Saturday, April 19, 2014

Lifelong Friends

Those of you who have read my book will remember this remarkable woman.

A lifelong friend is a treasure. One who usually knows more about you than your family; including your mate and children. Experiences are shared that come from the depths of your souls, things that the oneness of such a friendship form into an eternal bond. Loss of a friendship like this gouges a hole in the gut of the remaining friend that nothing can repair. Recently, I lost my friend of over fifty years.

Ann Eunice called out to me from her home, on a blustery winter's night, as I was walking home from the  corner store. "Come on in and have a brandy to get warm." We were strangers, yet I didn't hesitate. I was not just cold, I was lonely, newly moved into a house down the block in a small beach town on Long Island.

We talked for hours as if we'd always known each other. She had three kids, I had four. Her husband was killed falling from a high-rise apartment in Manhattan where he worked as maintenance engineer. Mine was bartender for a local well-known restaurant and worked long hours. Ann Eunice, never shortened to just Ann, was twelve years older than me and filled with innate wisdom that I soon came to rely upon. On that bleak night she became my mentor, my sister, my friend.

We spoke and saw each other often, getting involved in each others lives for over twelve years. She and her second husband, Johnny, were godparents to my fifth child. The following year she bore a late in life son who thought he was a cousin to my own six kids. 

My family moved out west and then to Pennsylvania, trying to find a safe place to raise our children, and Ann Eunice moved out to Arizona for similar reasons. Long distant calls weren't free then, so we communicated by letters. How grateful I am to have saved all of hers. 

She called when my daughter, her godchild, was killed by a drunk driver--but we were unable to speak--our fierce love for Noelle rendered us both mute. Instead, she prayed. Eventually, we both moved back to New York, but hours apart by car. Yet we were always there for each other, visiting now and again, and still writing. We attended our children's weddings together and were together again when Johnny died.

Ann Eunice moved back to her beloved Arizona to live near her oldest son, while I stayed in New York. We could make free calls now and talk for hours, which we did; sharing the ups and downs, the large and small tragedies of our lives. I had heart attacks, she had a stroke. We were both survivors, but she was the one I went to for comfort, for love and advice.

Now she's gone--suddenly--from a hospital infection that went septic. She took a part of me with her when she left this world--a part that I'll never get back.  And I don't think I want it back, as all we shared is forever etched upon my heart. Fifty years of memories are stored within my mind and soul--to be taken out and relived, wept over and placed gently back until needed again. These memories ease my sorrow and comfort me when I reach for the phone to call her . . . then remember that she's no longer there. 



22 comments:

  1. Looks like everything is okay. Glad that you're back with us!

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  2. Oh MICKI, I'm so sorry this happened. Was it that hospital infection MERSA?
    I got that when I was in with my hip replacement and got scared to death. Luckily I was young and healthy and recovered. ''
    WE DO HAVE TO CHERISH MEMORIES. While it's respectful to honor her death and give her merit, but she also would not want you to spend the rest of your life mourning her. There is a difference between pining away and crying with tears at memories. While it's easy for any of us to say, I do believe those that love us feel this way. Think about when they were alive, they didn't want to see us hurt or cry then so they really don't want to see us do that after their gone, I believe that would only hurt them more. Take care Micki, honor her write about her, write about your friendship. It would be a wonderful release and honor for her. <3

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  3. I'm very sorry to hear what happened, Micki. I know how a loss like this is.
    But maybe you will accept a small advice? (It always helps me...)
    When you're worried, when you're grieving, then walk through the forest with open eyes and silently. And in every tree, in every plant and in every animal you will feel the power of God which will give you strength and comfort.
    Love you Micki.
    Raani

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  4. Hi Micki, found my way back here as intended.. Yes indeed memories to treasure forever. Tenderly and very smoothly written - a bravely real, but somehow very comforting read - thank you... With Best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie.com

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  5. Dear Micki, I am so sorry for your loss, I know how close you were. I pray that the peace that surpasses all understanding finds your heart today. Your tribute to your friend is lovely and tugs at my heartstrings. Thank God for all the fun memories. You will surely meet again on the otherside of the rainbow. I love you Micki.

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  6. Micki,

    Yes, I remember her name very well from your book. I remember that exact script as a matter of fact. I'm very sorry to learn of this loss for you.

    I'm sure your special memories will live on forever, and I pray they will.

    Hugs! Cherrye

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  7. Thanks, Marion, for checking it out. Now that you got here, come and visit again when I have something funny or uplifting up

    Micki

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  8. Lori,
    No It was a UTI that went septic. My son had Mersa from a surgery though and it took months of IV antibiotics to cure it. Thank you for your kind words.

    Hugs, micki

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  9. Thanks, Raani, for your wise words. The reality of it has not hit me yet, but I'll take your advice when it does--and it will.

    Love you,

    Micki

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  10. Scott,
    I'm so glad you visited my blog. Thank you for your comforting words and please come again.

    All my best, Micki

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  11. Dear Deirdre,
    Thank you for your words of comfort--you always know just what to say

    Love, Micki

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  12. Thanks, Cherrye,
    I figured you would remember. I'm so glad she's in the book now forever etched in print.

    Hugs,

    Micki

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  13. Micki, I can only say, I'm so sorry you're facing another painful challenge, and tell you I will pray for you. You know how I feel about you, and your mention of being called in from the cold sounds like something I would have done as well. There is something about you that causes others to want to connect to you. I pray God will give you peace once more.

    Hugs,
    Pat

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  14. How I loved reliving that memory of Ann Eunice with you from your book! I did not realize this was the friend you had lost. I'm so sorry, Micki. My prayers are with you, always. You are a dear friend, and I know you and she will be reunited one day in a place where there is no more pain.

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  15. Thanks, Pat,
    Your words always cheer me--that's what draws people to you.

    Love, micki

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  16. Thanks, Sandy,

    I love it when people remember her from the book when I had so many characters in it. It make sme feel she really was a memorable person, not just to me. she spent her life loving and helping others and her presence here will be sorely missed.

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  17. Ann Eunice always had a giant smile on her face and I will truly miss her!! I remember going into her house and she had the giant yellow leather couches...strange the things that stick in your mind from childhood. I know you will miss her dearly mom, but she is with Noelle now.
    I love you!
    Cole

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  18. So sad and so beautifully written.

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  19. Thanks, Trish, I ordered your book, but Kindle didn't send it?

    Micki

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  20. Micki, it takes your kind of talent and sensibility to turn grief into such a beautiful homage to your beloved friend. You have brought her back to life in this piece, and she lives in you through your memories. You haven't lost her, my dearest friend.

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  21. My Dear Friend,
    How well I remember your girlfriend, Ann Eunice. If I am not mistaken, she is the woman that you drove across country with pulling a trailer. (I hope I am right about this because I didn't take the time to look again in the book). Losing a dear friend is a double shock because it is like the chair being pulled out from under us. You treasured her deeply and she treasured you. I have such a friendship with Ann who lives in Alabama.

    So, my dear, I feel your pain, I feel your lost. There was something special and unique about the two of you, and that remains.

    So in your moments of need to hear her voice or to commune with her, reach into your golden treasure trove of memories that you had with her and you will be comforted and thankful that you were able to have such a true and loyal companion on your journey.

    I love you, Micki.

    Shalom,
    Pat

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  22. Pat, thanks so much for your kind, understanding words.

    Love, Micki

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