I lost a very good friend in April of this year. We had A lifelong friendship. That spanned for 62 years.
I'd like to talk about my Friend Tommy today. I first saw Tommy when we were only five yrs. old. I was at my Aunt Georgia's with my Parents visiting. Tommy lived with his parents just down the lane. Tommy and his Mom came up to Aunt Georgias. Tommy was the cutest little boy I'd ever seen with big blue eyes and blond hair. Tommy and I were outside playing. Aunt Georgia was sooo! fussy about neatness and she always had a beautiful yard. I was shy but Tommy wasn't. I knew better than to pick Aunt Georgias flowers, Tommy didn't. I had a good time playing with Tommy in Aunt Georgias yard. Tommy picked a big bouquet of Aunt Georgia flowers and handed them to me just as his Mom, My Mom, and Aunt Georgia came on the porch. I will never in my life forget how he smiled so sweet when he handed those flowers to me. I can still see it today.
“Come on Tommy we gotta' go” his Mom said. “No!” He said. I had taken the flowers and heard a big gasp. It was Aunt Georgia and her mouth was wide open as I clutched the bouquet in my grubby little hands. "Tommy! You weren't supposed to pick those without asking" his Mom Said. Oh! My Aunt gushed, It's all right, she lied. She was livid inside but trying to be polite. Anyway Tommy said "I want Clydene to go home with us". It's OK with me his Mom said. I backed up and was shaking my head no. “She don't want to go Tommy”. As I said, I was very shy, Tommy wasn't. Tommy got hold of my shirt sleeve and was gonna' take me home with him anyway. I was jerking back and Tommy was pulling. "Tommy, turn loose of her you are gonna' tear her clothes off", his Mom said. Now folks I really did want to go but I was just too dang bashful. They went on home and My Aunt started moaning about her flowers. “Oh My Goodness, Clydene you knew better”. “Did You pick them Clydene”, asked my Mom. “No! Tommy picked em Mamma”. “Then Georgia (we pronounced it GEORGY and still do) Then Georgy don't get on to her”. That evening Aunt Georgy's boys came home from school and when they found out they started teasing me. “Clydene's got a boyfriend, Clydene's in love”. Hey! I was five and didn't even know what having a boyfriend meant. But I knew how to get my claws out and I did just that. Tore in to them like a mama cat protecting her babies. Aunt Georgy was splutterin' and almost foamin'at the mouth. Why the nerve of a five year old hurting her two babies who were 11 and 15. How rude of her.
When we started to first grade in Sept. There was Tommy sitting across the aisle from me. He was the only one I knew so of course we were instant friends. I cried every day till recess when I could get outside with Brenda. Tommy would smile at me and it made me feel better. He would hand pencils, gum, candy, etc. across to me when I was crying. And Friends we remained through all twelve grades. There were only nine in our graduating class at the very small school. We were friends, almost like sisters and Brothers. We graduated in 1961 and Tommy was gone. Never knew what happened to him. Only saw him once in the many years that followed. Then when I got my first computer about 10 years ago my Nephew happened across Timmy's Web Site and gave me the address. I contacted him. WALA' instant friends again. Now I have mentioned these things to Tommy and he doesn't remember a bit of it. It is glued in my memory and I'll never forget the first time someone gave me flowers. Guess that is the difference between boys/men & girls/women. We women remember the sweet things better.
Tommy was usually just as close as an E-Mail or the phone so when it got harder to get in touch with him I should have recognized something was wrong but somehow I didn't. Then when he called and talked for an hour or more in March I still didn't notice anything different. Now looking back I can see things that I should have seen then and it hurts that I didn't. Tommy didn't tell me he was dying and when his Daughter called to tell me I was way passed being shocked. It hit me hard and I still don't understand why he chose not to tell me. It hurt worse that way.
Very often since April something will come up and I'll think, 'I gotta tell Tommy about that, or I gotta ask Tommy about that', then it hits me. Tommy is gone and it is still hard.
Thank you Tommy for being my friend and for leaving me with such fond memories. You are missed.
Tags: Memories Friend Death