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For My Friend, On Her Anniversary

Was thinking today about my best friend, Sushi. This is an important day for her.

We were in High School together. I don’t remember how we met, exactly, but she was hard not to notice.  Standing over 6 feet tall, and built like a quarterback, Sushi struck a figure in the hallways at our school.  I was always proud of her, beautiful, graceful, friendly…everyone loved her, as far as I could tell, but she was MY best friend, and that made me SOMEBODY.  I was shy and quiet, but Sushi had so many friends, I often felt like they were mine too.  Her favorite thing to do was to introduce me to someone and pressure me to sing to them, because she loved my voice, and thought of it an ice-breaker.  As for me, I just did what she told me to do, since I figured she knew the ways.

We shared a locker at school…we had to, because of budgets – everyone had a locker mate.  The big decision was always who would take the top, and who would take the bottom.  That was never a question for us…being one of the smaller people on campus, it was a given – Sushi took the tallest part, and I took the shortest.

Somewhere in the middle of our Junior year, her brother and father both died, within months of each other.  As devastating as that was for my friend, it was even more so for her mother.  I watched, as Sushi sucked it up and learned how to care for her mother, in the aftermath that followed…depressions, suicide attempts, illness after illness.  I was helpless.  I loved my friend, but she was fading, becoming someone I almost didn't recognize.  I would visit or call her every night and sing her to sleep after her mom had passed into a drug induced coma.  It was not negotiable, she wanted that, needed it.

Toward the middle of the following year, things seemed to be getting back to the way I’d remembered…parties, friends, dances, laughter, study dates, dancing, sunshine.  Sushi was back and I was so happy. 

We graduated, of course, and when on about our lives.  She had no musical talent, but made the best roadie…any band I was in, she was there, dancing, running lights, setting up and tearing down the stages. 

She got married, had a beautiful daughter.  We kept in touch all the while.  I had a son, she got divorced and started a daycare, where I happily sent my boy while I worked, knowing he would be loved there.  Both of us being single moms by then, we often introduced our discards to each other.  We’d laugh about that… “If you didn't want him, why would I?”

Well, it came to pass, after a few years, Sushi got cancer.  A nasty one, affecting her lymphatic system.  The doctors did everything they could, but she couldn't be saved, so she was sent home to spend the last of her days.

I visited her, for the last time, just days before she stepped off the mortal coil.  They warned me, she was unresponsive.  But I wanted to sing to her anyway.  Had to.  So I did.

Sushi didn't move a single muscle, but tears slid down the side of her face.  I wasn't the only one to see that, and it never happened again.  Before I knew it, she was gone. 

RIP, m'lady, 10 years ago today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m lighting your candle and sharing that song.

 
simplygirl simplygirl 46-50, F 12 Responses Jan 9, 2013

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I almost sang to my best friend before she died, but I didn't get the chance to. She had Leukemia. It's been 3 months, and it's been so hard. My heart goes out to you, and to everyone else who's had someone taken from them by cancer.

Ugh. No kind of death is easy. I hope you are singing now. You won't know until all the mysteries are revealed whether or not your best friend can hear you.

aww i know this song. at the risk of being redundant....what a beauty you are, simplygirl. cheers to sushi, who is happy and NOT crying in heaven:)

This story made my eyes a bit damp. Sharing this is rewarding to your relationship with Sushi. You were a good friend helping her deal with her family losses and then being there for her. That's all we can do. Be there when needed. Thanks

Thank you. I just loved this woman for so long that I am happy to finally find a place to share it. Love is an active verb, you know? Those last moments, I'll never forget, nor do I forget that I remember wishing I'd been a better friend. That's the lesson I will take away.

:(

Don't cry, yahoo! Sushi deserves your smiles :) You would have like her.

ha ha ..u better know why ;) :P

Thank you.

Thank you for reading, Unquestioned. I am glad you met my friend.

So am I darlin' :)

What a beautifully written tribute to your friend. Thank you for sharing her story ... And that which you shared.

Thank you, Mister V.

Sang that song myself.

Ahh, I loved this one for her at that time. I always cry when I hear it now. There is a cool version of it by Alison Krauss, but I wanted to post the original guy. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SCOimBo5tg

Oh Simplygirl!! You had me smiling, then laughing and then bugger me Crying. Oh God. What a beautiful story. I'm sure she heard you singing, as you are sure she did. :)

Interesting, you and I, having similar memories at the same time. *HUGS*

Quite spooky actually. *Hugs*

You can call it "spooky", I'll call it "kismet" :)

I call it Karma. Same word. :))

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What a wonderful tribute to a dear friends. Her tears I'm sure of joy at hearing you sing one last time.

I choose to believe those were tears of joy, and I know she wouldn't mind one bit :)

Wow. This was a wonderful tribute.

Thank you so much. I wish a friend like her for everyone!

This story... Oh... I'm trying to find words that do justice.
Just beautiful, Simply. I have a lump in my throat & tears in my eyes... Just utterly beautiful. <3

Thank you. I think you felt just like I did when I wrote this story last night. I'm glad you got to meet my lovely friend!

&lt;3

This hurts...your words reached out grabbed my soul and strangled it, and then let go only to leave me grasping for air and happy to be breathing and living. The torture of having shared scars is that people with your gifts can remind us of those wounds and only comfort us in the relief of knowing the scar is a reminder that we healed.

This is a compliment of the highest form as you made me feel the story not just read it.

Thank you so much, Dente. I save this one day for that, too. It's worth loving someone so much that you can continue to celebrate them long after they are gone. Nobody gets honored when we quit breathing and living, so I am glad you took that gasp! Thank you thank you.