Letter to My Best Friend
You will be missed...
Edie J. Adler
As we approach the Jewish High Holidays (for those of you who may not know what this is, I recently described it as Easter and Christmas together) I am meditating on the past year, my life, and all the tough times and blessings in it.
Published on LatinoLA: September 15, 2017
I recently received a major blow, losing someone I deeply love, rather unexpectedly. Although extremely personal, I wanted to share this letter I wrote, as a way to honor my friend's beloved memory, and perhaps also as a way to deal with my grief, which at times is still almost unbearable.
As you read it, please keep in mind that my wound is still raw; don't forget to tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them.
Here it goes:
I did not get to say good bye. I will always regret not being with you as you left your broken body and your beautiful soul was freed of pain, fear and anguish. The last time we spoke everything was "normal"; we joked, teased each other, and talked about our plans. We thought we would get together in a week or two. As always, we told one another "I love you" as we hung up.
I did not get to say good bye. But then again, how do you say good bye to your best friend, your Big Sister, a person who has been so important to you for 39 years…and a day?
The day we met, June 7th, 1978 is as fresh in my memory as yesterday. I was 15 years old and had just gotten hired as a receptionist at KMEX, channel 34; my dad had to sign a waiver for me to work. KMEX happened to be on strike, a concept I did not fully understand. You were one of the few people who understood my naivete, and did not see me as an awful person who crossed the picket line. From the beginning, while others ostracized me, you offered me your warm smile and friendship.
When I was promoted to Production Assistant, you were the one who trained me, sharing all you had learned with me.
And we've been friends ever since; through thick and thin, in health and in illness. We shared happy times and sadness. We're both proud Mexican-Americans. You Catholic, and I Jewish. Our different religious backgrounds made our friendship stronger as we shared a deep, strong belief in God.
It didn't take long for us to become family. You always treated my beloved parents with love and respect, and they both considered you and loved you as a daughter.
Don't be disappointed in me my friend, but I have been angry at God. I feel He led me to believe you were getting better, only to pull the rug out from under my feet by taking you so suddenly. I am angry and hurt. I can't help it. Don't worry, I will never stop believing in God, but I can't help feeling helpless and ignored.
I lost both of my parents to Alzheimer's and now He has taken you too. And after so much pain and invasive treatments! You endured so much my friend! My only consolation is that I was by your side, giving you moral support and all the love you deserved.
The last time we spoke, I told you how much I love you, and how important you have always been in my life. You said you knew, and that you loved me too…but I did not get to say good bye.
My life is broken, not just my heart. As long as I had you, I knew God loved me, because He had given me a friend like you! You always made me feel safe, and loved, no matter what. You claimed not to care too much for animals, and yet, my little dog Dottie was always welcomed in your home because you knew how important she was to me; when another one of my dogs, Olimpo, got sick, you immediately asked if I needed help with the vet's bills; who does that? Someone who really loves you.
You were beautiful inside and out. Your warm smile and beautiful eyes will stay in my heart until the day I die.
I love you so much my friend! Thank you for your love and friendship. I didn't get to say good bye. I want to believe that perhaps it is because God will let us meet again. Until then my friend, I hope God lets you come see me from time to time.
Edie J. Adler:
Edie J. is an actress, author, advocate for people suffering from Alzheimer's. She and her husband Neal live with their 6 dogs, 4 1/2 cats, 4 birds, 1 turtle and the soul of a humming bird.
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