Remembering the little things.

This little box has sat in the back of my nightstand drawer for years. My friend Candy gave it to me one year for Christmas back when we were in college, telling me I needed a pretty little something on my coffee table. I’m not sure when it got relegated to the drawer in my night stand – while I clearly didn’t use it anymore, I never could quite bring myself to get rid of it because it felt like getting rid of a piece of my youth. A pretty piece of it.

I met Candy my first year at Auburn – I don’t entirely remember how, it may have been because she was neighbors with Michael, although I feel like I had seen her around before that. She was roommates with Andrea one year and Sheilah the next, which is how she became one of those people I somehow still kept up with as I moved through life even though I’m really lousy at it.

After college, we’d get together every so often – the last time was in Asheville in 2018, where Candy took it upon herself to use her points to snag us a free hotel room. There was a great rooftop bar at that hotel that she liked hanging at, but the rest of us were so delighted to be away from our husbands and children that we just wanted to sit in our hotel room and drink cheap wine, which I know was slightly disappointing to Candy.

We did a few zooms over the last few years – we invited her to join us on our trip to the Smokies last summer, but it didn’t work out and I can’t remember why. I figured we’d try again this summer or whenever we did our next girls trip.

But then her health went downhill and suddenly we were getting these updates of her fighting for her life. She made improvements but there was a horrible set back. In the end, her heart just gave out.

She’s the second friend I’ve lost in two weeks, the third in two months. That’s a lot of loss – does this mean I’m at the age where these things happen? I’m not ready for that. I’m still only 52. I thought that age was older than this. I want it to be older than this. I want to somehow remember the things I’ve gotten from these people I’ve lost recently – there are so many little things we pick up from others, make part of us and carry the rest of the way regardless of how long they stay in our lives. Not just sweet little porcelain boxes, but the importance of using fresh garlic, fresh everything really when we cook (Candy was making veritable gourmet meals while I was still very content to exist on take out pizza) as well the idea that we should treat ourselves to nice things regularly. Candy definitely preferred the nicer things.

She was, as Sheilah said this morning, “a force of nature…a Titan in Tinkerbell’s body. You couldn’t not be drawn into her light. She was crazy and outspoken and funny as hell. She partied hard and loved her people harder. The last months of her life were exceptionally cruel to her, her boyfriend and her family.”

I went digging for that box that I had held onto for no purpose when I heard the news. I wanted something tangible to hold, something I could say, she was in my life. I was surprised to find some long dried out remains on the inside when I opened it, something Candy would no doubt be thoroughly disappointed in. She was never one to waste a good time – maybe those remains are a good way of reminding myself of the same thing.

2 thoughts on “Remembering the little things.

  1. Thrift at Home says:

    “A Titan in Tinkerbell’s body” – amazing. Candy sounds wonderful. So sorry you lost your friend, Becky. Glad you have the pretty little box to hold.
    It recently occurred to me that my parents are old and that old people are closer to death, statistically, than the rest of us. It was not a good feeling. Like you said, “I thought that age was older than this. . . ” sighhhhhh

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