Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Friend's Memorial...

I feel the need to use my forum here to honor my dear friend of 40 years.  She passed away suddenly and unexpectedly the week prior to Christmas, and boy do I miss her.  The blessing in this are all the memories that have come rushing forward in the past week... Memories that just become overwhelming.  My friend was the most extroverted gregarious person I have ever known.  She knew no strangers and genuinely loved everyone she met. 
     One of my first memories was night swimming in her backyard pool.  Sometimes it was many of us, but mostly just the two of us.  We spent hours racing, diving, playing pool baseball (always my idea) and sometimes just floating and telling each other our secrets and dreams.  And afterwards we would go into the house for a movie and Leora's famous tuna fish sandwiches.  What made them famous?  Next time you make a tuna fish sandwich sprinkle a little sugar on top of the tuna before you close your sandwich.  You're welcome. 
     I remember in high school coming home and going straight to one of our rooms to talk for hours.  She would talk for hours about her fashion merchandising class that she absolutely adored.  She must have ignored my eyes glazing over... but I did learn a lot about fashion designers that I still don't care anything about :)  And I would talk about baseball.  And yes, I did ignore her eyes glazing over.
     She was half of the first interracial couple that I knew (up close and personal) and caused quite a stir in high school.  This WAS the 80's by the way and although his parents strongly disapproved, my friend ALWAYS SHOWED GRACE and compassion when addressing their disapproval of her.  I learned so much from her about how to handle controversy... and am still amazed at her maturity at such a young age. 
     And college...we were out of control with the good times... and she saw me and helped me through my first love and then onto my permanent love.  And she faded into the background as we started our lives with our own families but... I always knew she was there for me.  We connected periodically and caught up on each other's lives and it was as though we had talked every day.  We were both fiercely loyal to each other... and I imagine we always will be. 
     I am a better person because I knew her, and many others are as well.  Her enthusiasm for life made her so exciting to be around... and I only hope to carry on her legacy.  Thanks for indulging my little tribute to my friend... I think I will go have a tuna fish sandwich...