Wednesday, May 15, 2019

You Always Think You Have Time ...


You always think you have time, and then one morning 
you get an unexpected phone call, and you realize you that you don't.

I received such a call from my sisters Donnie and Barbie, almost two weeks ago.
They broke the devastating news that I was about to lose a special friend.
Then, a few days ago, Donnie called, and I knew my friend was gone.
Actually, all that my friend was disappeared days before her body failed.

My friend lived a long way from me, and my only comfort was
that her family read my final email to her while she was still aware.

I am sharing this to remind you that life is fleeting
and that even the most vibrant, active person can unimaginably be struck down,
that life is precious and you must make the most of it while you have it,
that you must hold the people you love close
and tell them how important they are to you and why,
and that you must never take life, time, and people for granted in the busyness of life
because you always think you have time.

I've been through all kinds of powerful emotions since that first devastating phone call,
but tonight I am feeling peace and a quiet grateful joy.
I've been poring through photographs, and letters, and newspaper clippings for days,
reliving our friendship of almost fifty-one years.
I am thankful that my friend is in a better place and beyond pain and suffering.

We met in early September 1968 in Geology 100,
two of four girls very visible in a class with fifty some guys.
It was a time when few young women tackled geology, and we survived together.


Surviving and Thriving
Yours Truly (left)  Lynn (right)
Geology, Acadia  
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


We both thought geology was the coolest thing ever!
The classes, the labs, the field trips, it was exciting,
as was the camaraderie we developed with some great guys.

And most of them were great, although there were a few guys
who did everything they could to drive us out of our major.
They didn't.  We were there for the long haul.


Camaraderie at Its Best
Paul and Lynn
Geology, Acadia  
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



The two of us made the front page of The Northern Miner newspaper
in the summer of 1969, Canada's leading mining journal, the bible of the industry.
That was because we were part of the first female crew
hired by a private company to do geological field work in Nova Scotia:
prospecting for gold!

Of course we were teased terribly,
because this was not how girls were supposed to look
or behave in the summer of 1969!


  









We had lots of geological adventures, but more importantly
we shared the secrets of our hearts and minds,
all the silly boyfriend and love drama,
the hopes and dreams of teenagers changing into young women,
the antics and crazy situations find yourself in when you are young and immortal.

We persevered, we graduated, we married. 
We ended up in different countries with a continent between us.
We rarely saw each other, but we remained in constant touch throughout the years
throughout the challenges of life.
She was grounded and rooted; I was the rolling stone.


Camaraderie at Its Best
Me, Lynn, and Elsie (who followed us into geology) 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



It's unimaginable that my healthy, active, vibrant friend 
was quickly struck down by an aggressive illness out of nowhere.

I have another hole in my heart that will never close.
I sometimes feel my heart has turned to Swiss cheese;
I've lost too many people I have loved.

But I have learned to find joy in my memories of those I have lost
and to hope that somewhere in time or outside of it we will meet again.

My friend lived a full and active life, so loved by so many.
My heart aches for all the people who knew and loved Lynn.
I hope, that like me, they are finding solace in their memories and their hopes.

I remember one rainy afternoon in Portree, Cape Breton,
when it was too cold and too wet to work outside in the field.
Lynn, Elsie, some neighborhood kids, and I found a stack of dusty old 78s
in a forgotten corner of our outbuilding office.
We discovered a gem, the original 1957 recording of "Daddy Cool" by the Rays.



In short order we had
our tiny office rocking,
maps, reports, and rain forgotten, 
as we all danced around wildly.

Our Tiny Field Office 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



During the rest of the summer of 1969 we nearly wore that 78 out,
and boy did we dance and laugh!

This is for you, my very-much-missed friend:


"Daddy Cool" by the Rays






Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


When I was young and immortal
and danced to "Daddy Cool"
Portree, Cape Breton
July 1969
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved









Notes:  
1.  My sister Donnie and one of Lynn's sisters also met at Acadia and have likewise remained
     close friends throughout the last half century.

2.  I won't be publishing another post this Friday.  I sat down this evening to begin writing something
     entirely different to publish on Friday, and out this came. 


40 comments:

  1. I know the feeling Fundy Blue, having just lost a son.
    A wonderful post to read but tear jerking.
    May your friend Rest In Peace.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne! I know that you understand. I have no doubt that she is at peace, and I believe she is in a much better place with the loved ones she lost.

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  2. Sorry to hear about your friend. Yeah, we just never know when us or any around us could be close to the end. Have to enjoy life and make sure those close to us know we care and those that aren't close to us but pretend to be, well we can make sure they know what we think too as we kick em to the curb. Have to enjoy the best we can we those that matter most.

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    1. Thanks, Pat! Well said! I've read your books, I've seen the animals that surround you, I've seen your "poop machines" comfortably at home with Uncle Pat ~ I have no doubt that you give lots of enjoyment and love to the people close to you.

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  3. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. My deepest sympathies on your loss. You, she and other young women of that time who opened up the professions were trailblazers for the rest of us.

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    1. Thanks, Debra! Of course, as young women of the late 1960s we avidly discussed the issues of the time. "Consciousness-raising" was the term we all used to describe the movement among young women to break down barriers and create more opportunities for ourselves and other women. However, I certainly didn't think of myself as a trailblazer. My friend and I were very aware of the opportunity we had, and we worked very hard to show that young women could handle field work and hardship as competently as young men. But mostly we were caught up in the excitement, joy, and fun of doing what we loved and all the complex experiences and transitions of the late teens and early twenties.

