Farewell My Forever Friend

I visited a friend a few weeks ago that I have not seen for over 10 years. She's been in town for probably 5 years but as they say, 'shit happens'. I put this picture on Facebook the morning of our visit.

We've been friends since grade school and when you grow up in a small town and go through most of your school years with someone, there is a lifetime bond. We were very close in high school and had our share of getting into trouble minor mischief. I was one of her Maids of Honor when she got married. She always called me Neecey.

Pam had a rough life--Mother died when she was young, Dad had MS so she had to live with a foster family who did not treat her very well. She was the youngest of 4 siblings and the family got split up. She got married right out of high school and had two sons, then later divorced. Years later she remarried and he also died of MS. She was in an accident and spent a lot of time in rehab and then had to live in assisted living before finally becoming able to live independently again.

We kept in touch a little over the years but it was only about once a year and I along with other people she called, found the conversations confusing. Her voice was always slurred and we never knew what she was talking about. We all just figured she was drinking or on something. A few years ago we tried to get together. She was going to bring a bus to my end of town for lunch. It never happened but no hard feelings; that's just the way it went with her.

Then she got Cancer. A tumor in her neck caused her to have chemo, surgery, and then radiation. I really thought she had rallied although I just got snippets of information on FB.

A mutual friend, Barb, called me and said that she was only given three months to live, was refusing further treatment and she wanted to see me. She would be leaving soon to have Hospice care in her son's home out of town. I didn't want to waste any more time to see her again. Two other classmates and I met at her apartment where she was in a hospital bed and hooked up to a feeding tube. Not being able to talk because of a trache, she wrote quickly. We all sat on the couch and the first thing she wrote is that we all looked like three monkeys on a log. Oh she still had that sense of humor!

We only stayed about an hour as she tired quickly. I asked if we could get some pictures before we left, then I hugged her one last time. I wanted to go back again but her sister is keeping the visits to mostly family so people can't just drop by. My other friends are the ones who would have had to contact the sister and she had a bad week following our visit. So although I wanted to go back, it wasn't possible. She will be leaving this coming weekend and I will never see her again.

Farewell Pammy, thank you for being my friend so many years ago. We'll meet on the other side some day, have some more adventures, and maybe even get in a little trouble with the Big Guy.


Grumpy said…
My sympathies; it's tough watching friends take their final journey.
Peruby said…
I really need to call my friend. I keep meaning to do it, and I am afraid that one day it will just be too late. She is struggling with COPD and cannot get out and about much.

Thanks for this post, it reminds me that we all have so very little precious time and to use it wisely.
Claire M. King said…
What a story. We all have missteps in friendships and it usually takes trauma for reuniting. Sorry to hear of this for you. It is hard no matter what. Glad you got to see her one last time.
Mr. Shife said…
Sorry for your loss, kden. A very touching tribute to your friend. Glad to hear you got to spend some time with her. Take care.
Claire M. King said…
I found bill... http://thelastsooner.blogspot.com/

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