The two are intertwined at times, it seems. Ever been so happy about something and then something happens to bring you to the depths of despair? I’ve had that happen to me a few times in my life. It happened to me all in one day recently. I have some very happy news that makes me so glad, but first the sad news.
Years ago, when I went to college, I met one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Ball State had orientation for all new Freshmen and I was a little worried about not knowing anyone when I went there. There I was in a roomful of students, all seeming to know each other and talking together. I am a rather shy person and negligent about starting up a conversation. I really don’t know how it happened but Mary K. and I started talking and I immediately felt a connection with her. One thing, she loved to laugh and her laugh was so infectious, it made you want to laugh. Well, after I met her and we began to go around together, we laughed a lot. We laughed all through orientation. The Freshmen had to stay overnight and Mary K. and I had beds near each other and we talked and laughed almost all night. Some of the girls told us to be quiet, but that just made us laugh all the harder. Then I found out Mary K. was going to commute to Ball State from her sister’s house in Hagerstown. Well, I was going to commute with two other people and we’d go right through Hagerstown, so why couldn’t Mary join us? And she did. For a year and a half we drove to college together in good weather and in bad. We sang “Blue Velvet” together much to the chagrin of our fellow passengers. We met at the student union to eat together with one of our other friends. We even had a history class together where, I think, the professor took a shine to Mary. He talked to us a lot. Later, I married and had a baby. I dropped out of college and lost track of Mary. This professor managed to find my phone number and called me and we talked a while and then he asked for Mary’s phone number, but unfortunately, I didn’t have it. I hope he found it.
When I was twenty-five, married with two children, Mary and another commuter friend, Kenny B.,came to visit. It was like old times, but that was the last time I saw Mary for a long time. She later married a college professor and was living in the mountains in California. She spun yarn and made baskets and purses. She had a business of her own and was doing very well. Then one day on our answering machine there was a voice saying, “This is a voice from the past.” It was Mary K.! She and her husband, Winston, were traveling through our city on the way to Moundsville, West Virginia where Mary grew up. Moundsville was beloved by Mary and she taught me the high school song which we would sing together on our way to college. She was going to a reunion, whether a high school or family, I’m not sure. She came from a large family. So they came to our house and we went out to eat and had a wonderful visit. She still made me laugh. She asked if I could visit her at the campground the next day before they left, but we were having work done on our house and our contractor was coming the next day so I couldn’t go. That is my biggest regret because that is the last time I saw Mary K.
Years, decades went by and Mary and I reconnected on Facebook. She showed the things she had made. Our politics were the same. We didn’t message each other often, but it was nice to know she was there. Then, just the other day I thought I’d go to her Facebook page as I hadn’t seen anything about her for a long while. The fires were burning in California and I wanted to know if she was alright. On her page were condolences about her death! She had last commented in January and just a few days later she was gone! I didn’t know. I felt so bad. I tried connecting with someone on Facebook to find out what happened. I still don’t know. I do know a light went out when Mary passed away. A little bit of my heart is now taken. I don’t want to believe it, but it’s true. My best friend from college is gone and I will never again hear her laugh. Sadness came and stayed. I still cannot believe it’s true. Rest in peace, dear friend. We’ll meet again in Heaven.
Soooo, that was the sad. Here’s what happened on the same day I found out about Mary K.’s death. You know we’ve been looking for a Labrador puppy without much success. One day a few weeks ago, I heard David talking to someone on the phone and he came in where I was and asked if I’d like to drive to Fort Wayne to look at some puppies. A breeder there had four chocolate Labs and two black labs. Well, of course I wanted to go. So that Saturday we drove the three hour trip to Fort Wayne to see some puppies.
When we drove up to the house, there were several young children in the yard with some puppies. I got out and immediately a little chocolate Lab ran up to me. I said, “That’s the one,” because that is how I’ve always picked my dogs. Then a little black Lab began to chew on my pant leg. Let me tell you the conversation David and I had had the night before. David wanted a black Lab and I wanted a Chocolate Lab and I jokingly said, “We could get two!” I knew that was not possible and we’d have to make a decision before we got there. So we tried to decide which we wanted and knew it would be hard. Now I was in a pickle.
The man with the puppies had eight children of his own. I was asking the children if they’d be sad when the puppies were gone. Years ago when we got our dog, Samantha, who was several kinds of breeds, I drove up to the house where the puppies were and out of this little house came a whole tribe of children and puppies running with them. It was so cute. Samantha ran right up to me and she was my dog at that moment. Seems puppies and children go together. Molly came from a household with several children.
While David dealt with the papers and paying for the puppies, I held them and fell in love. We had bought two Labrador puppies and had to wait two more weeks before we could get them.
Did I say, “puppies?” Oh, yes, I did. You see while driving up to see the puppies I said once again “we could get two,” and David said, “I’ve got the money in my pocket for two.” I wrestled with that for a while because I knew two puppies would require a lot of work.
But in the end, love won out and here is what I ended up with.
This is Lucy Cocoa Belle. “Lucy” for short. She’s a handful, but look at Molly. She loves her.
This is Honey Sugar Dumplin’, Sugar for short. I was going to call her “Honey” but David said when I called her he would think I am calling him! So, she will be called “Sugar,”
Molly has been smiling ever since we came home with them.
She is so interested in them and is being so nice with them. I must admit I was a little concerned since she’s been an only dog for a while.
They play hard and then collapse into a deep sleep.
Asleep right at my feet.
I know I’m going to love them.
So sadness and gladness both came on the same day. I’d like to think Mary is looking down on us and laughing at the new puppies just like I am.
Here’s to best friends forever and doggie best friends. Bye,