Monday, March 16, 2009

Long Lost Friend

A weird thing happened yesterday. Husband had a random thought about an old friend we have lost track of. Joan was a woman we knew when we lived in New Jersey years ago but haven't kept in contact with. He was trying to factor how old she was, knowing she was older than we were but not by much. It was just a random thought. You know how those things pop into your head and pop right out again.

Last night, husband received an email from someone we have known since those New Jersey years telling him that our old friend died the night before. She had apparently been ill, but because we didn't communicate, we didn't know.

Joan was one of my first friends when we moved to New Jersey as newlyweds. Husband had friends there, and they eventually became my friends as well, but Joan stepped in right off the bat. A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about a memorable Thanksgiving—she hosted that raucous affair. She also hosted my baby shower before Number 1 was born, and she gave us our first stroller. She taught me how to make lasagna without cottage cheese and ground beef (what can I say—I was a midwestern girl).

When Joan needed someone to watch over her children while she traveled for work, it was husband and I who she called. When she had bursitis attacks and couldn't even dress herself, I was the one who would go to her house early the morning and see that she made it work in one piece. Her home was always open to us, no matter how crowded it might have been.

A series of events led to a rift in our relationship, and after we moved to Ohio, we eventually stopped communicating. Those unfortunate things that ended the friendship don't matter now—I prefer to remember Joan for her generosity.

7 comments:

lynn said...

Very touching Joan. It's awful how we do lose touch with old friends, but we all do it. Fret not about that, as you say, think of all those wonderful things which come to mind now. I know what you mean about Husband getting that random thought then suddenly getting news. It happens. Lots of love, Robyn, have happy and fond thoughts x

lynn said...

Very touching ABOUT Joan I meant. Doh.

dive said...

She sounds great fun, Robyn. What sad news.
If you want to honour her memory, how about teaching someone else how to make proper lasagne so her wisdom will be passed on in a small but delicious way.

RoverHaus said...

Isn't that weird how things like that happen? Here husband is wondering about her and she already left the building?

I like this Joan. I hope someday people can think back about me and remember me with Joan-like qualities.

Touching story. Thanks for sharing!

Alifan said...

Thanks Robyn for this lovely post, I hope you always remember Joan for the good times, memories are so precious....

I do get told off sometimes for doing so much for people who are not kind to me, but have seen so many friendships and family suffer, and when the other person has passed on... they live with regrets, so better to try and get on with each other in this life... even though it is hard....you never know who you might meet in the next one!

Sassy Sundry said...

I'm sorry to hear Joan died, Robyn. It is sad when friends drift apart, but I'm glad you have good memories of her.

MmeBenaut said...

I have friends too that I've lost contact with, having lived in other states and countries. I occasionally wonder about them too and even whether they are still alive. Sometimes it is good to hang on the old and treasured memories.
I recently looked up a friend who was a witness at my second wedding. I found him and after about five minutes' conversation on the phone, he asked me who I was! I asked him if he knew (name) - my ex husband, with whom he had been good friends. "No" was the response. It seems that my old friend has succumbed to Alzheimer's. Very sad in one way but quite hilarious in another as our more than likely last conversation was very lively.