Dear Cousin Mary,
I don’t know when you and mom began meeting for your lunch dates, I just remember that when I learned of them it made me happy. Many on dad’s side had stopped communicating with her, and she lost a dear friend in one of our aunts, after the divorce. But many of the nieces and nephews felt she would always be Aunt Marty to them. You were one of those who kept in touch, and she looked forward to your meet-ups. She was always the best keeper of secrets so she never shared more than to say what a delightful time she had and how much she valued the ongoing friendship you both shared.
Barely 2 weeks after you lost your own mother, mine joined the dearly departed in eternity. Despite having lost your mom twice, once to dementia and then to death, with a heart full of fresh, raw grief, you were right there for me and my sister. Your loving texts, the card and flowers from you and your siblings, helped us so much. As I’ve navigated the loss and learning how to live without mom, you have been a lighthouse on the wild waves of the sea of grief. So many times your texts of inspiration and love come at just the right moment to help me reground. Our lengthy phone calls through those first difficult months helped me so much more than I can ever express.
Who knew that those crazy little kids flying down the sidewalk on Regina Avenue on rickety old tricycles would one day grow up to have such a special friendship 50+ years later? Family is so dear and so important, and you especially are the crown jewel for me.
Thank you so much for your love you so willingly shared in the middle of your own turmoil. I love you so much, Mary, and I’m so grateful for the friendship we share.