Tonight there’s a Sandy-sized hole in my heart.
Sandy was a close, dear friend in high school. We had a lot of adventures together. We lost touch for a while after high school, but a few years back we finally reconnected.
Whenever I made it back to Vermont I always made a point to get together if we possibly could. When I couldn’t get to Vermont or she was off being a snowbird in Florida we would swap jokes and snarky comments online.
Today a fair-to-middlin’ shitty day got a whole lot worse when I got a call from Jackie, her partner of I-don’t-even-know how many years. Sandy had been fine on Saturday night, stayed up late to chat with her brother who was visiting. Sunday morning she was gone, peacefully, in her sleep.
We’ve had classmates that have passed away in the 45+ years. Some I barely knew, some I had at least a passing acquaintance with, one or two that I had been close to back in the day. But none so far that I had been this close to. This one hit me like a brick.
It will take a few days to process, and probably more to accept. I’ll never forget her smile, her laugh, or her bear hugs.
In 2015 when I was back in Vermont to visit my mother as she went downhill, Sandy took me out for a kayaking day around Center Pond in northern Vermont. While I’ll cherish my memories of her from high school, I’ll equally cherish the memories of this day on the lake with the loons. And I’m glad that we made time to get together in June when we were back for my 45th.