Sunday, February 19, 2012

Friendship Stories

It hardly seems possible, but three weeks ago I lost a dear friend to an untimely and unexpected death. For over 35 years Lydia Wells and I were the best of friends. As with many friends, we started out as work colleagues--for us in the Kentucky Department of Education. For a time we even shared an office, which worked out great. Lydia Wells was the mathematician and technology pioneer. I was the English major, writer and grammarian. She taught me math skills that I hadn't learned in high school and college and provided my first intro to computers and technology. I taught her to write letters and presentations that wouldn't put listeners or readers to sleep with boring education jargon. We kept up with this reciprocal learning outside the workplace as well. (This photo of us is from 2002, Lydia on the right. We're planning a trip to France.)

Since Lydia Wells' funeral, three close friends have been trying to carry out her last wishes. Those of you who knew her would not be surprised to learn that she had specific written directives for settling her affairs. The main thing was protecting her privacy and not being tacky with the way things were done--and, most importantly, finding a good home for her two beloved cats, Olive and Edith Ann. To that end, the Three Amigos, have been following her directions while sorting though her belongings. Along the way, we have found things that have made us laugh and cry as we remembered all the good times we had together. Yesterday I was thrilled to find this blast from the past, Lydia Wells' hand embroidered cutoffs from the 1960s hippie days! I remember her wearing these cutoffs--once for a formal dinner where she made individual shrimp molds and eclairs for dessert--all served on the fine family china and silver. The honored guest for this dinner was my new border collie puppy Zack.


Lydia Wells added to her "wearable art" as she developed new interests--flower gardening, palm trees for Jimmy Buffet and visits to Florida, animals that she loved, and a small airplane that she added when she got her amateur pilots license (which explains her Kittyhawk blogname--before that it was her CB moniker!). These cutoffs reminded me of another jeans related story. Lydia Wells was a great fancy needleworker, but she wasn't very handy with more pedestrian sewing like mending. Once she prepared my tax returns and I mended some jeans for her in return. As luck would have it, I got audited that year. So, like any good accountant, she went with me to the hearing. When the auditor asked if I'd paid her for her services. She said "Yes, she mended these jeans!" He burst out laughing much to the surprise of others in the office. I guess there's not much laughing at the IRS office?


I miss Lydia Wells so much, as do her many other close friends. She was passionate about many things--learning something new or challenging projects, helping animals and people, protecting the environment. She loved beauty in art and her home, travel, music, plays, and reading. I am blessed to have her as a friend and companion for these many years. Thanks for the memories, Lydia Wells.

11 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

she sounds like a true character and dear friend. i am sorry for your loss.

Victoria Cheek Derifield said...

Faye,
Thank you for these stories. I actually envy you three amigos . . . that you three knew her for so much longer than I. I hope you'll add more as time goes on. I miss her so much.

Jan n Jer said...

So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Faye. It sounds like she was a very interesting fun person to be around...may the happy memories ease the pain your feeling right now!

Living Life said...

Oh my. I'm so very sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your dear friend Lydia. What a nice tribute to her! May you always cherish the memories you had with her. God rest her soul.

joanygee said...

It's so sad to hear of the loss of your good friend. Yet you have such wonderful memories. I hope they will help you to cope.

Tammy said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend. She sounds like someone I would have enjoyed knowing. I bet she would like this tribute to your friendship.

Pamela said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. But I can't help but be jealous of such a wonderful friendship that survived, flourished, and colored your life with bright things and memories.

Deborah (Debs) Carr said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. She sounds very spirited and a true friend. x

Bridget Larsen said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, 35 years is a very long strong friendship, may she rest in peace and you have wonderful memories of her
Hugs

NixBlog said...

My condolences on the loss of this wonderful friend...

Cards4ACause said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story about the jeans. She is missed by so many!