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Dear friends are family too

October 18, 2010

 

Meg Buscher Andrews (left) and Nina Camuti Danielsen

 

I missed the chance to say goodbye with Mom. I am going to kick myself straight down the street.

Blew it.  Shoulda,  coulda,  woulda.

Planned to.

I missed it.

I hate myself through tears.

After talking for the last two years about taking my mother to Connecticut to see her dear childhood friend, Margaret (Buscher-Day) Andrews, I waited too long.  Without invading her privacy, I’ll just say a medical issue this spring rushed Meg’s sunset. She was a beautiful woman from the inside out.

Mom didn’t get that last chance to see her dear friend, catch up like old school girls and hold her one last time. She didn’t even get a call from Meg’s children to let her know there would be a service. I found the obituary online and called Mom, leaving her 45 minutes away to pray alone.

I had promised to take her up to see Meg again. Didn’t.   When I heard she wasn’t well, I promised to drop everything in my oh-so-busy work week to take Mom to the funeral. We never heard. Honestly, in the rush of details that happen with a funeral I’m sure no one knew where to find Mom’s number.  She’s in continuing care now.

I’m still sad for my mother.  I’m sad for missed moments, hands that weren’t held, and last hugs that should have happened.

It wasn’t that far of a drive. It would have meant something forever to my mother.

The last time we spoke, Meg had suggested I take them to the theater in New York City.  That would have been so much fun.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

My mother has dear life long friends. To me they’re family, like bonus aunts and uncles. More aunts.  They come from everywhere: neighbors and teachers from Franklin Township, New Jersey; members of the church; friends from Middlebury College, and Mount Vernon, New York. Doctors, pharmacists, Mom-and-Pop store owners.

At 89, the only thing fading on my mother is her hearing. She can retell entire stories about her friends’ lives, their parents, their travels, business, extended relatives, the homes they lived in and, even, a little gossip. Her memory is as sharp as mine, maybe better.

She is full of stories about Meg. They met on a cold windy day March 1, 1931 when my grand parents moved to Mount Vernon, New York. Meg was wearing a red polka dot dress. (More on this later)

Saying goodbye doesn’t make it any easier for my Mom, who will miss Meg.

In honor of this beautiful friendship I’m going to retell stories about a road trip I took with Mom, Mrs. Andrews and their other dear friend Helen Hooley Young in August 2007.

(A note to my children: In case of emergency remember this – Facebook, Outlook @ home and @ work, address book.)

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