I know, I know. Me. Speechless. Well, yeah. It’s not really that I have no words, its that I can’t find the right words. For some peculiar reason…I have not been able to express myself properly where this topic is concerned.
On January 27, one of my longest-standing friends passed away. She was sick for quite a while, and being the hard-core, believing Christian that I am, I know she’s “in a better place” and “made whole” now. I get it.
Before I go on, maybe I should set some ground rules. Please. Don’t feel bad for me. I will find my words again some day…maybe on this topic. If you’re the praying type, say a prayer for her three kids and her wonderful husband. That will really make me happy.
See, I don’t really clearly recall a point in time when Lisa wasn’t my friend. She even corrected me about when we met because I was POSITIVE I had known her as long as I knew Jim (my husband). I really can’t even remember when she said we met because it wasn’t as important as how she has been a friend for over 35 years…and was a month YOUNGER than I. These things hit you hard as you pass the half-century mark.
So many people can recite chapter and verse about their growing up days, and all the different things they did…and yet, while I know that a great deal of memories from Kennedy Junior High and Peabody Veterans Memorial High are dotted with Lisa…and they are probably more than “dotted” (refer to title of this article…words are really failing me here)…I just kinda always considered her a friend. Like that assumed part of your life.
It kind of brings me comfort that no matter where in the world I was…whatever phase I was going through, she kept in contact. Sometimes it was just through Christmas Cards…and probably often just cards to my parents. However, I always knew where she was and God bless her, she always knew where I was. See, that’s the way it was with Lisa (you too, Kim…and of course Jim). Always knew where each other was.
Memories that really stand out to me of her are the ones like when she and her husband Jimi (also a friend of mine) met me downtown in Charleston one Sunday, I think. And we sat around at the Meeting Street Inn, I think. Talking…reminiscing…stuff that you do when you haven’t seen each other for years.
Then there was that first trip after Coop and I got married. We had two days to be “alone” and we started day one by meeting Jim and Lisa at a Pizzaria Uno in….like….Natick, MA for lunch. We talked, we laughed…and we swore we’d see each other the next year.
It seemed too far to go that next year. All the way down to Sandwich. And they couldn’t make our gathering up in Saugus. Now, looking back on it, geez…you don’t say NO to that kinda opportunity. I should have found a way.
Here’s the THANK GOD moment. Last summer, we gathered in Beverly (bless Sue & Laurie for hosting us). It was a long trip. She was very sick…much sicker than we knew at the time. But she made the time. They came to the gathering. It was more than just magical, it was wonderous to see her…and I should have spent more time talking to her. I should have spent ALL my time talking to her. I was so incredibly touched by her showing up. And sadly, that was all. The last time.
I know we can’t beat ourselves up over what we haven’t done…what we didn’t do…I have to say I probably am doing it anyway. And, my general oblivion…well, I never thought I wouldn’t see her again (this is real…it’s true)…I expected to see her this year when we make it up to Massachusetts.
Maybe these are all reasons why I am at a loss for words. And while you’re probably thinking…uh, 700 words isn’t a loss for words…it is. Nothing I’ve said has much quality. Nothing I’ve said sheds light on the type of person Lisa really was. Nothing I’ve said gives credit where credit is due. There is no substance…no fitting tribute. I truly wish I had the right things to say. I truly wish I could shine a light on the amazing soul you were. I truly wish that my words could touch the hearts of those who still grieve your loss and maybe just make the day a little brighter. It’s what you would be able to do. Your kindness, your gentleness, your amazing “stick-to-it-iveness”. You are, and always will be, my friend. You are, and always will be, my friend. I’m not sure you knew how important you were to me.