2010-01-16 / Editorials & Letters

Writer remembers friend


Tonight I visited my dear friend Peggy, I whispered into her ear that I was there and how much I loved her, as I gently rubbed her face. She opened her eyes and smiled a bit of recognition as she returned to her sleep.

I have this empty feeling while watching or waiting as my best friend nears the end. She was not just a friend but also one of those friends that enter into a woman’s life that is like no other. She knew all of my secrets and as well all my deepest thoughts and I knew her’s, we told each other things we would tell to know one else. We knew each other so well that when one of us was down the other would somehow sense it and call. I stood with her when her health started to go down hill and she lost the love of her life Mike. I was there for her when her beloved Chihuahua, Killer was killed.

She taught me how to be a better woman. We were in many ways total opposites from two different worlds but we made each other better and expanded each other’s horizons. We would have so much fun shopping together and could go all day and buy nothing or on occasion we would talk the other into trying on that one perfect outfit that we would have never looked at if the other were not there. I do admit that when in shopping mode and it did not matter how bad she was feeling, I would be the first to be too tired to continue, I could not out shop her, and I swear she could smell 60 percent off.

In the last year we started to grow apart a bit as others did what I used to do for her and she became a little less mobile but a whole lot more independent. She was able to finally regain her own home and her privacy. So our going out to have coffee, to eat or to shop became less frequent. Yet when either of was really down we still sought each other out. We went out for the last time a few weeks ago, to have breakfast at the TA and to shop for the cutest purses surprisingly at our local furniture store. She is responsible for my purse mania.

I hate to let her go, not that I have any choice in the matter; her body is just giving out. I also realized that she was not happy without her Mike. A man she said was a “bald headed SOB,” but he was her “bald headed SOB”. She missed those little flicks he would give her to the head when she was being, he thought, unreasonable. She hated them, but missed them so much when he disappeared from her life. She would sometimes kick the box under her bed with his ashes, for leaving her behind. She was so disappointed that because of her health and circumstances, she could not keep her promise to spread his ashes around the lake while riding his motorcycle.

How long does she have? The doctors say hours and no more than a few days but I think they’ll find out she is a lot tougher than she looks. Whenever it is and I would not be a bit surprised to see her beat this, I’ll lose and important part of my life, a part that may never be replaced. There will never be another Peggy. I have lots of friends, but only one I told everything to. Is a woman allotted only one of those special girl friends in her life, or does it just seem that way because they are so hard to find?

The next morning, December 19, 2009 a Saturday, at 7:10 a.m. my best friend Peggy Gilmore passed on and at 59 it was way too soon. Her name does not need to be etched into granite to be remembered as long as she is etched into the hearts of those of us around the lake who loved her.

Laura Grace Holtsberry Millersport

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