Weighty Matters

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A Little Nostalgic

on February 13, 2014

First off, today’s been better. I was able to release the stress and, overall, have a much better day. Two friends and I had lunch together at work. Sounds simple, but sometimes our schedules are all over the place and we can’t synch up long enough to sit down and eat at the same time. I’m glad that it worked out today.

Throughout the afternoon I was thinking about how fortunate I am to have really good friends. When I got home and opened my mailbox, I took out a letter with a return address that immediately made me think even more about friendship. The letter was from a woman whom I call Aunt Lucy even though we aren’t related. She was my mother’s best friend. They went to nursing school together. They served as Army nurse cadets on a reservation on the West Coast when they were 20. They were in each other’s weddings. Over the decades and many, many miles apart, they never lost touch.

Back in 1995, my brother, sister-in-law and I planned a surprise party for Mom’s 70th birthday. Even though Aunt Lucy and Uncle Jake lived in California and we were in New Jersey, we sent them an invitation. The night we received a positive R.S.V.P., I almost cried I was so happy. I knew this would be the most fantastic present for Mom. Three years later, when Mom was so ill, it broke my heart to call Aunt Lucy and tell her the sad news that her lifelong friend’s condition was terminal. They came East to see her and also to visit Lucy’s sister in Virginia.

In the years since Mom’s passing, we haven’t seen each other, but we’ve always exchanged Christmas cards. Actually, Aunt Lucy always penned a holiday letter for all of their friends. I loved reading them over the years when I was growing up and continued to love the tradition as an adult. This year, she didn’t get it done for Christmas, so she turned it into a Valentine’s Day card, dotted with colorful little hearts. Two typewritten pages caught everyone up on her activities. Jake passed away a couple of years ago but Lucy remains active at her retirement community and in her church. Her sons, daughters, and many grandchildren are spread out all over the country but it sounds like she travels at least a few times a year to see them here and there. I hope that when I’m 88 or 89, I’m half as active and able. I sure as heck hope that I’m sharp enough mentally to write a two page letter!

As always, she included a handwritten note at the end of her typed all-purpose letter. She mentioned my weight loss and my precious dogs — having seen the photos on my holiday card. She spoke of Mom and asked after my brother and his family, my aunts and theirs. She said that she’d love to hear more about us.

Before she signed up with her love, she said how much I look like my Mom and that she thinks it’s wonderful.

This whole letter just filled up my heart with emotion and love. I know how much Aunt Lucy and her friendship meant to my mother for more than 50 years. After walking the dogs and eating dinner, I sat down and wrote back a long letter to her, giving her more news about me and my family. In her handwritten message to me, she’d said how good it was to get my card and know that I still remember her. I wanted her to know that I not only remember her, but that she also has a very special place in my heart.

The letter is sealed, addressed, stamped and ready to go. Now I’m feeling quite nostalgic. I’m thinking about the years of friendship she and Mom shared. I’m also thinking about the friends in my life that I’ve known for ten, twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty years.

I feel so blessed right now tonight. If I’m still alive in 30 plus years and still in touch with any of them, imagine how blessed I’ll feel then!

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4 responses to “A Little Nostalgic

  1. Hope says:

    What an amazing friendship and letter! I hope Lilian has the same fondness for my best friend when she’s older. 🙂

  2. Skye says:

    That’s wonderful that you are still in contact with your mom’s longtime friend. And with your own friends from so long ago! It reminds me that I have some people I’ve neglected for a few months or a few years and I need to contact them. Good for you for writing back to her immediately! She’ll appreciate your letter, I’m sure.

  3. Forever, Mary girl!!! xxoo

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