I've been trying to write this since Monday morning.
One of the first things I do in the mornings, usually after calling my mom, and then calling Donald at work, is log onto Facebook.
This past Monday one of the first posts I saw was from David Magayna, which I've posted here with his permission.
"Lucinda J. Cindy Tambourine, June 6, 1954 - March 8, 2015.
This morning was the first day I could not look forward to the promise of looking on my beautiful bride Cindy’s smiling face in almost twenty years. Yes, we had been apart before, traveling on business, or caring for an ailing parent, or as in recent months, Cindy being in a hospital overnight. But still I held the promise that I would see her soon.
Nothing could make my chest swell more broadly than to walk into her hospital room and see an unhappy face blossom with her smile of love and appreciation for us once again sharing time together, even in that less than satisfactory environment. I needed nothing more than to look in those bright eyes and feel that the day had improved immensely. Where she hadn’t slept all night, when I got there she could take my hand and fall off into a restful slumber.
We lost Cindy yesterday after a year-long struggle with cancer. Throughout her fight I never saw anyone more strong and focused on her goal, or more practical about the possibilities that might lay at the end of that struggle, than my girl.
When her oncologist told her last week that there was no further treatment they could recommend, it was Cindy giving him comfort, telling him not to have any regrets. She said, “We fired all the bullets in our gun. We went to Hopkins. We went to the Washington Cancer Institute. And you have done everything you could. You are a fine man and don’t you feel bad”. I thought this fine doctor would lose it. He told her he was honored to have met her and I believed him.
As she went through the final days of her life, Cindy told us to be kind to each other and not to have glum faces. “I want no bawling!”, she said, and we instantly smiled, as that was Cindy, orchestrating and controlling anything that she could.
In recent days, she told me that she had no regrets. She had lived 60 wonderful years and spent almost 20 wonderful years with me, and that suited her just fine. She said, “We’ve lived large, and boy did we have fun .”
And she’s right. As I look over photos from our experiences over these past twenty years, our wedding, parasailing in Hawaii, getting drunk on the Fiesta Party Boat in Cozumel, at a Pirate baseball game with our moms, or in front of the Idaho sign as we entered, fulfilling our goal of visiting all 50 states, I can look back at many fun times. I just wish there were 20 more to come.
So please help me in celebrating the life of this incredible woman. We are soul mates and I shall hold her close the rest of my days."
I met Cindy, and David, through Facebook. David first. We talked about books, and mystery conventions, and Maryland and always seemed to have plenty of things to talk about.
One of the first things I learned about David was how very much he adored his Cindy.
Then I got to know Cindy and we both came to the conclusion that we were kindred spirits.
We talked about getting together at Bouchercon in Raleigh, and we started talking about where we could get together when Donald and I are next in Maryland. I told her how much I envied her easy access and views of The Bay, and how much I've enjoyed times I have spent in Stephensville, where she and David live. She told me how much she enjoyed the Eastern Shore, where I was raised.
Then all of a sudden Cindy and David weren't at Facebook as much as they had been.
I kept thinking I would drop them a note.
But, I didn't.
I thought, well, maybe they're taking a Facebook break. If that was the case, I didn't want to intrude, and figured that we would, sooner or later, reconnect.
Now I want so badly to be able to move back in time and drop a note to the two of them saying "just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you."
I'll never have the opportunity to tell Cindy that.
But I can tell David.
And, I think, in my heart of hearts, that Cindy knows too. I've cried a lot of tears since Monday, and I don't see them stopping anytime real soon.
Cindy Tambourine, girl - you touched my heart - you touched so many hearts, oh how I hope you know this. For a short while we were friends. We laughed and we planned. We may have to wait a little longer than we thought, but we will have that little girlfriend get-together and sit down over a cup of coffee and chat for hours. But it'll be on a big ol' fluffy cloud, and not at a mystery convention. I miss you.