Sometimes you are lucky enough to have a friend like no other. Fourteen years my senior and a work colleague, I never had a better friend than Muriel. Our friendship, nurtured at work, lasted long after we left our jobs. Even after her retirement to Cape Cod, she would take the bus to Boston and stay with us overnight for a non-stop gab session.
She was beautiful, full of personality and talented as well as a wonderful advisor. Even when I couldn’t find her for the last few years, I often asked myself, "What would Muriel say?" And that helped me to do the right thing.
Because we lost touch, I didn’t hear that her husband of more than fifty years had died until months after he was gone, when her daughter Wendy called to let me know. She said that Muriel wasn’t doing all that well.
But then I lost touch with Wendy too. So for the last couple of years, I watched the obituaries, thinking Muriel might have passed away and I could have missed it.
Wendy called last Monday. She and her husband had moved across the country, but she was back because her mother died on Saturday. Although I had been missing Muriel and “mourning” her for a few years, it was hard to hear that she was really gone. She had been such a force in my life, the big sister I never had.
I talked with Wendy for a long time. I caught up on all the siblings and grandkids. Wendy gave me her new email address, and we promised to stay in touch.
We hung up and then I cried.