(these thoughts are quick and might seem random. it’s the only way i can get them down. being with them too long is still hard.)
I met my best-friend-in-the-world in 1973. I was pregnant with my first child and my husband and I were building our first home in Schaghticoke, New York, across a country road from where Sandy and her family lived; five kids, a ordinary husband and an ordinary wife.
We developed an extraordinary friendship between the two families over the 12 years we lived as neighbors.
The five Howd kids ranged in age from approximately twelve to five. They became our main method of birth control as we heard Sandy yell, doors slam, stomping on stairs, boys fighting, girls fighting and kids crying. It was a lively and loving home.
We did everything together.
Vacations, meals, laughing, coaching girls softball, bowling, golf lessons, tennis, laughing, shopping, garage sales, marketing, dieting, laughing, exercising, beauty shop trips. Sandy’s oldest daughter was our first babysitter. I was her “second” mom and eventually her matron of honor.
Then we moved away. A sadder day would come, but at the time we thought moving day was the saddest day anyone could ever live through. Sandy and Harvey would be our first visitors in each new home we moved into–and we moved a lot.
Sandy thought I hung the moon.
Each time I tried a new hobby she thought my projects were brilliant. I tried painting with the t.v. painter, Bill Alexander who “fired it in”. Sandy wanted my first finished painting because she thought it was amazing. It was horrible! Oh my gosh. I held it up for my Dad and he thought it was a waterfall. I held the ocean scene upside down.
She thought my writing was brilliant. I was a beginner taking English Composition I. She would have flipped-out seeing me get published.
I don’t think about today’s date often. I don’t think about the endings. I like beginnings and middles.
Sandy gave me a book on friendship for Christmas twelve years ago. Her inscription: “Suzi, This book just seems so “You”. I hope you get as much pleasure from it as I have from our friendship. Love ya, Sandy”.
The verse over the dedication:
Close to my Heart you’ll always be.
Friends Forever, you and me.
My best friend has left my side but never my heart.
She has left a gift with me, though. She never could get her left and right straight. Pointing out to right field she’d instruct a girl “Go into left field!” The girl would start for left field and Sandy would yell, “No, left field!”
The day she died, May 19, 2005, I inherited her left and right issue. I thank her every time I try to give someone directions. She was 65 years young and I miss the way she lived life with me.
(that’s Sandy in the chair being amazed at me for being me)