Remembering Sandy

 Since just a few days ago was the 11th anniversary of the storm that took out the Jersey Shore (SuperStorm Sandy), you might think that's what today's post is about.  It's not.  It's about a friend, Sandy.  Not Alexandra, Sandra or even Sondra; just Sandy.

Sandy died last week.  I didn't find out about it until the other day and it hit me hard.  You'd think in this year where death has been coming at me from all angles, I'd be "used" to it.  I'm not.  You'd think that I perhaps I was her best friend.  I was not.  You'd think that we chatted regularly either in person or via social media.  We did not.  Yet her death hit me like a ton of bricks.

I can honestly say that I didn't know Sandy all that well, but I DID know her for a long time. And perhaps that is why the news of her passing really flattened me.

I'm not sure at what age Sandy and I became friends.  At what age are friends consciously made?

Before we were friends, before we were even born, our parents were friends.  If I recall correctly (and there is no one around who can corroborate or correct me), my parents met at her parents’ house.  It was a political party/gathering.  Again, if I recall correctly, my mother used to say that these gatherings were less about politics and more about party.  They were the days, or so I've been told, where friends got together and talked, laughed, drank and smoked.  (Which tells you how long ago that was!)  And it was at one of these gatherings that my parents met for the first time.

Now I could be wrong.  I don't think Sandy's parents were at my parents’ wedding.  Or maybe they were just not in the pictures that I found?  Nevertheless, my parents and hers were close.  Perhaps they became even closer after my mother and hers became pregnant around the same time.  Sandy had two older sisters, so obviously her mom was better versed in the experience and I have to wonder if my mother relied on her for insight and advice.

Sandy was born 22 days after me.  No wonder we became friends so early on.  Or at least were thrown together at a young age.  I can't be 100% sure, but I believe we went to pre-school together. If not, our mothers got us together at a young age.  I remember her family's house, which while not too far from ours, was in a different elementary school district.  To me it seemed HUGE.  (Doesn't everything seem huge at that age?)  It was definitely larger than the small cape that we lived in at the time.  It had an elegant staircase that went up to the second floor.  It had many bedrooms.  It had a big, modern(ish) kitchen.  And it had a lush backyard.  What can I say?  It made an impression on me if I recall all these things 40+ years later.

Since we didn't go to the same elementary school, it had to have been our mother's friendship that kept our friendship going.  I remember going to a birthday party at her house and not knowing any of the kids except Sandy.  Why would I?  They went to one school and I went to another.  Another time (and this was definitely when we both were elementary school age), she slept over at my house.  Sleepovers were rare, so this was a big deal.  For some reason, the two of us slept on our screened in back porch (which was right off of our kitchen) in sleeping bags.  (Certainly not my idea of fun these days.)  In case one woke up before the other, we each had Nancy Drew mysteries to read to pass the time.

We went to the same middle school and high school, but I don't recall having any classes together.  We must have; ours was a small class.  However, I can't remember any.  We graduated and both went to college in the Lehigh Valley, but we never saw each other.  Did we see each other at our 10th high school reunion?  Was she there?  Again, my memory is a blank.

She eventually went to work for the family business.  I married; she married.  We were "social media friends," but she wasn't on very much.  

Her mom died.  I remember my mother being very upset about that.  (Understandably so.)  But we didn't connect.  (My fault.)

I didn't go to the last high school reunion.  Did she?  Perhaps I should comb through photos online to find out?  Does it really matter?

Regrets...I have them.

My memories of Sandy are ones where we are both little girls.  A time when we both were innocent and things were simple.  They probably weren't, but they seemed that way.  In mourning Sandy, I am drawn back to those days and mourn those times.  With her passing I think of my parents and hers.  Of what we had and what is now gone.

Goodbye Sandy.  I am grateful for the memories.  I am thankful for the times we did spend together, even if they were long ago.  And even though we had not seen each other in decades, I will miss you and all that you brought to my life.



Comments

  1. Maryanne Malone FarinaNovember 1, 2023 at 6:21 PM

    This post is so very sweet … thanks for sharing… it helps to hear good memories of Sandy!

    ReplyDelete

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