Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My friend, Alice

 In the city where I live, where many of my friends live, there is no reason to identify a person as "my friend". In the ever-shrinking circle of wagons that protect me, no known enemy approaches, and we are all friends. By my age, all those who have no particular interest in me and my well-being, have all dropped away, out of sight.

But after I have called Alice, in Massachusetts, I always explain that I have spoken to "my-friend-Alice". She has only been in Columbus once, and that was Christmas vacation of my freshman year in college. 1938. Not one person who met her then is still alive.

Yesterday, I reached her answering machine. We hadn't talked since I went into Hospice care, and it seemed strange that she wasn't home. Ten minutes later she returned my call: she was still in Rockport, at a house on the beach there. It had been her parents house, where she, her sister and brother- in- law live during the summer. She has her own apartment in town and she is returning there next week.

"How are you"?, I asked, of course. "Well, I'm fine" she answered, except I had to have some surgery on my eye this summer, and so I am just seeing out of one eye, but that's ok"was  her answer.

"My friend, Charlotte from California from kindergarten came to visit", she told me. "I remember Charlotte", I told her, even though we had never met.

"Anything else new?", I queried. "I'm still doing a little counseling on the phone; just a few clients" . She is almost 91 years old, still working. Still of good cheer, a laugh peeking through her voice.

Alice got her MSW after her three boys were fairly grown; her nice, MD husband had died very young, and she has been a working single mother for quite a while. One of her sons became a doctor, too.

Plus, she must still be beautiful; she always was.The last time I saw her was at a college reunion nearly ten years ago, and, mirror, mirror on the wall, she was the fairest of us all. 

And so we touch base, and I feel refreshed and restored.

She is my friend Alice.  I confer the words as a title, which I bestow with respect and love. 


  1. Another uplifting post from "I wish she was 'my friend Phyllis'". :-)

  2. What a lovely tribute to your friend.

  3. "One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives."
    Euripides, Ancient Greek tragedian.

  4. Hello Mrs Green,

    This message is not related to the above post about your friend Alice which was very touching to read. I hope your friend Alice knows how you feel about her.

    This is to wish you a very happy 91st birthday for 20th October. I read on your blog post from 28 November 2009 that you had written, "I was ninety-years old on October 20 this year of our Lord, 2009. I love being 90." I hope you will also love being 91. Many happy returns. With best wishes,

  5. ♫ Happy Birthday Dear Mrs. Greene! ♫

  6. Dear Mrs Greene,

    I am sorry I forgot your birthday and so belated (best) wishes that it was fine.

    Hope you had a wonderful day.

    Kind regards

  7. some friendships never grow old. Those are priceless beyond words. Why are there so few? Or did I just not pay attention along the way?