Friday, August 12, 2011

Still a Friend After All These Years

Is a friend still a friend if you haven't seen her for 30 years? When news of her sudden death plucks a heartstring, I'd say the answer is 'yes'.

A college friend living in Manitoba died this morning. She'd been fighting cancer, something I didn't know. Sounds like she may have died from a heart attack, though, but details are still sketchy.

We were the kind of friends who hung out together at events of mutual interest, shared mutual friends but weren't close confidence-sharing bosom buddies. There was a day of drama while she dodged a wish-he-was-boyfriend who'd taken to stalking her. I'm sure Bryce and Blaine still have green memories of us bursting into their room in Residence with the 'stalker' in pursuit ... while their parents were also in the room on a visit to their sons. To this day I have no idea what those four people look like.

We exchanged Christmas cards for a few years and then somehow that too drifted away. Without more than just the casual chit-chat of "All's well here. Kids are growing like weeds. Best wishes for the coming year." it's hard to maintain any sort of meaningful correspondence.

Once in awhile I'd hear tidbits, as mutual friends travelled back and forth, carrying news. I imagine news from my life drifted back towards them in a similar fashion.

She and her husband are ever-young in my mind, students looking forward to their life together with hope and enthusiasm.

I remember the reaction from friends when he happily informed us of the wonderful Christmas gift he'd purchased for his wife-to-be .... an electric frying pan. The stunned silence might have been a clue that it perhaps wasn't the most romantic gift that a young lady looked forward to for a first Christmas gift from her beloved.

I remember curling with them during the winter, IVCF get-togethers, camping trips in the mountains at the Burnt Timber and Ya Ha Tinda ranges.

Good memories of friends, of laughter and of youth.

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