I miss you, Beesley.

I have missed you for so long.

It’s not going to get better.

I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll start in Washington state in the summer of 1994. That shyness that turned out to be integrity that turned out to be understated sarcasm that turned out to be a sense of humor that always struck me as Canadian. We were instant friends. We would sit together on travel days and talk about what we wanted in life. I would eat half her sack lunch, I was always hungry, she rarely was. We kept in touch after the time on the road as Up With People students, met at the reunion, I got to talk to her husband and I liked him just as instantly. I never got the chance to meet her daughter, that now nine year old girl who always smiles in pictures with those brand new adult teeth she’s got. Sierra.

Sierra’s mother is gone now. Cancer was all over her, brutally and relentlessly, and she died peacefully in Ontario this morning. I have been looking at the chat column on Facebook, out on the right, like I was monitoring an ECG curve. Every day. Online recently, still with us.

Now it says 1d next to her name and there is no making that shorter.

Brenda, by the way. Brenda Beesley. I sometimes called her by last name since she sometimes did with me. She was now Brenda Ridgway as married. She got 45 years, and lots of friends who remember exactly how she laughed when she laughed really hard.

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