By Lee Scott
I lost a friend last week. She was my next-door neighbor and a member of The Greatest Generation. We had only known each other for about four years, but we had a lot in common even though there was an age difference. In fact, she was more of a contemporary to me than some people my own age.
There is an old saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” The “gold” friends are the ones who know everything about you and have lived some of those life experiences. But the “silver” friends are in the discovery phase; everything you say is fresh to them and all the old stories are new, having never been heard before.
I was her silver friend, but she had many gold friends too. Family and friends who had known her story for years. But the experiences in life are viewed differently as you grow older and shared with a new friend. She was able to understand that new perspective. Regardless, we were old souls together. We loved drinking Pouilly-Fuisse wine and telling our own version of our lives.
I cannot tell you specifically what we talked about. The conversations were just easy. You know the kind of friend I am talking about here. Those people who make you feel comfortable and light up when they see you, and vice versa. People who know you well enough to understand your joys and sorrows. I remember when Bailey, my cocker spaniel, died last year, it was she who sent a beautiful hand-written note that read: “I know he is irreplaceable and I send my condolences to all of you.” People who have gone through the same thing, understand. She touched our hearts.
Last year, I taught her how to Skype. She had a blast. We sat there like two teenagers, “Now who should we call?” I texted my son and told him to answer a Skype call from her. “Why hello!” he said. Then we tried calling her son. What fun! I talked to her about Facetime too and how easy it was for me to keep in touch with kids and grandkids.
I was in the Bahamas when I heard about her death. At noon, when the bells of Saint James Methodist Church rung in Hopetown, I thought about her. She and I both shared a belief in God and the afterlife. And I said a prayer of thanks to God for allowing this woman into my life.
And so, Sally, I expect, when it is my time, you will have that bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse chilled and waiting for me. I hope to have many more conversations with you and please say hello to Bailey.