Ah, how the long night stretches and the hours seems to march to the beat of a funeral drum. Sleepless nights - try the soul and the physical shell we call our bodies.
I was thinking of my friends, Laura and Evelyne, as my mind replayed the many happy times we have spent together over the years. I miss both of them so much and often times think I should pick up the phone and call just to chat. Alas, there is no phone line that can reach them now.
Both of those dear friends have moved on to another plane of existance. Both believed in God, although both coming from different points of view. One was a staunch Christian and the other a staunch Bahai. Both lived Godly lives and lived out their religions.
My memory of Laura seemed to take me through our long relationship built on trust, friendship and respect. Our trip together to Israel and Greece along with a group of church people including one of my Brazilian daughters. I remember one fellow liking the look of Lisa and offering me two camels as a dowry for her. Camels are very expensive and so he held her in high esteem. Alas, for this fellow, she wasn't interested in him but I thanked him anyway as I understood his culture and that this signifies his high esteem and willingness to look after her.
Shopping in Israel was an interesting thing which Lisa and I particularly enjoyed although Laura also came home with lots of interesting things. Lisa and I shopped for Malu, my other Brazilian daughter, and Lisa knew her taste in jewellery so we were able to get her just what she liked.
I remembered Laura climbing up on the out of bounds wall (think it was the wailing wall) while I just held my breath hoping she would not get in trouble. I remember our dismay when we could not lock our hotel room door in East Jeruselem and each night moving the heavy bureau to barracade the door. If we had only pulled the drapes open, we would not ever have slept soundly. There was a tree right outside our window and any good climber could have done it easily!
I remember her borrowing blankets from me as she was freezing and, as usual, I was too warm. We were good roommates that way.
Such great memories. I remember also the long lineups in the Israeli airports and our bags being so thoroughly checked. Now we have that in Canada and I agree that it is a good plan not to take any chances.
I remember one of the waiters at the hotel asking Lisa to take an envelope for him and mail it when we reached Canada. Thankfully, she told me and I told the tour leader. Needless to say, we did not take the envelope. Who knows what it could have been?
We remained friends for well over twenty years and I called one day just to chat, couldn't get any answer, then kept trying for a few days. I finally found out what happened.
I called the church's office and asked for some information on her. Roy called me back and told me the sad news that she had been killed in an automobile accident. A gentleman in her building had driven Laura and her friend to go grocery shopping. As they pulled either in or out, cannot remember, they were hit by a TTC bus. Her friend died instantly but Laura was taken to the hospital as was the driver of the car. Laura died a day or so later and eventually the man who was doing a favour to drive the ladies, did get out of the hospital.
I knew the friend and she had been an early childhood educator and I had met her several times at Laura's place. I did not know the gentleman but am glad that eventually he was well enough to go home.
It just shows you how fragile life is and how one should value friends and family for one day they might not be there.
As for my friend Evelyne, I had not had the pleasure of knowing her as long as I did Laura, but it was a joy to know her as well. She was a transplated American whom I met at a Seniors gathering in Downsview. She had moved to Canada to be near her daughter and those two wonderful women had a fantastic relationship. Once a week, they had a "girl's day out" where they went grocery shopping and out for lunch. Evelyne looked forward to it each week.
They were Bahai people and through them I met other Bahai's in Toronto. Since we lived so close to each other, we saw a lot of each other as we were both single again women. We became good friends and visited quite often. I loved to listen to her stories of when she and her family would sing folk songs of the United States in different parts of the world. They were ambassador's of Good Will. They had some wonderful experiences during that time.
We've had many a good laugh together and talked about serious things, religion, people relationship and you name it, we have talked about it!
Such a blessing it has been for me to have had these two ladies in my life.