The Alder Grove

"In my sleep thought that I was standing in an alder grove of the straightest and fairest trees which the heart of man could think of or imagine."

Saying Goodbye

So, this week we gathered to say final goodbyes and to celebrate the life of my friend Saburah. She was the strongest person I've ever known and if you have ever met her, you know this to be true. She was fun and, we've had some fun. She never talked about her health and I never asked. She was just Saburah, who was always on the go and never let anything get in her way. I met her first online, part of the Moxy Fruvous (Fruhead) community. In person for the first time in Toronto when Dave Matheson from the band was playing a solo gig for his album back in 2001. We loved the same music and later on, would get together for good food at various Winter/Summerlicious events. (I always know the places to eat, lol). Even when we didn't make plans to get together, somehow I would always run into her on the street. I'd be coming or going from the hostel on Church Street....and there's Saburah. Everytime we'd manage to get together for coffee or something while I was in the city, even if it was just before the bus left.

I remember so many things. All the time we bugged Dave (he loved it, don't kid yourself), all The Supers shows we went to, being part of Swinghammer's Bitches (we really should have made tshirts), the emotional night we had when they closed down Nia...but most of all, I remember that GBS show not that long ago. We planned it for *weeks*. Saburah knew we would all get up front due to her mobility scooter so we plotted what we could do to hassle Murray who had just started playing bass in the band. Rumour had it of some good-natured hassling by the band so we thought we would contribute. She had thought of making tshirts and we talked about it and came up with going to the running Murray joke of "Way to go Murray!" shirts. I had mentioned something for the back and together we went with "Bass and Whistle Tour '97". Reactions on stage were priceless with me, Sab and Drea all decked out. (Afterwards, Drea and I got a little more use out of them by going to see Tory Cassis at the Reservoir Lounge. He's a good friend of Murray's and was grinning when he walked over. We told him about the show and got a "you went wearing those?!?" reaction. We told him Saburah had them made and he was less than surprised, lol.)

It was a beautiful service at the Spiral Garden, a place she had a significant attachment to. I caught up with a friend that I haven't seen in years and it sucks that it sometimes takes an event like this to bring you back in touch with people. So many lovely and emotional words were spoken by her family and those who knew her, especially when she was younger. I was so incredibly touched that Murray and Mike from the band came to the service. If it were not for them, she would never have been part of my life. Post-Fruvous their projects were a lot of the events that she and I would go to and talk about. She adored both of them so much and the fact that they cared enough to come and say goodbye to her, says everything about the person she was and the type of men that they are. So worthy of their dedicated (and possibly slightly crazy) followings. There was a lot of music at the service which was fitting and the guys sang a tune which she would have loved. She touched so many people in her short time with us.

After the service, I talked to Murray and Mike. Mur was his usual steadfast self but I could tell that Mike was a little teary. So was I. I mentioned that this would have been a moment where Saburah and I would have gone for coffee. Not sure how to deal with my now loose ends in Toronto. Just seemed....sort of empty knowing there are no more coffee dates and no more Winterlicious lunches with my friend.

I headed out to get back around the bus depot area and to do some contemplating. I swung by where Nia used to be and thought about all the fun we had there. Went by some of our usual Queen Street spots just feeling a little down and finally decided to get some dinner before I had to get on the bus. So I headed down to Yonge and Dundas. I had totally forgotten it was Buskerfest. I was struck by how appropriate it was since it was a band of buskers that brought Sab into my life in the first place. This could not possibly have been more apropos. I can across this awesome group called The Love Orchestra and their "vehicle", The Zeus Mobile. They were crazy and awesome with a kind of junkmobile meets middle eastern music meets hippy theatre...and Saburah would have thought they were cool I think. It was the most wonderful and mood-changing experience (I could have spent the entire day right there in that spot). They turned my entire day around and I of course put a bill in the tip tin. The wacky singer bowed and thanked me. I thanked her in return. She has no idea what a blessing their music was for me tonight.

I am so blessed with amazing friendships in my life. And I, like most, do not tell them often enough how much their friendship and the goofy things that we have done, have meant to me. Everyone of them has a special moment in my heart.

Blessed Be.