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  4. This is a beautifully written post for your friend. I am certain that her family is grateful to see these words and I bet thankful that they could read your email to her. I am sorry for your loss. Take great care of yourself. x

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Kay. Her family has received many stories and tributes about Lynn, and I hope each one brings them support, comfort, and peace. You take great care of yourself too, my friend. You've been through a tough time yourself in recent weeks. Hugs to you!

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  5. Very sorry to hear you lost your dear friend. Prayers and thoughts with you and her family. Keep all those memories in a special place.

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    1. Thanks, Alex, for your kind words and prayers. Those memories are safe in my heart.

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  6. I'm sorry for you Louise :( What a nice post, the photos are wonderful. Take care, sending hugs. xxx

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  7. I'm so very sorry. She would be touched by your fond memories of her.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! Your words mean a great deal to me.

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  8. I'm sorry for your loss. At least you appreciate your time with them. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Thanks, Anna! We must remember to appreciate those who are important to us and to let them know what they mean to us.

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  9. I am sorry for your lost, but I enjoyed learning about your shared adventures in Geology... Late last year I lost a friend who went back to when I was in the 4th grade. It was hard. Then, another friend from that era lost his wife... It's never fun.

    Blessings!

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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    1. Thanks, Sage! It's always a pleasure to hear from you! It's never fun, but if we're fortunate enough to live long enough, we have to face losses such as yours and mine. Blessings back at you!

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  10. My sincere condolences, Louise. And appreciation for The Rays' song,"Daddy Cool". I used their 1957 song (personal favorite), "Two Silhouettes On the Shade" in a January post. Mainly I remember the friends who shared those times --times we thought would never end and practically didn't. Cherished confidantes with minds like enchanted pools, bringing magic to the surface to surround me like a mist. So many gone, but their magic remains.

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    1. Thank you, Geo! Your words are a magical balm. Your sentence about remembering friends so perfectly captures those heady confidences and times. I often think of the things you have written about God, and it has given me a much needed surge of hope since I read them.

      I actually didn't remember that it was the Rays who sang "Daddy Cool" so I didn't make the connection when I read your post in January. I spent some time tracking down the song and listening on You Tube until I found the version I remembered. Google, You Tube, and Wikipedia are my memory's crutches ~ LOL

      Have a good one, my friend.

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  11. I am so sorry for your loss of such close friend dear Louise!!!!!!!!!!!!

    how coincidentally that last week i was called and told about sudden death of my childhood friend in native village ,i could not stop myself from crying on phone as her all times we spent together were rolling front of my eyes

    thank you for sharing these treasured images and glorious memories with us that made us know how precious lady she was and how fast friends you both were !

    such loss is beyond expression and i can say this by personal experience

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    1. I am so sorry for your loss, Baili, and I understand. It is always a shock and a deep sorrow to lose someone important to you. You're right ~ "beyond expression." Sending you a giant hug my friend, and thank you for your lovely comment, even as it held a personal and heartbreaking loss.

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  12. Oh, Louise, I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending you lots of hugs. I hope the wonderful memories you have help ease some of the grief you are feeling. xo

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    1. Thanks, Martha! I appreciate the hugs! When you're nineteen, sixty-nine seems impossibly far away; but let me tell you, it arrived really fast. My memories are like yesterday. Wishing you a happy week!

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  13. Hi Louise,
    I too understand the grief in loss of loved ones, I still see in my mind my father passing away in front of me when I was eleven years old.
    At the age of twenty eight I had a near death experience and if your friend is in the place I was taken to then she will be in the most beautiful place imaginable with a love beyond compare.

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    1. Hi, Brenda! Thank you for your comforting words and for sharing these memories. You never forget being with a loved one who passes away. For me it was my mother. I haven't had a near death experience, although I had an out of body experience once when I was held under gunpoint and thought I was about to die. I wasn't afraid. I had a powerful feeling of peace, even though I knew I was about to die right there and then. I have no doubt that Lynn is in the beautiful and loving space you shared. Your words are simple, but wonderful, and I appreciate them so much. I stopped by your blogs briefly, and I will go back and read them more thoroughly. Thank you for your kindness in reaching out to a stranger with soothing, hopeful words.

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    2. You are very welcome Louise. If you ever want to read of my near death experience it is at the top of the right hand sidebar on my lighthousevision blog.

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  14. I'm sorry for the loss of your cherished friend. May your memories bring you comfort.

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss!! This is such a beautiful tribute to your friend!! Thank you for sharing her with us!! Louise it is so hard, hang on to those memories!! They are wonderful! Sending you Big Healing Hugs!!
    (I apologize for not being around! I am so behind in blog land, thank you for checking in with me!)

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    1. Thank you so much, Stacy! It was a shock for me, so I can't imagine how difficult it was for my friend's family. Lynn was a special person, and I will never forget her laugh.

      I am never going to catch up in blog land! No need for you to apologize! Your hugs are much appreciated!

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  16. It's very sad :((( I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  17. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. A fifty year friendship is a rare and special one, indeed. No doubt you made a tremendous impact on her life, as I am sure she made one on yours too. May you be comforted with the memories you made with Lynn through the years ♥

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    1. Thank you for you kind and compassionate comment, Theresa! It's still hard to believe it's really real.

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.