Kathy and I started out on a pretty bumpy road. I was one of her customers, she actually called me Dragon-Lady, with good reason, but, nevertheless, she was very persistent in trying to get my business. Which, needless to say, irritated the hell out of me. Finally one day I was in a pinch and needed her services quickly. I called her up and told her it was the bottom of the ninth inning, two outs, tie score and she was “up”. She came through for me with such professionalism and grace, she not only got my business, but won my heart as a friend.
We would spend many years together having our “ladies night out,” sharing the stories of the week, gossiping and a lot of laughing. We would drink wine and smoke. The problem was, we smoked different cigarettes, she menthol and me non-menthol, so if one of us ran out, we had to call it a night because we would not smoke each others. Yuck!
We spent some wonderful time with my children – watching Joshua (8) throw popcorn up in the air and catch it in his mouth. Dressing Jessica (10) up in fancy clothes and fur coats regaled in full make up. We took pictures that were amazing and could have been published. Unfortunately, her father was not as thrilled and destroyed them all. And you wonder why we are no longer married.
One weekend, my birthday weekend to be exact, in 1991 we went to a women’s church retreat and had a wonderful time of reflection and bonding. We would sit on the bluff, drink our wine, smoke our cigarettes and discuss the lessons of the day. We made a decision at that time to quit smoking.
That next Monday, we met at Fisherman’s Wharf, shared a split of champagne and smoked our last cigarette together. Then we decided to leave a lasting impression, we would each smoke one another’s cigarette so it would leave an awful memory. When we were finished, we broke our remaining cigarettes in half and threw them into the bay. We finished our champagne, gave each other a big huge and continued on to work. This is what true friendship is really about. We supported each other at every turn. Encouraged each other every chance we got. But alas, it was bigger than the both of us and didn’t last long. But the story is sweet.
Soon after that she left for Florida and I went to the airport with her. We had a glass of wine in the Red Carpet room and stayed fairly silent through most of the visit which was not like us at all. We both realized that it was the end of a closeness that neither one of us had ever known. You think that it will just continue even after you are separated, but we both knew it would change. I hugged her goodbye as she boarded the plane and cried the whole way home.
Kathy often spoke of how she so wanted to have children. I knew it would happen and I also knew she would be the best mother there ever was. She and Jeff have withstood the test of time and have raised two wonderful children, whom I know will make an impact on our society. I have enjoyed the annual Christmas photo which brings me up to date on how they are all doing.
God Bless you Kathy as you slowly move into “50” with such grace and fluidity that you can hardly tell you have arrived. Even though we don’t keep in touch as often as we both would like, always know that you are in my prayers and thoughts and when I am feeling a little low, my mind returns to our little restaurant in San Mateo where we spent so much time in laughter. You have made a lasting impression on my life, as you have many others, and I love you for that. You will always be my very BESTEST friend forever and a day.
(Kathy's nickname for my mom, Denise)