There is nothing like a good friend. Mom had plenty of them- whether related or not, she cared deeply about her circle of friends. She enjoyed their conversation and the time spent with them. She wrote lovingly about them in her memoirs:
I have had the good fortune of having a lot of good friends in my lifetime. Two very special ones has a very special place in my heart. Carol and Daisy.
Carol's friendship has no boundary she accepts me as is. Mistakes and all. Daisy and I go back a long way together. We have traveled a lot together and we have shared a lot of good times and a lot of special memories that no one can never take away.
In May of 1997 my sister a cousin and myself wented [sic] to Wyoming to see another cousin Pearl. Elaine and Gertie had never seen the great Rocky Mountains that reached up to touch the blue skies. Snow that looked liked [sic] the angel wings.
Or a waterfall that roars down the mountain into a beautiful stream of water. To walk among the Indian Cliff dwelling were [sic] a very great and powerful people lived. The frist [sic] real American people who has had their lands, God and honor taken from them. Have been lied to cheated and killed for their way of life. As we walked through their homes listen to their music you can feel their pain.
Have I losted [sic] my zest for life? Why no. I'm like a large dead oak tree standing in the middle of a field.
I might not have any pretty leaves lefted [sic] or new branches. But when a stroam [sic] comes through I don't have to worry about those new branches or new leaves getting blown off. I have old limbs and no leavs [sic] to lose. But I still have things to do.
God made a lot of beautiful things and I intent [sic] to see most of them. Who knows I might live long enough to see one of my daughters learn how to make dumplings or cook a big Christmas dinner without me being there.
This part of Mom's memoirs stirs up emotions within me. Once her health started failing, Mom didn't have many years left to travel and see all the things she wanted to. Yes, she was fortunate to have seen a lot of beautiful places, but there was so much more she wanted to do. It's just that her tired and aged body wouldn't cooperate with her plans. For years she had talked about wishing to go to Alaska. That is one place she didn't get to see.
As far as me or Sandy learning how to make dumplings, no- that has not worked out either. I have tried and failed miserably. I chose to leave that to someone else. I have learned to cook a big Christmas dinner without Mom being there, but only because I have been forced to.
I'm grateful that Mom had devoted friends who shared so much in her life. She had great memories of their travels together, their fun and laughter and also of the times they held each other up when life was tough.
Here are just a few photos of Mom and those she was honored to call her Friends:
Faithful friends- Mom & Carol
Friends for life- Mom & Daisy (they were cousins too!)
Showing off their catch of the day ;)
Their big trip to Wyoming
Elaine, Pearl, Mom & Gertie