A Tribute To A Dear Friend

   We who knew Marie, knew we had a friend indeed. Marie found me. She called me on the phone one day and introduced herself. She said, "I heard you need help finding work. I'll help you. I'll introduce you to some people and you can work with me for awhile. If you're as good as I am, I'll give you some of my people." We met and worked together for a time and she helped me break out on my own. We helped each other. We laughed, we visited each other, went out to dinner together, played tough games of scrabble into the wee hours, and remained good friends. Marie was and is an Angel. You couldn't get out of her house until she gave you something to eat and drink. She worked hard, and she loved it and because she did such beautiful work it was always something to be proud of. She had the patience of a saint! If it didn't come out perfect, she'd start all over again until it was the way she wanted it to look. I marveled at her tenacity. Marie could handle anything! She could always solve problems and give helpful hints when needed. She was a person who took pride in everything and it showed. She worked side by side with her husband time and again, and Dave took pride in her work with her. They were a good team. They knew how to work and how to play. They enjoyed life.

   There was much love in Marie's heart for everyone and everything. She called me over to the house one day to see the 'scrawny sick stray cat' that she fixed a warm bed for. She laughed heartily as she described how it ate and drank the milk nonstop and the more she fed it the more it ate. Soon she called to tell me how fat it was getting and hopefully now that it was well it could leave anytime. The next call was, "You'll never guess what happened! We got a bunch of cute little baby kittens! Do you want some?"

   Marie told it the way it is. There was no beating around the bush.

   In 1994, my father's lingering illness kept me busy and at home. I didn't get to see much of her and Dave. In 1995, after my father's passing, I was busy disposing of his properties and tending to his affairs, and again Marie and Dave and I would talk on the phone or run into each other on occasion. I  married, and Marie become ill, but that didn't stop her. She continued on with living and enjoying. When she and I had some spare moments, we talked about illness and death. She did not want to burden anyone, nor did she want to suffer. She always told me she wanted to go quickly and with a smile. I told her that I believe in Life after Life and she said she'd have to see it to believe it. We laughed heartily about that one. Then I told her that if she found out that I was right, I expected her to come back and tell me about it. She said, "You mean like, HAUNT YOU?" "No Marie", I said rather calmly. "Like tell me. Come and tell me about how beautiful it is there." Marie laughingly retorted, "Yeah, right. Well, I 'm not ready to go yet, so how about if we get together and play some scrabble?"

   The last time I talked to Marie, she called to ask if she could borrow a dress to wear to her daughter's wedding. She said, "I know you gained some weight since you got married, but so did I, and maybe your dress will fit me." I told her that mine was a bride dress, not a mother of the bride dress and she shouldn't outshine the bride, so she said she would try something else. I asked when we could get together and she told me we'd have to wait until they got back from her daughter's wedding. She was so proud of all her children and grandchildren and her family! She told me her voice was getting scratchy so I should talk to
Dave and make plans to go out when they got back. Dave and I talked, and we made the plans that he would call us when they got back and we'd go to our favorite place that they introduced me to a few years back. We would go to Marie's kitchen for spaghetti. I agreed.

   Time passed as I waited for the call. Maybe they decided to stay on a while longer and I'll hear from them later. More time passed. My husband and I stopped by the house and finding no one home, I wrote a note and placed it in the notepad holder outside the entry door. Several times, I stopped on the way to run an errand, and found the door open, but no one answered my knocks and bell ringing, so I thought they might be visiting somewhere in the neighborhood. I left my business card in the door and on the note holder. Still, there was no response.

   Time marched on. One Monday evening, some friends came over and we were Meditating. I had forgotten to turn off the phones, and the urgency to answer it was strong. My husband and I both went into the kitchen and he picked it up. It was Rose. "Tell Rene our best friend Marie died." I took the phone in disbelief. "Rose, what happened?" I blurted. Rose could hardly speak. She told me it happened Friday and that Dave was in Pennsylvania at the daughter's house. I took down the number and told Rose I'd get back to her later as I had to go back to my prayer group. I asked the group to pray for my girlfriend, Marie who just passed away Friday. It became very silent as the prayers were mentally sent out. During the Meditation Prayer, I asked Marie to come and talk to me. When I felt her presence very strongly, I asked, "Marie, what happened?" The thought of the Cancer crossed my mind. She answered, "It happened so fast that I didn't even know myself; Ren, but it wasn't from what you think. Call Dave." I almost cried then and there wondering that if it wasn't that, then what was it?" Marie answered again. "It wasn't the Cancer. It was my heart. Call Dave."

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