I dropped my car off at the paint shop this afternoon and needed to kill two hours until Yeoldfurt got off work to come get me. I walked across the street to a little antique shop and was thoroughly enjoying myself, just browsing the merchandise when my cell phone rang. The caller ID said it was my friend, Anne, from Colorado. She and I were neighbors when I lived in Colorado in the late 80's and early 90's. She was a few years younger than me but it was one of those friendships that just happens in an instant. Colorado is an hour behind Texas, timewise, so I was surprised to hear from her when it should have only be 4pm, her time. But I'm always happy to hear from her, so I answered cheerfully and said, 'What are YOU up to ..playing hookie?'
The voice on the other end wasn't my friend, Anne. It was her husband, Craig. I knew something was wrong. He said, 'It's not who you think it is, I knew you would think it was Anne.' He asked me where I was and if I was sitting down. I sat in a big chair the store had for sale and held my breath. He asked me if I was alone and I told him there were people around but I was at an antique store. Then he told me that Anne was gone. She passed away the night before.
You hear people talk about having a brush with death and in that moment when they feel they are truly in mortal danger, they see 'their life pass before their eyes.' When Craig told me she was gone, moments from our twenty year friendship passed through my mind. We were in PTA together, we served on a community advisory council together, we took classes at Mesa State College together. We took care of each other's kids, we cooked for each other's families when one of us had to be out of town for a few days. Anne was energetic, goal-oriented and adventurous. She was incredibly organized and knew how to motivate people. She was an amazing person and now she's gone. She and Craig just celebrated their 30 year anniversary and now he's a widow. They have three grown children, two that live close by and one that works for the State Department and is currently on assignment overseas. I'm sure he'll be home to support his dad
I'm not making much sense, even to post about something like this. But it's what's on my mind so there it is. I wonder if this incredibly wonderful person that was my friend knew how much she meant to me. I wonder if I was as good a friend to her as she has been to me.