“Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t there any more.”
I lost Rose, my:
- best friend forever (BFF),
- next-door neighbor,
- sounding board,
- book club sister
- cancer sister
For the first five years, she was the next door neighbor that I never saw. Occasionally, I would see her husband working in the yard. But, like me, at the end of a work day, Rose found comfort within the walls of her home.
We finally met when a local women’s service club extended an invitation for me to join. After attending three or four meetings, I submitted a membership application.
Rose, the Financial Secretary, processed new applications and noted we were neighbors. Introductions followed, a friendship developed; and, I gratefully received the gift of a life-long friend.
Over the years, our friendship grew stronger and stronger.
Our husbands became friends.
Occasionally, we went on couple vacations.
Shortly, after we became friends Rose and I formed a book club along with three other women. We were five Seasoned Sistahs joined together because of our age, ethnicity, and love for reading books by African-American wordsmiths.
Rose was by my side in 2008, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She was there when I was stricken with a life-threatening illness in 2010.
Shortly after I retired and moved to Florida, Rose was diagnosed with cancer. She was computer challenged and didn’t use Facebook, e-mail, text, or Skype; but, our friendship remained strong with long telephone conversations and snail mail.
A little later, Seasoned Sistahs Book Club dismantled.
Fifteen years after meeting, December 2013 cancer won the battle; and, I lost Rose.
Last week, Hubby and I returned to our home in Wisconsin. As we drove into our cul-de-sac, we saw Rose’s husband working in the yard. The two of us hugged and the tears flowed. Finally, I accepted and realized that Rose is no longer next door.
Rose and I were blessed to have a long-time friendship where we nourished, loved, supported, valued and appreciated each other.
As Oprah says, “This I know for sure”: As I grow older, my circle of girlfriends grows smaller.
Reconnecting with those girlfriends that I have disconnected from is one of my top priorities.