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Archive for the ‘death of a friend’ Category

Peggie

Peggie was my friend. I found her in the summer of 2013. I found her on Etsy. She was a metal smith. She did beautiful work making unique jewelry. I loved her jewelry and was looking for a custom piece for my then future daughter-in-law. One of the things that drew me to her was that she was local so I wouldn’t have to wait or pay for shipping.

My first contact with Peggie was by email. My last contact with Peggie was also by email. During the first contact, I described what I was looking for and she wrote notes then made a few sample pieces using bronze (I think it was bronze). She emailed me pictures and I decided which I wanted. When it was ready, I stopped by her house to pick it up and was invited in. That’s when the friendship really began. We talked for hours. She was from San Jose, as I am. She grew up in the bay area at the same time I did. She was a few years older than I am but we had so much in common. She had also lived in Santa Rosa, as I had. Then her final move was up to Portland, just about fifteen minutes from me. We talked about the bay area, about family, about college (she had attended a community college very near the university I attended), about music, about the 70’s and 80’s. We had a lot in common and that first in person visit lasted over two hours.

After that I would stop by and chat with her for hours. She gave me my first taste of limoncello, which she made at home, and gave me the recipe which is the one I use now. In fact, every time I have a sip of limoncello, I think of Peggie. We became fast friends.

One day in 2015, my daughter told me there was a message up on Peggie’s Etsy shop saying she was putting the shop on hold because of health reasons but would be back in the spring. Concerned, I emailed her to check on her. No response. I continued to check on her by email and through Etsy until I finally got a reply. She explained that she had gotten an open sore on her leg than began to “weep” and would not heal. Finally, no longer able to put up with the pain, she went to the doctor. It turned out to be a septic infection. She was put on bed rest and antibiotic but the wound would not heal. She continued bed rest and the antibiotic was changed and given for a much longer course, three months,  I believe. I offered to go by and sit with her or bring her groceries or anything she needed but she reminded me that she had been receiving home delivery of her groceries from a local grocer for the past ten years. She said she really just stayed upstairs and rarely got down to the computer or the phone downstairs. She just wanted to lay in bed and read and watch TV and not have to worry about entertaining anyone. Her mother had died recently so she no longer had to go take her mother to appointments so she just wanted to be left alone and not have to feel like she had to entertain anyone. We made plans to go out for dinner and a drink when she was finally off of bed rest which she thought would be January 1 of this year. I checked her FB page and Etsy but didn’t find any updates; the shop was still closed.

Today, there was a message posted on her FB pages, personal and business. She died.

My heart aches. She was such a wonderful, vibrant, and creative person. She was a songwriter and singer and had some success in the 80’s and 90’s and lived off of royalties. She never told me what it was she wrote. She has a unique name so I might go looking. But right now, I just feel like curling up and crying. This is the second death of a friend in just nine days. I’m somewhat in shock and I want to curl up and have everything and everyone go away.

 

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Yesterday I lost a friend. He was taken from this earth way too soon. He leaves a hole in many hearts. I have been reading FB posts expressing shock at his death, which came after a sudden illness. It caught so many by surprise. It’s both sad and comforting to read the posts which tell so many wonderful stories about him, many of which I didn’t know.

Many years ago, a year or so after my divorce, I decided that I was going to get out of the house and do something productive other than Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and PTA. Amazingly, the day I expressed this to my shrink, I got a notice inviting me to a meeting of the Stanford Chicano/Latino Alumni Association of Southern California. The meeting was the coming weekend. I decided I was going. I had not been involved with the group previously but I had been on their mailing list for some time. This was my chance to spread my wings. So I went.

That was the start of so much for me. I reconnected with friends and with friends of friends. I not only got involved, as with everything I do, I jumped in with both feet and within the year I was the president of the group. Our monthly meetings were held at my house on weekends. One of the other people in this group was Carl. Carl had been a freshman when I graduated so I hadn’t known him then, although I did recognize him. He became a friend right away. He was supportive, funny, highly intelligent, opinionated but reflective, too. Carl was one who made us all think about a project from different angles. At that time, he drove a very fancy foreign sports car. When he came to our meetings, he was always the first one there and would park his car on the street right in front of my huge front window. My daughter, Tina, was about thirteen or fourteen at the time and she fell in love with that car. She would come to the window and stare at it. During our meetings, we could see her out the window, looking at the car. She was fascinated with it. She asked Carl questions about it. We all got a kick out of it, including Carl. He answered her questions and told her all sorts of information about the car. One day, he smiled at me and looked at my daughter and said that after our meeting, if it was okay with her mom, he would take her for a short ride in the car. She looked at me and asked if it was okay. I agreed, reminding her that she had a couple of things she should finish during our meeting if she wanted to go for that ride. After the meeting and post meeting socializing, she got to go for that ride. They were only gone for about ten minutes but when they returned, Tina was so excited! She talked about it for weeks. I thanked Carl that day and he said it was nothing. He was glad to do it. His eyes sparkled and his goatee smiled a shy, satisfied smile.

That was one of the many things I remember about Carl. He was always there to raise the spirits, support when he could, listen and make suggestions if appropriate. He raised the self-esteem of a young teenage girl when he took her for a ride in a fancy car. He gave substance to her interest in the car and made a dream come true for her with that ride. Carl made the world a better place from his chemical engineering job to his running group; from the alumni group to his Rotary Club. He never forgot where he came from. He never forgot his family, going back to Pueblo whenever he could. He never let anyone down. He gave all that he could.

He leaves the world a better place, although there are many holes left by his death.

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My friend, Lydia, was taken off of life support last night. She never regained consciousness after she was brought out of the medically induced coma. They gave her six days. The final MRI showed no activity in her brain. So the decision was made and, with her husband, her pastor, and all of her siblings around her, she slipped away.

I am sad today. I have few words and because of that, I am linking you to one of her flash fiction pieces and a couple of poems. I hope you visit the sites and read them.

Shelter

Bells In Silence

Newtown

 

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weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, I would not be my usual upbeat self.  I’m in a sad and pensive mood.  Early yesterday evening, I learned of the death of a friend.  Her name was Sallie. We went to high school together and while I don’t remember her very well from high school (she was a year ahead of me), I got to be her friend over the past few years, through the Facebook group for graduated from my high school. We shared a background, a school, teachers, and friends. We had a few meals together on my way through her northern California town during my trips back and forth from Oregon. And, just last month, she asked me for a ride to our high school reunion so I stopped by and picked her up and we shared the 2 1/2 hour drive.  We talked. We laughed.  We vented.  It was so much fun.  Sallie was just getting back on her feet after being homeless for a year. She had found a home.  She was feeling great.  She had big plans for the future.  We talked of her coming to visit me.  We chatted on Facebook over the past month.  Then just a couple of days ago, she had a massive heart attack and now she’s gone.

If we were having coffee, I would talk about how this serves as a reminder that we just don’t know what is in store for us. We shouldn’t refrain from telling people we love them.  We shouldn’t put things off.  We should appreciate one another. We should grab every moment and make it count.  We should.  We might even do it for a few days then we’ll forget again.  Don’t forget.  Keep it fresh in your mind.  Live every moment.  Laugh often.  Love much.

If we were having coffee, I think I might just be cutting it short today.  Perhaps I’ll come back on Sunday with a proper coffee share but I think that’s all I’ve got for now.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster.  Why not join us?  Click here for more.

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