I Made A Friend

I was committed to a mental hospital when I was 15. My best friend there was a fourty-year-old occasionally homeless woman. Her name was Maggie. I was shocked when I heard her say this (my family are WASP republicans), but she told me not to worry. She had been raised by a tomcat and knew how to make it. She said she spent her days wandering around town with a box and a juce box in her purse. She was incredibly creative and colorful, and had a voice like an angel. When spring came, we sat by the reflecting pool and sang Suzanne, her favorite song, wrote funny haikus or read. She was the loveliest person I ever met, and I loved her so much. Once we ran away from the ward's walking group and took the bus to the town marina, where we spent all day singing, talking about nothing and eating ice cream and fries. We got in trouble, but it was worth it! When Maggie was discharged she was placed in an apartment on social security, under constant supervision by social workers and this made her miserable. Ingrid, my therapist there, came in to me one day and told me that Maggie had shot herself. It was awful being the only one in the ward who cried for Maggie. My parents didn't care. She hadn't really opened up to anyone else but me in there, not even her therapist. I have no pictures of her, and the only thing I have to remember her by is an essay about feminism she wrote a s a teenager and her per spook umbrella. Her family didn't want me at the funeral, so Ingrid took me down to the marina the next dawn, where I sang "Suzanne" and and threw wildflowers into the water. I didn't care that people stared. And I still do this once a year in spring, her favorite season. She was the best friend I ever had, and I wish that I can be a friend like that to someone one day.
MargaretMcCormick MargaretMcCormick
26-30, F
5 Responses Jul 14, 2010

loved your story, hope you're well, wishing you peace

You are very fortunate to have known this woman and shared a TRUE friendship. I think you recognize this and how valuable a gift it is. I'm sure you will probably find another friend - but be careful - not everyone will be a TRUE friend and may want to use you in one way or another. I have a best friend - been friends since the age of 8 (now 56), I love him (not gay) and would do anything in the world for him. He has his faults but we have been there for each other year after year. When you get right down to it - I think we are here to reach out and help each other which makes us all better people. Sometimes the smallest gesture can make the biggest difference in a person's life. So lets all go out there and make this a better world ..... <br />
Best wishes to you and keep smilin' .....

That and her cat book. An ancient, ratty book, with her name in it.

You were an inspiration to Maggie AND a friend. And she was also a very near and dear friend to you. It's a shame that nobody else cared. But it is wonderful to see that you cared very deeply about her. Blessings to you. I offer my deepest sympathies and most heartfelt condolences to you.

Maggie sounded like a really cool and interesting person I can understand why you liked her so much and miss her. In a way she'll always be with you in your memories and also in the essay she wrote and in her haikus too, because they came straight out of her mind; if you see what I mean. Have you ever thought of writing down all the things you did, like you have here but much longer? I think it would make a great book ! Wanting to be a friends to someone in the same way you were is Maggies gift to you