Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And that would be three

We've had a rough month for deaths here. And this morning one of my best friends called. Kim and I have known each other since we were 12 years old; our friendship has lasted through 5 moves on my end and 23 years now. When she turned 30, her husband called and asked if I could come to visit, because having me visit was the only thing he could think of to get for her birthday! A couple years ago, when I was pregnant with Liam, we went to visit my parents and she came to visit (my folks live about 2 hours away) with her family. Between us, we have 5 kids now: 1 girl and 4 boys!

We have spent many, many days in each others houses growing up. We used to forge notes from our mothers so we could ride the other girl's bus and go home after school together.

But today I have to stand beside her and cry. Because Kim's mother died about an hour ago.

She had a massive stroke and continued to have smaller strokes after that. The doctors said it wouldn't be long. Thankfully Kim and her family were all there to say goodbye and hold her hand as she died.

Shirley, Kim's mom, was always a darling to me. She was a bright and warm woman, with a zippy sense of humour. And she treated me just like her own kids. Kim and I even devised a way to have a week together when we were 16: Kim was going to come to my house over Spring Break. Except about 3 weeks before Spring Break, we discovered something crazy: our break weeks were a week apart! Kim had hers on week 1 and I had mine on week 2! We were crushed to think that we couldn't do it. Except then we came up with the idea of an exchange week: so Kim came to my house and went to school with me on her break week, and I went to her house and school on my break week. I tell you this, so that you will know that Kim's mom welcomed me with open arms. Her parents are sweet people.

So as I sit here, writing and processing, I am also saying goodbye to Shirley. Like Kim, her parents are a part of my extended family and I grieve for this loss.

And right now it is an awful thing to be far apart. To know that my friend is in this much pain, but I am unable to hold her hand.

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