Ruby Two

For anyone’s information (if they even care), I have decided to just send Ruby’s husband a nice (written) card and feel sorry for myself here instead of paying $1,000 to feel sorry for myself. I will wait for the Memorial moment and will sit here and remember here. There are a few reasons for this decision other than the cost. Later, after I had written my last post I sat down to see the logistics from here to there and back again. I emailed one of my special friends to see if he would escort me to the memorial because he knew her even better than I and we were still keeping in touch and we had been almost best friends. I know he had been best friends with my husband and they had worked together. When we moved to Northern California he often came up to visit and party with us. He responded with “No, I’m not going to the Memorial” That was it. So, blubber mouth that I am I asked “well, don’t you even want to see me?” and he replied with “of course, maybe we can do brunch.”
Well, I have to admit that that sucked the air out of my lungs for a few minutes. Brunch? After not seeing each other for 30 years? That’s it? I mean, it’s not that I wanted him to jump my bones but gee – how about a little pleasure, excitement and surprise about seeing each other again after so long? So, I lost two friends and that took care of the rest of the day. As my husband says…”stupid is as stupid does, you’re way too sensitive and I can’t tell you what to do or say because I hate people myself”.
Alrightee then. I must have misunderstood. I’m always doing that so, blubber mouth that I am, I called my “friend” (forgetting the time difference between NY and CA) and said “what the heck is going on with you? (using a different word) and he said “can’t we talk about this later”, which I replied “no, I want it straight off the cuff”. So he explained that I’m a little more sensitive than most friends and he has “moved on” from that group of people. I asked “and me?” He said, “yes, and you”. I asked him about all the emails, the telephone calls, the Christmas cards… and he said he didn’t mind them but that he had “moved on”. OK. Well then. I said thanks, hung up the telephone and grabbed a dry dog.
I’m sorry. I can’t believe that. Are all my past friends past. Should I only send Christmas cards to my new friends? Maybe I should send Christmas cards to my old friends and always mark them “Postmaster: Please advise Moving On Address”. No wonder this world is so screwed up! I mean, should I be tough and that way, too? If I see an old woman walking down the street with her purse should I grab it an run thinking that “hey, if I wouldn’t have taken it then someone else would”! Well, youch. I’m thinking that maybe I don’t want to be here so much any more and that it is a really good thing that they invented my brand of antidepressant even though it doesn’t work as well on some days.
But then it came to me. Like a bolt of lightning actually. NO! He has not moved on. I have left him behind. And if he tripped and fell and I turned around and saw him, stupid or not, darned if I wouldn’t go back and help him. I’ve always supposed that I’m on a different path than a lot of people that I know and my friends are on that same path with me. Now I’ve learned that some of my friends just give up and sit down on a stump and there they stay until karma hits them up again.
So, I’m not feeling too well, but I am feeling better and my other friends are just going to have to tell me (if they want) that they are tired and want to sit and wave me on. Only this time I’ll see the wave.


When I was a youngster and in Girl Scouts we used to sing this song “Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold”. For over a year now I don’t think that there has been a day that I haven’t thought of Ruby. When Ruby and I could physically see each other we only saw each other three or four times a year. When my Hubby and I moved to Northern California she and her partner would come up for a yearly weekend and we would all go wine tasting and they would buy their yearly supply of wine. When we moved to Maine it was Christmas greetings only. She would send her card with sparkly things in it and every year I would curse at myself for being so stupid as to open it so they dumped everywhere and I would have to pick them up!
Then, when Ruby got sick the last time we started corresponding by email and I got closer and closer to her. She was one of the most courageous, cheerful people that I have ever known going through what she did. She was always optimistic. Then she stopped writing and I continued but I knew that I was going to lose her as I knew her. This was confirmed by her husband this week by email stating that she had wished to have a memorial service and get together for friends and family in February.
As I sit here having to stop typing and wiping off the alcohol tears from the top of my dog’s head, I realize that I shouldn’t drink when I’m sad and that I took this passing pretty hard for not having heard her voice for 30 odd years. But if there is Karma, Ruby is going to come back a pretty special person if she does come back.
When I received her husbands email, I already knew what had happened without even reading the subject line. However, I was thrown by the fact that I was one of the elite invited to the memorial. That would be a long, sad, expensive trip. However, I have learned at times like this that sometimes it is better to grieve with others and get it out of your system rather than holding it inside so I decided that it probably would be good for me to attend. Also, Ruby was not the only person that I loved in Southern California. I don’t have too many friends because I have moved so much but the ones that I have, I have held onto without seeing for many years and have held onto them via the written word with once in a while a telephone call. Again, I have moved so many times that almost all of my friends ARE long distance. So, I thought that perhaps there could be more good in the trip that Ruby was giving me.
The big thing is that I’m saving my money to go to Colorado with Karla for her first dog show. This trip would probably cost a good $1,000.00 for the cheapest round trip air fare, hotel for a minimum of two nights, taxi twice from and to LAX and the Hotel in downtown Los Angeles (almost), food and (of course) a good old Los Angeles margarita or two. So, I would want to make it worth it. Since my Hubby’s sister lives in Seal Beach I could maybe stay there. But, she and her Hubby had made plans eons ago to go on a trip so I wouldn’t even get to see them. They, of course, offered the house but a taxi from there would be outrageous! My girlfriend in Anaheim said she would like to get together if I came out. An old friend right by the Hotel didn’t have email and I know that he had been having health problems. In fact, I’m missing two years of Christmas cards from him so I have to get on that to see what is going on. Another close friend said that they were not going to the memorial and perhaps we could meet for brunch. The rest of the group of us I hadn’t kept in touch with. I still loved them but why contact them now?
Thinking about all this makes it even more depressing. These are friends but these are not friends that you can rely on if you are in trouble. Not one of them immediately said “oh! I haven’t seen you for years! I’ll cancel my plans and you can stay here! Please!”
So here we go again. Does this make me a sucker or am I too sensitive or am I just stupid when I hear that other friends from other places are coming here and I say “if you don’t see me I’m going to kill you!” And it really isn’t the money. I have a brother-friend that I love to have stay here. I wish he would move in. I would never ask someone that I didn’t think was close to me if I could stay. Actually, I planned to stay in the hotel but it would have been nice for me to say “nah, thanks very much but really…”
This puts a whole new perspective on the trip. Do I wish to spend $1,000.00 when I know that Ruby would want me to do what I want to do. It doesn’t make me love my friends there any less, but it does make me look at them in an entirely different perspective. What I would do for them is not necessarily what they would do for me. For instance, I don’t think they would come out here if my dog died like I drove to Maine to be with my girlfriend when hers passed unexpectedly. In fact, if my husband died I don’t think they would come out here either because why come out to see just one person? Exactly.
So what would you do?