Thursday, April 14

A Death in the Family

The woman in the middle was my best friend for nearly 57 years. We weren't related, but she was the closest thing I've had to a sister and so I've claimed her for myself.  She was only 14 years older than I, and when we moved to a house next door to her family when I was 13, I became the babysitter of choice for her two sons, ages 2 1/2 and 5. She soon became invaluable to me in matters concerning boyfriends, clothes, friends and advice pertaining to the follies and foibles of teenage girls. I could tell her anything (unlike my mom) and she never judged me or made me feel stupid or shallow. She was incredibly nice; lending me dresses, jewelry and shoes for fancy dances.
After college, I moved out of state, and her family moved to another part of town. She and my mom lost track of each other after a few years, and I only saw her once from 1967 to 1982. I missed her, of course, but my first child was born in 1966 and her third came just the year before, so we were both very busy. Fast forward to 1982:  we had just moved into the house where we now live. My younger daughter was begging to be taken to a local mall to meet some friends and their mother, and I really didn't want to leave the house, as I was busy unpacking boxes and trying to get organized. Finally, she wore me down and we got in the car to go to the mall. I parked  at the door where she was to meet her friends and I  was reading a book to pass the time until they arrived. I looked up and saw my old friend and her husband pass in front of the car and I was so surprised to see them here in Raleigh that I could hardly speak. (As you know, that doesn't happen often!) Finally, I got the wherewithal to speak and I opened the door and yelled....."CAM!" They turned and saw me and I know they were just as surprised as I was. The baby girl they had in 1965 was in Raleigh to attend college; they had just dropped her off for orientation and were going to the mall to shop. We had dinner with them that night and that cemented the friendship that had started back in 1953. Over the last 29 years, we have seen each other at least 2-3 times each year. She was widowed five or six years ago.  This last year, her health had been declining, so she wasn't traveling much. I called her last Sunday and we both said how sorry we are that we can't get together as often as we used to. Even though her health had been bad, she had a good attitude about it and was determined to get back to a point where she could jump in the car and drive the 320 miles to Raleigh any time she wanted. I doubted that would happen. I had plans to go and see her in May, or June at the latest. My husband told me to go in March, but the weather had been so bad that I didn't want to take the chance of driving in snow and ice. I am so sorry now that I didn't take his advice.

I will be working for the next three days and then I am leaving to attend the funeral. I probably won't post much before next week. 


















27 comments:

Mamacita (Mamacita) said...

I'm so sorry.

Jay Simser said...

So very sorry to hear of your friend's passing. I am sending love and light your way..and a hug. God Bless, j

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Judy, I am so sorry to hear about the death of your long-time friend. I'll be thinking of you as you travel for the funeral. Drive safely and remember all your good memories as you tick off the miles.

Lynn said...

I'm so sorry about your friend - I can feel the pain of it from your words.

Arkansas Patti said...

Aw Judy, I am so very sorry you lost such a dear friend/family.
I too had someone like that in my life that I recently lost. It is so painful.
My deepest sympathies to you and her family.

Granny Annie said...

This is going to be such a challenge to wrap your mind around. Of course I feel for your friend's family but my heart goes out to you especially with your unique grief. The loss of a best friend who has been like a sister is definitely an uncomprehending loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I'm sorry for your loss. My mom's best friend (we called her Aunt) was 20 years her senior and they were tighter than sisters even. It's hard to lose someone that special.

Tabor said...

Condolences to you on the loss of a treasured friend. You were fortunate to have such a relationship...as was she.

Mahala said...

(((hugs))) You are in my thoughts.

Looking to the Stars said...

I am so sorry about your loss. It is not easy to lose those close to the heart, those who are the roses in the garden of our heart. My thoughts are with you and your friends family.

Thumper said...

I am so, so sorry...yet also glad that you had someone like that in your life.

tiff said...

Our thoughts are with you - be well.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I'm so sorry you lost your long-time and dear friend. She sounded like a pretty wonderful person. My heartfelt sympathy go out to you and her entire family. Take care Judy....

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I am soooo deeply sorry, my dear Judy. You know, I KNOW how terrible a loss this is, my dear.....I have nothing to say to ease the pain of your loss, except, I Understand. I TRULY TRULY Understand.
Sending you Hugs:
((((((((((HUGS))))))))))

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm so so sorry, what sad news. I really hope the funeral goes well. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Grannymar said...

Condolences to you Judy, at this time. You were very fortunate to have such a wonderful close friend. Hang on to the happy memories.

√ Honest Abe said...

So sorry...

srp said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Prayers for you and her family. And safe travels too.

Sparkling Red said...

You have my sympathy. This must be a very sad time for you. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

Darlene said...

My condolences to you in your loss. I am so sorry.

Pat said...

Friends like that are pretty rare and I'm so sorry you have lost her. Don't beat yourself up about not visiting her. In dicey weather you can't afford to take the risks.

Ginnie said...

I have such empathy for what you are feeling, Judy, having lost 2 very close friends in the past year. I keep telling myself to be happy for the times we had; but, it doesn't take the pain away.

Shiny Rod said...

Sad to hear you lost someone so near and dear to you. Remember all the good times you both shared and keep them close to your heart.

Star said...

Such a wonderful friendship to have had. I am sure she came back into your life for a reason. Very sorry for your loss Judy.

sage said...

I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was a wonderful friend and I like your story of your encounter with her in Raleigh

srp said...

I hope you were not near the area they are showing with the tornado.........

Celia said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Be careful traveling.