Sunday, November 2, 2008

So many stories to tell

Wendy's son Brian called yesterday. We'd never met, although I knew Brian and his late brother from the pride in Wendy's voice when she spoke of them.

There were so many address books, names and lists of people Wendy knew, it wasn't possible for Brian and his family to contact everyone. There are, after all, still boxes and boxes of her papers and things to go through and not much leisure in which to do it. So, this young man who had lost his wonderful mother apologized to me for not calling to let me know she was ill. That's how she raised him.

We talked for a while ... me, the college buddy who had memories of his mother he couldn't begin to know. How could I explain those laugh-til-you-cry times we spent together? Wendy and I in Barrett House on the Trenton State College campus, staying overnight with Doris Perry, the house faculty member and college psychologist who had adopted us as the daughters she never had. Her apartment was so tiny there wasn't enough room to turn around. Her bedroom was a little part of the living room, set apart by a sliding plastic door. After a potpourri dinner, we three decided to bring a mattress from one of the empty rooms upstairs down to Doris' apartment to sleep on. Picture a 41-year-old woman and two co-eds, 18 and 19 respectively, lugging an unwieldy hunk of batting down a slightly curving staircase. Of course it got wedged in between the bannister and the wall. Of course we ended up sliding down the mattress from top to bottom, giggling uncontrollably. Of course we got very little sleep, but the memory of that night was relived again and again.

Wendy had an infectious laugh and marvelously caring nature. We had a momma-loves-you-best relationship when it came to Doris, whose approval we both sought constantly, but who loved us both enough to give us what we needed proportionately and always just at the right time.

Those were the days, my friends. Now both Doris and Wendy are gone. Makes one think long and hard about who might be next.



At August 8, 2013 at 9:48 AM , Blogger charles said...

Doris was very special and helpful. O lost touch with her in 1985. Can u tell me about her last years in flA.


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