We then rushed to a wake for a friend..
Yesterday morning, we received the saddest message from Jer's sister. She told us that a good friend of our's had died and that the wake was Fri. evening. Denise M O'Toole was the wife of Jer's best friend from high school. She died after a short 3 month battle with cancer. She was only 60, 4 months older than me.
I can't express the shock and sorrow that I am feeling right now. Dennis and Denise were such an integral part of our lives when we first met, dated, got married and began to have our families. There were 3 guys from St. Alberts, Jer, Dennis and Ken. The 3 of them were very close during their years in school and in the years following. 'Us' girls that came on as girlfriends became part of their extended family and the 'six' of us were very close. Dennis and Jer were best men at each other's weddings. As our families grew and kid's activities became varied, we didn't spend as much day to day time together, although we all stayed in the same town. Chance meetings and Christmas activities kept us in the know about each other's lives. Time moved on.... Jer and Ken developed a 'golf' obsession together (that's putting it mildly) and his wife and I have become close friends over the years, traveling and crafting together. Denise and I would meet over the years, infrequently, and 'catch' up on interests, kids and grandchildren :).
I think what I am trying to express is my sadness that life moves on and the finality that is death. My regrets in not keeping in touch better and my thoughts, that are reality, that we are all going to pass. We are both watching our parents getting older and declining in health. Its hard and I understand that everyone experiences this but some things just hit home more than others and this was one of those times for me. I go along, still feeling and thinking I am 21..my body ages (and surprises me constantly) but my mind trots right along and then wham, whoa I get a blow of reality like this and am brought up short!
Jer and I started our fulltime journey in September, we leave in a couple of days for the 'next' leg to Arizona for the winter. Denise' death has made our time together, for me, so much more important. I have always been grateful for our relationship but this has made me realize, once again, that anything can happen, anytime, anywhere and I don't want to be caught regretting a moment! I want to experience the beauty that nature has to offer, the closeness that our relationship is, the power of our friendship to each other and our friends and family.....I don't want to miss a moment!