A few days ago, I received a text from a friend of mine asking me if I remembered an old friend’s maiden name. I sent back the information and she replied that she had just seen our friend’s picture in the paper.
As we exchanged messages, I felt transported back in time as my mind flipped back through the memories and the fun times that we had shared.
During the late 80s, early 90s, Deb and I both worked at the same retail jewelry store. I was one of the youngest employees there and at first felt a bit left out since I was still underage. Deb and the other employees were all in their early 20s and at that really cool age when everyone went out and had a lot of fun.
I loved that job mostly because I liked everyone that I worked with. All of the girls that worked there were great. Despite my age, they always included me in the group.
They became a work family and good friends. As I graduated high school and got ready for college, this became a close group of friends.
I laughed out loud as I thought about some of the crazy fun times we used to have -- summer volleyball, parties, festivals and more. Some of those friends I am still in contact with, but I haven’t seen Deb in over 17 years.
My fingers couldn’t type fast enough. “Does she look the same?” “Is she getting married?” “What is she in the paper for?”
I wondered what she had been up to since I saw her last. But as the link began to open, my smile faded. Her picture was in the obituaries. She was 42.
My chest felt empty as I read the short obituary that was next to my pretty friend’s face. My eyes drifted over the words, “loved by those who knew her” and “survived by her son.”
I didn’t even know she had a son. My heart went out to her family, the people that would miss her most. For them, the day that she died, Easter Sunday, would never be the same.
It would have been nice to reconnect with her. I wish that I would have thought of it years ago.
I assume she was happy. That she had a good life. When I think of Deb, I remember her smile and the way that she made others laugh.