Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1964 – 2010: I Will Remember

Sometimes words fail me and it takes longer than it should to find the right thing to say. Sometimes, however, words don't have to be right or wrong: they just need to be shared. You see, I’ve written about a lot things over this past month but I never told you about Mary.

I met Mary the same day I sat in the corner on a barstool at the Delhi Network and cried because I was alone and didn’t have any friends in that place so far from home. Mary was also there during one of my most embarrassing (and to her consternation unblogged about) moments in India as she and I drove to Gurgaon and I was so hung over I had my driver pull over multiple times. Mary also was there when I needed to vent about the woes in my life or simply to share a random laugh.

Mary and I signed-up to join the boards of the AWA and Delhi Network together. She dragged me shopping and made me realize I had to buy things I never knew I needed. It was with Mary that I officially became “a lady who lunches,” and we hit more great lunch spots in Delhi than I can think of. She was always game for one last round or a good chat over a Diet Coke. Mary was the best bad influence in town.

When I talk to people about how awesome it was to be an expat, why I love Delhi, or the good friends you meet and keep while traveling the world, I usually talk about Mary. She was that kind of a friend.

I hate going back to places I’ve been because subsequent visits never live up to the hype of a first meeting. Delhi has always been a rare exception to that rule and Mary was a big part of that. I’ll never forget my first return visit when she played hostess to The Ex and I. One morning, we were both feeling so lazy we stayed in bed and texted each other from across the hall to figure out our plans for the day.

Mary always had a smile on her face, pink somewhere in her outfit, and an effervescence to her spirit that made the day a little brighter.

As much as Mary loved crafting, her friends, shopping, and travelling, there was nothing she loved more than her family – her adorable son and her wonderful husband. To Mary, there was no job more important than that of being a good mother and wife. She loved her son more than the sun, the moon, and the stars. He was her world.

Mary talked about going to Toronto as part of her home leave vacation this past summer. Although I have enjoyed every moment of my post divorce “journey of discovery,” I will regret not going home to Toronto if only to see her one last time. I have always been dreadful about keeping in touch with friends and family. Facebook and the blog have become my way of saying hello and giving hugs from afar. I always thought that was enough. I was wrong – it isn’t.

My wonderful, and good, and awesome, and always smiling friend Mary died one month ago today and I miss her. She passed suddenly and left her sweet son and beloved husband behind. She had so very much to live for and was taken from us.

I found out by reading Facebook. I joined her friends from all over the globe and watched her memorial service live on YouStream. I left words of mourning on an electronic guestbook for a friend I met halfway around the world. This is death in 2010: modern but still eternally painful.

I will miss my friend Mary and I will never forget her. Her smile, her quilts, her gossip, her faults, our lunches, her shopping, her kind words, her laugh, her zest for life, her love for her son, her pokes on Facebook, her tough love talks, her cross-continental calls for phone numbers, her friendship.

Mary was one of the first good friend I made in Delhi. I miss you Mary and more importantly I will remember you.


Jack said...

Very well said, TypO.
Very well said.
Your friend is well served.

illahee said...

i'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. *hugs*

Connie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute you've written here for her. (((hugs!)))

Anonymous said...

So heart-breaking to lose a friend. But what good memories she helped create.

Unknown said...

Great tribute to a friend who obviously meant a lot to you. Sorry for your loss.

sprinkles said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

This was a lovely tribute to your friend.

Anonymous said...

You didn't let me know she was in TO.
I know you will miss her terribly.
Don't forget to stay in touch...

The other Sharon in Arkansas said...

Wow, how wonderfully written. I knew Mary, John and Mike through her sister Sharon. My son, also named John and I loved our times with Sharon, her sister in Texas. This summer she came through Arkansas, in need of a dentist and to see me. It was just luck that I could get someone to see her, but Little Rock is not so big a town so it worked out. I had just had a total knee replacement and she as usual, still made life fun. I was out late with her in her new car and had so much fun. Mary was such a special soul, missed by so many all over the world and loved by all of us who knew her. What a great tribute to her!