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”Wow,” Alice paused as a sad look came across her face, ”Dana would have loved this place. And… well she it would have made her happy that her name is on a gathering place for family and friends.”
Everyone around the table looked at Alice, but only Shane, Tina and Bette really understood what she meant. The devastating loss of Dana, of their friend, Alice’s best friend of Breast Cancer over 10 yrs ago was a difficult subject for them all, but especially Alice. Alice’s three life long friends new how hard she took Dana’s death and how even today she still grieved the untimely loss of her young vibrant friend. Bette looked at Tina then back over at Alice as she recalled how Tina once said that it was hard to know what their relationship would have evolved into if Dana had lived. Shane lowered her head as she recalled how Alice told her a short time before Dana was diagnosed, that when Dana arrived into her life she made such a beautiful impact that she couldn’t remember what it was like without her and then Dana died. Nat and Angie sat in silence as they watched the four women mourn their friend.
”Mom, can I have pancakes with strawberries,” Eli said looking up at Nat. This simple statement from an unknowing child, brought everyone out of their grieving thoughts and replaced them with a happy memory of Dana’s love for strawberry pancakes.
”Sure, Eli,” Nat said with a small smile.
”That’s the best way to have them,” Alice said with a smile that did not reach her eyes.
”Why don’t you help your sister pick something out?” Nat said looking at her son who had no idea what he had just done to the group. Eli nodded his head with an eager smile. He then leaned over to his younger sister and began pointing to pictures on the menu.
”How’s Buddy?” Angie attempted to help with lightening the mood with her inquiry. ”Sorry I haven’t been by to help with him lately.”
”Still having problems with him.” Shane shook her head as she reached for her espresso. ”I am not sure if this is going to work out with him. I feel bad about leaving him crated up all day. I can’t leave him out because of his behaviors and I never know when I am going to get home.”