My Dear Friend, Phelba

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This is a photo from my 41st birthday…

Yesterday evening, my dear friend, Phelba, passed away.  She had cancer.  She fought it for a lot of years.  I will miss her so much.  I’ll miss her laugh, and her smile.  I’ll miss all our long chats about EVERYTHING.  Even stuff we disagreed on.  She and I could talk about anything… and we did.  Sometimes we’d laugh and say, “Oh my, the things we talk about!”

She was my “fake Mom”.  She introduced me once as her fake daughter and it stuck.  We used to get to the funniest looks when she’d say that.  We were probably very unlikely friends, but we were friends.  We loved to laugh together, and we did a lot of it.  We had serious conversations a lot too.  We didn’t always agree politically or theologically but it never prevented us from being friends, very dear friends.  We never argued about it we just shared our thoughts and then moved on. It was a great friendship.

I keep saying friend but really we were family, are family because you don’t ever stop being family and her family will always be my family.  Her daughter will always be my “fake sister” and her son, my “fake brother” and her dear husband, my “fake dad”.  They are stuck with me.

She was my neighbor.  I walked down there almost every day for the last year… (until coronavirus hit) and her husband and I always joked that he forgot to lock the door and the crazy neighbor let herself in!  These last few weeks of not seeing her most everyday were tough.  I was sick in February and wasn’t able to go down there for about 2 weeks and then I finally was able to go and visit.  I got maybe two visits in before I came down with the flu and couldn’t go back over there for another week… and then Covid-19 hit… I called her every day during all this for our daily dose of laughter.  It was hard not to go down and see her, to set up the diffuser for her, to wash her hair, to start her crochet for her (we became great crochet buddies when she became bedridden.)

I went over last night for a quick second and as I visited with her husband, I told him, “I’m always here if you need me” and he said, “and the door is always unlocked.”  Those were the best words.

I’ll miss you Phelba!  But I couldn’t be happier that your suffering is over and you are now well again and whole.

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My “fake” siblings and I. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

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