Sheila and I baked bread, swapped stories and old secrets, walked narrow winding trails through the woods where buffalo, moose and wild animals roamed. We delivered our baby girls in Alaska. When we had to return home, she to Boston and I to St. Louis, we continued a long distance friendship with five to ten page weekly letters and costly phone calls, which we had to pay for by the minute but were cheaper and better than any therapy.
I went to Boston by bus with my 14 month old baby to see her baby, Michele. Twenty years later when I was ready for divorce, I went again for a heart-to heart. Then, five years later, she and her husband came to meet my fiancé. The guys hit it off right away. The next year, she and Bruce returned to St. Louis to stand beside us at our wedding (which was also their 25th wedding anniversary) as we all repeated our vows.
For years we vacationed together in Mexico and Florida and in each others' states. We laughed so much when we were together. We had water fights and acted like children.
Now my best friend is making the saints and angels laugh and loving on the heavenly cherubs and babies. She loved little children so much she would approach strangers and interact with their little ones.
I am feeling so many mixed emotions. I am happy for an enduring real friendship, even when it became one-sided. After brain cancer robbed Sheila of her short term memory, I vowed to send my forever friend a letter or card a week as long as there were Forever stamps. She liked reading about my family, but more than that, she loved reading about classroom activities with my students.
I am sad for her husband, children and grand and great grandchildren. I am grateful she is no longer suffering. I am blessed to have known Sheila and had her in my life for 45 years.
I hope these photos bring a smile to your face. I know they would have made my friend very happy.
This was taken with my cell phone and is not good quality. The scarecrow is worse for wear, but I can't bear to part with it yet, and he looks so cute when viewed from the road.
This cloth jack-o-lantern withstands the elements, and rests at the base of our new tree which is leaning toward the sun and growing a bit askew. This baby will grow to be 50 feet tall.
I got this little guy at a yard sale last week and absolutely love how he looks sitting on a table on the front porch. Bill said, "This is the cutest you've decorated the yard in all our years."
Do you decorate for Halloween?