Debbie and me
My heart is burdened and broken with yet another profound loss. I found out yesterday that my very first childhood best friend passed away in 2010.
Debbie was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I last spoke to her in 1994. The last straw in our relationship came for me when she chose drugs over her four year old son and abandoned him to her husband.
While out running errands, I would catch glimpses of her a few times later in 94 or 95, around the neighborhood with a shopping cart, like one of the many struggling or homeless in Los Angeles. I would never see her again.
In the back of my mind, I always knew the chances of her still being with us were slim. Alcohol and substance abuse recovery rates are very very low and she had never been willing to admit she had a problem, let alone seek help.
But still the heart hopes.
November 8th would have been her 59th birthday. She was continually on my mind. I felt her presence so strongly this month.
And yesterday, I felt the need to see if I could find something out. Thinking I was looking for a phone number or address online, I found instead, an obituary notice. In shock and disbelief, I logged onto my Ancestry.com account and it confirmed that she had passed away in April of 2010.
The tears flow unabated, like Niagara Falls. Regret fills me. I should have just been there. No child grows up dreaming of being an alcoholic or an addict, or living a life hurting and disappointing those they love. I should have found a way to be there.
I don't know what happened to her, will most likely never know. I long to know she was loved and cared for.
I met Debbie in Kindergarten. She was blonde, full of life and fearless. I was brunette, scared of my own shadow and the description "painfully shy" was made for me.
Debbie's parents were fifty when she was born, her mom had been told that she would never have children and then SURPRISE!, here came Debbie. Debbie was adored and doted on. Her father built her room sized Christmas scenes every holiday to enchant her. Her mother made most of her clothes and all her Halloween costumes. For her sixth birthday, Dorothy made her a clown outfit for her birthday party that was at the TV show, Chucko the Clown - her outfit was identical to Chucko's. I remembered it to this day, she and Chucko together.
I learned to swim with Debbie - I was petrified and she had nerves of steel.
I wanted to take ballet because Debbie did - she'd been taking it since she was three. I longed to be a ballerina but after one day of a cranky instructor barking at my seriously-low-self-esteem-self, that was the end of my ballerina dreams.
Debbie was always the most popular. She was a friend to everyone and everyone wanted to be her pal.
Our friendship would wax and wane from 1959 to 1994, but she was always there. Her last gift of friendship to me was buoying my spirits and telling me I deserved so much better, when I (ironically) left my alcoholic ex-husband.
Love you always, dearest and best of friends!