Remarks for Elizabeth Ann Goodman Logelin
April 26th, 2008
Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis
Little girls change best friends all the time. It’s like musical chairs. I got to be Lizzy Goodman’s best friend for our early elementary school years, and we attended Blake together through high school. Since that time, I’ve become an anthropologist; we really like theories. This is one of mine.
Humans are relational beings; we understand ourselves in terms of the relationships that we have with others. Nothing is really real to us unless it is shared with someone else.
And this is true for each step of our lives. It is always other people who bring out the best in us, and with that smile, and that laugh, and that genuine curiosity that I remember, I’d bet that Liz brought out the best in most everyone she encountered.
I think that as we move through life, it’s as if we allow parts of our younger selves to be kept and carried in relationships- relationships that often times grow farther and farther away. I think that’s why you can have those kinds of people in your life who you don’t see for years and years, yet when you reconnect, it is as though no time has gone by. Because for those bits of each other you have each been carrying along with you on your journeys, none has. And in that moment of reconnection you recognize and suddenly become those previous selves again.
Apparently, encountering the death of a friend has a similar effect. I have been 8 and 12 and 17 quite a lot in the past few weeks. The 8 year old me is heartbroken. Yet at the same time, this idea of mutual bit carrying comforts the 30yr old me.
Because I’m pretty sure that all of my 8 year old, 12 year old and even 17 year old selves were kind of fun haters. So, sorry for the baggage, Liz, but I think I got the better end of this deal.
Because the bits of Liz’s 8, 12 and 17 year old selves that I get to carry around with me are AWESOME. I get sleepovers… and forts and four square at Highcroft recess, and cool houses ‘in town’ with trees growing out of the porch. I get the bittersweet sadness of an 8yr old girl who switches from Highcroft to Hopkins, leaving her best friend behind and finding new ones ahead. I get dance routines and trampolines and a bright smile. I get the New Kids on the Block. I get blond bangs that defy gravity. I’m even kind of psyched to carry around getting dumped by a boy in middle school (and I think dumping at least one as well) because I didn’t even know how to TALK to boys back then. I get swimming for the BearHawks. I get trips to middle in the Montero where every passenger is more than a little terrified.
And I get an incredible star-crossed moment in the Mobile gas station on Minnetonka Boulevard when Matt and Liz met.
And I think about all the bits of Liz that are swimming around in this room right now. Her birth, her death. Her college graduation. Work bits and play bits and creating a home bits. And the ones that are floating around online on flickr, and in the blogosphere with total strangers who have left bits of themselves through comments and emails, and who have carried bits of Liz to countries and cyberspaces around the globe. We are all carrying these bits.
They are both who she is, and who we are.
But really, what they truly are, all bundled up in neat little bitty memory shaped packages, are love.
Liz, we are honoured to carry them.
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