Reflection on loss

Friday, April 23, 2021 I’m watching Murder Among Mormons on Netflix. I’m enjoying seeing the places and remembering the time we lived in the Salt Lake Valley from 1997-2000. One of the bombs detonated was on Naniloa Street, which sounded awfully familiar to me. Because I’m too lazy to get off the couch, I google my friend Lana who I thought lived on Naniloa, she’s been on my (recently unused) Christmas Card list since we lived there. Much to my surprise, her address doesn’t come up, her obituary does! Evidently she died on April 8, 2021, her son shared her obituary on her Facebook page, but for some reason I missed it. I woke up this morning and thought, I had a dream I was just watching Netflix, thought of someone and learned they had died, oh wait, that really happened. She did in fact live on Naniloa, but the bomb went off on North Naniloa and she lived on South. But it got me to thinking…

My first thought was lucky dog! Her husband died in 2017, my jealously largely stems from the fact that she is done living those years as a widow. Many days, I want to be done, but evidently that’s not the plan. Jane Fonda gave an interesting Ted Talk about aging and using that time wisely back in 2011. You may not be a big fan of Jane Fonda, but this is certainly 11 minutes not wasted.

A life deserves to be remembered and my friend Lana certainly deserves to be honored. I met Lana at a very difficult time in my life. Following a nomadic husband, I found myself much a fish out of water transplanted in the Salt Lake Valley. This Texas girl from New Mexico experienced great culture shock! It seemed like EVERYONE was white and Mormon. Nothing wrong with being Mormon, except I was not! There was no Mexican food (not even Taco Bell!) or coke with caffeine, no one drank iced tea. My husband moved us to Utah in December then left me and a two year old for eight weeks with nothing but a snow shovel. I was the laughing stock of the neighborhood. I got a lot of pity help. But I found a job and a wonderful friend in my boss their. I don’t really remember what the job was that I applied for, but her sister was interviewing me and Lana came in and took over the interview because, looking at my resume, she wanted me in her HR department. It was the perfect job for me and I loved it. Then Paxton was born, Then Paxton was kicked out of daycare. My family was 1500 miles away. My husband worked ALL the time. And Lana could not have been more wonderful. She loved me and cared for me like I were her own. She found a niece with one young child that loved Paxton while I came into the office two days a week and worked from home the other three, in a time when that was completely unheard of. She was my lifeline in some of the toughest years of my life. And while deciding to move back to Texas was the best thing we ever did, giving her my resignation is the one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I want to say I’ll never forget her, but we do forget. My husband has been gone 1,688 days now. For some reason he’s been in my dreams a lot lately. Not usually pleasant dreams, I dreamt he went to prom and didn’t take me, never mind I never even knew him in high school and never even wanted to go to prom when I was in high school, (In my defense, I eat lunch with a bunch of high school girls everyday and their prom is this weekend, therefore, there has been A LOT of talk about prom this week.) but as I reflect on life 1,688 days out, its beginning to seem like my life with him was just a dream, the memory feeling more and more distant. And that I do not love that. I often dream he’s left me, I guess my mind is still trying to make sense of the fact he is gone. Nevertheless I continue writing my third act even though I really wanted to leave at intermission!

Thank you for loving me Lana Warner and having the patience to grow this crazy Texan into a better person. I’m glad you made the script.

4 thoughts on “Reflection on loss

  1. Hi Portia, this is Robin. I was the one interviewing you for customer service or credit rep. You should remember my name, your son stamped it all over the office😊
    I can’t tell you how lonesome for her I am for her.
    Thanks for the lovely tribute

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I had forgotten that my son stamped your name all over the office, I remember you well. My favorite Robin and Lana story was one day when Lana had a dress on that you like and she had you look at the tag. The dress was a 14W and you said 14 Wide because you’d only seen a W on a shoe before. She turned around and hit you! We all laughed hysterically.

    I can only imagine how big a loss she left in your life!


  3. Hi Portia,
    What a beautiful tribute to Lana. I love your newsletter, may I get on your distribution list?
    You were a joy to have on our team so long ago.
    All the best,
    Lynne Meixell


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