“Your circle should want to see you win. Your circle should clap loudly when you have good news. If not, get a new circle.” ~ Wesley Snipes
Alisa Marshall Burnett is my oldest friend. Tonight she told her 13 year old son Riley that she has always known me. Neither of us remember meeting. It was probably kindergarten. Maybe sooner. We used to stay all night with each other. Apparently, I tortured her with music, wanting her to be in my band then chiding her for not staying on beat. I don’t remember that, but I’m not surprised. I had a lot of energy and the personality to match. I don’t know how her mother Imogene put up with me, frankly. I was so different from Alisa. She was sweet, soft spoken, smart, and always, always, always smiling. I was just… loud. Did I mention I had a lot of energy? When I was going through the receiving line this evening at Imogene’s funeral, I was behind four other ladies Alisa and I grew up with; ladies who, as adults, have shared a great bond with Alisa. Outside their group hug Alisa saw me standing, smiling at her. “There’s Kopana,” she said. They made way and included me in their group hug. That’s Alisa. No matter the years or miles between us, she has never forgotten what we shared as girls during those formative years when having one true friend really matters. It’s because of Alisa that I can make and keep friends. She taught me how. And on my way home, as the sun set against Cave Run Lake, I stopped to look. Not so far from here Alisa and her family were laying their mother to rest, at sunset, just like she asked them to do. I could only smile. Thanks for my oldest, dearest friend, Imogene. I’m glad you could deal with me.