When I was in college I waited tables at a truck stop to pay the bills. Not long after I started working there, several more waitresses were hired. I became good friends with one of them. Her and her husband shared a car, so I would take her home from work. I drove right by her apartment to get to mine. It was no big deal.
One thing led to another, like effortless friendships do. I met my husband through her, not in a fix-up-my-single-friend way. It was something that just happened because we hung out so much. I watched her first marriage break up. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. We helped with her second wedding. I visited her in the hospital when she had her first child. We whispered about how she had such a hot OBGYN.
Then I got transferred at my job and we moved over two hours away. There were visits at Christmas, but I lost track of her when I had my son and her second marriage fell apart. I heard through mutual friends that she was going through a bad time. I tried to find an address or phone number for her, but it wasn’t that easy in the days before Facebook and search engines.
Then out of the blue I had such a bizarre dream about her that I woke up the next morning and decided to look for her on Facebook. No luck there, which didn’t surprise me because she wasn’t a tech kind of girl. On a whim I decided to Google her. I use that a lot at work to check out job applicants and vendors, or to locate former employees whose 401k statements come back undeliverable.
I was shocked when her obituary came up. She had passed about two weeks before, way to young at 52. Of all the people I’ve known in my life, I would never have guessed that she would be one to die young.
So here’s to birthday parties, gummi bears and cheap wine, petting the wolves at the Columbus Zoo and unplugging our phones and going to the beach when we knew our boss was going to call us into work on our day off. Rest in peace my friend. There will never be another one like you.