Her name was Annie. We met years ago through a mutual friend. Annie was ten years younger, about 6 inches taller and a whole lot friendlier than me. She was always super friendly and funny. While we were mostly breezy and looking to get into fun trouble, we found empathy and compassion for each other’s struggles. We had some great conversations about life in our more contemplative moments.
Along with our guys, we were part of a larger group of friends who traveled to see our favorite band play. Together we had fantastic musical experiences in Jamaica, Las Vegas and up and down the California coast. We even made it to Woodstock for a wedding officiated by our favorite rockstar. The entire time, we laughed and laughed and laughed.
Annie was always upbeat and inclusive, in contrast to my sarcastic, moody and weird artsy self. She easily had me lighten up and truly brought out my goofiest side. She loved to shop for handmade goodies and was always buying treats for her wide circle of friends. I loved all the goodies she found for me. She was close to many of our mutual acquaintances. If there was a birthday, Annie would organize the group celebration. Annie was a treasure that was lost too soon.
The call came early on a November morning, and at first, I thought it was a prank because the man on the other end sounded strange. It was Annie’s husband who was distraught. It took minutes before I could comprehend who was telling me that someone was gone? Some deep breaths later, I realized it was Annie who was gone, lost to us. She had only just learned she had a medical challenge and was only just researching treatment options. She hadn’t time to tell most friends about it. Death came in the middle of the night, unexpectedly and unfairly premature. Annie didn’t even have time to fight. I’ve lost many good friends but Annie’s death hits me in a different way and some days, I’m still inconsolable. My beautiful Formosan Mountain dog, named for Annie reminds of my friend and her qualities of kindness, positivity and humor.
Annie was a gem of a woman. She couldn’t be happy unless everyone surrounding her was happy and she had the talent to bring even an old curmudgeon like me, into the light. She was a treasure that is very dearly missed.