Sunday, May 8, 2016

A sad note about an old friend.


No, my old friend isn't a cat.  She was a woman I worked with about 30 years ago, and with whom I lost contact over the years.  Recently, I resumed contact with this woman's daughter via Facebook, and started to catch up on things.  And I found out that this lady (30+ years older than I am) passed away shortly before my last cross country trip by train.

When I last saw my friend, my wife was still alive, as well as her husband.  They were about to move out to Colorado, letting AT&T pick up the bill for moving her across the country shortly before the breakup of the Bell System.  After the breakup, she was stranded in Colorado, and made a life for herself out there.

Eventually, her daughter moved there, and I stumbled into a friendship with her during one of the downturns in my life.  (I'm not sure, but I think we started talking shortly after my wife died - roughly 20 years ago.)  I talked about the troubles I was having, and she talked about her troubles.  But we also talked about the good times, and I had an open invite to visit them if I passed through the Denver area.  Little did I know that the one time I passed through Denver, having enough time to meet for a cup of coffee (and no more, as we'd have to meet at the train station platform) that it would be a little more than a week after her mother died.

In many ways, I'm surprised that my friend from the Bell System lasted this long.  When I knew her, she smoked like a chimney, and I felt that cancer, heart problems, or respiratory ailments would take her life.  But life never ceases to surprise me.  I only wonder what she would have thought to find out I'm transgender....


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