I’m sad today. I lost another friend. I say another, because I lost a life-long, childhood girlfriend almost a decade ago; but that is another blog. Today, this is about Lana.
Lana and I met through work back in the 1970s. We were kindred spirits. We were both from small towns. We both were country girls living in the big city. Life was so much fun.
She was a single woman, after a divorce; and I was a married woman, on my way to a divorce. I asked her once to dinner at my home one evening. My soon to be ex-husband complained about the food right in front of her. He didn’t want spaghetti that night. She didn’t bad mouth him then, but about eighteen months later after he moved out, I found out that she wanted to punch him in the face that night.
Because of our work, we traveled together. Traveling with her was such an adventure. The piles of luggage alone were comical. She always wore way too much makeup, but I never said anything. I didn’t need to, because her mother did that enough. Lana traveled with a plastic fishing tackle box full of face creams, eye shadows, lipsticks, and anything else she thought she might need. She traveled like someone out of “Downton Abbey”, but without a porter. One good steamer trunk might have sufficed, but I’m not sure.
We partied hard, talked about everything, shared clothes, and dreamed dreams. One time we were at dinner in a very nice restaurant. I was having trouble cutting my steak, when my hand slipped and my surf flew out of my plate. She casually leaned down and retrieved my shrimp out of her shoe. The girl had taken off her shoes in this very nice eating establishment; but she never missed a beat when she said with a wink, “I guess you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” Of course, she meant both of us. There were some puzzled looks around the table, but she kept my secret. We laughed and laughed over that one.
Finally, we moved on with our lives. She left and moved back to her hometown. We both remarried. For the past twenty years, we kept up with each other over the phone. Every once in a while, we would get together again; and it was like we had never parted.
This morning I got a phone call from her oldest daughter. Lana passed away three days ago. Brittany was so apologetic. They had already held her service; and in the calm of the aftermath, someone finally remembered to give me a call.
I cannot blame them for forgetting. They’re all young girls in the prime of their lives with young children of their own. It was truly a shock. Lana had a massive heart attack.
It is so sad to lose an old friend. I’m sitting here, remembering all the good times we had together. Lana was the epitome of something Rosalind Russell said, “Taking joy in life is a woman’s best cosmetic.” Lana was once the joy in my life.
Thank goodness for wonderful memories that sustain us when life moves on.