Friends for the (70 year) Journey

Omi engagement

My mom in 1948

She was leaning on her walker right outside the door to her assisted living apartment.  She knew we were on her way and I guess she couldn’t stand waiting inside.

“Betty?” she looked tentatively at my nearly 87-year-old Mom and opened her arms.

How long does it take to make a lifelong friend?  For my mom and her friend, Dorothy, nearly 70 years have passed since they first clicked back in nursing school in 1944.  For a short time they both lived in the same town and raised their kids but many years ago health issues moved Dorothy and her family to Arizona and the visits were rare.

Christmas cards and occasional phone calls filled in the highlights but decades passed since their last lunch together, until last Thursday.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall as they did their “remember when’s.”  I grew up hearing stories of their antics but that too was a long time ago.

Six hours later, I picked Mom up and we had one last round of hugs.  She was quiet on the ride back, unusual for my vivacious mother.  Finally she sighed, “I know I won’t ever see her again.”  I think I mumbled…maybe we could come back next year but we both knew it was likely true.

Phoenix 2013 043

My Mom and Dorothy

This morning, I walked my 7-year-old granddaughter to school and on the way one of her friends joined us.  I watched their animated talking and laughing and wondered if this was a “friend for the road or friend for the heart.”  Probably the former, but once in a while, one goes the distance, maybe 70 years.  You never know at first which ones will make it.

If you know who yours are, give thanks and give them a call.

Hope for the best,

Tish

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4 Responses to “Friends for the (70 year) Journey”


  1. 1 sandyboller April 15, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    This is precious, Tish.

  2. 3 Melanie Rigney April 16, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Thanks, Tish, for the beautiful story and the reminder. I have one of 46 years I haven’t called lately. Will do.

  3. 4 Letitia Suk April 16, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    46 years is a long time, treasure that one!


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