Friday, February 11, 2005

My Old Friends, Susie & Ellie

My mother recently asked me if I'd heard from old childhood friends of mine, Susie & Ellie. Each beautiful and smart and very important and constant friends until we all left in different directions for college. My life took a different direction to theirs and we just grew apart. Our parents moved, we moved and we just got busy with the minutae of lives. And the answer to my mother's question was no, I hadn't heard from either of them in years. I'd thought of them often, though, and hoped Susan was doing well and feared that Ellen probably wasn't.

So, acting on my mother's question, I sent a Christmas card to Susan at the last address I had for her. It was returned, unopened, with a "no longer at this address" message. I did a search online and found what I hoped was her office address, and I wrote to her. And then, a couple of days ago, she sent me an email.

Susan was well and her children and husband were doing well. Ellen, though, had died this past September. She had been institutionalized for over 30 years in San Jose, CA. I didn't know this. I strongly suspected it, but I never knew it for sure. This beautiful, beautiful young woman had grown older, just as we all had, but had never enjoyed the journey. She had never known the particularly sweet joy of motherhood or the enduring love of one man. She lived a half-life for more than half of her life. I knew Ellie was sick the last time I saw her...over 30 years ago. I suspected that she would never properly heal.

I mourn for all that she never could be. Good night, sweet girl.

2 Comments:

Blogger HEAVENLY WOMAN said...

...FOR MANY YEARS I DID NOT FEEL THAT MY SON WOULD SEE THIS 30TH BIRTHDAY.....LIFE HAS NOT BEEN EASY FOR HIM....BUT HE IS DOING WELL COMPARED TO YEARS PAST........HE DID SEE HIS 30TH BIRTHDAY..LIFE CERTAINLY HAS TESTED ALL INVOLVED IN HIS SURVIVAL......FUNNY THING IS.....I NEVER GAVE UP ON HIM.......ONE SIBBLING WANTED TO TOSS HIM AWAY LIKE HE WAS A DISPOSABLE PIECE OF FURNITURE.....I WOULD NEVER ALLOW HIM TO COMPLETELY DISOWN HIS BROTHER..I WOULD TELL HIM NOT TO COMPLETELY CLOSE THE DOOR ON HIM......NOW YEARS LATER THAT SON IS VERY CLOSE WITH THE BROTHER HE WANTED TO GIVE UP ON....ONE NEVER KNOWS............

3:01 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

heavenly,
I am so pleased that your son has made it and that you are all feeling more hope for his future. What a heavy burden for him and for all of the family mental illness is. I wish you courage and patience and all the best.

9:05 PM  

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