Monday, June 7, 2010

The Four Musketeers... And The Mull of Kintyre

When I was growing up on Vancouver Island, I had three really close friends. We lived within a few blocks of each other, we rode the school bus together each day, and when we got home in the afternoon we immediately got on the phone to each other. We were inseparable, and we were -- unoriginally -- dubbed the "Four Musketeers". There was Bonnie, Sherry, Ann and me. We spent our summers bike riding and swimming at Sproat Lake, and our winters ice-skating at the rink. We all were distinctly different from each other, but we were close friends and we have remained close friends through all the years. I was the maid-of-honor at Ann's (first) wedding, and I had a fit of giggles all through the ceremony -- and it's all on tape. Bonnie still kids me about it. When my friend Sherry decided to move to England, I was devastated. I went to the airport to see her off, and I waved at the Air Canada plane as it took off, and sobbed all the way back to my apartment. When I got home, she was there waiting for me.

"What the heck are you doing here? I thought you left for England...!"

"Oh, Jo, you got the wrong night; my plane leaves tomorrow."

Well, I told her there was no way I was going to see her off again the next night. I had already done it, and I wasn't going to go through that again.

My friend Sherry got married in England and she and her husband lived all over the world, Australia, Singapore, Egypt -- she loved the deserts of Egypt -- until they finally settled in Aberdeen, Scotland. My daugher and I had the opportunity to visit her there, and she and her husband took us on a tour of the drive along the North Sea. We drove along the beautiful beaches at Balmedie that Donald Trump plans to decimate with yet another golf course and garish development. Balmedie is beautiful and wild, and is famous for its dunes. Just as we were driving towards this area, "The Mull of Kintyre" by Paul McCartney came on the radio. It was so beautiful, and I thought, "This is so strange, I am driving through Scotland, listening to this song. It's like it's part of the sound track of my life." Sherry and I both chuckled. Here we were, a couple of girls from Vancouver Island, driving along the North Sea in Scotland.

Today I received the devastating news that my friend Sherry passed away suddenly yesterday. No one is sure exactly what happened and they will know more in a few days. Her friends and family are in shock. I will have a lifetime of memories of her, but I think my favorite will always be driving along the North Sea in Scotland, listening to "The Mull of Kintyre".

"Far have I travelled and much have I seen
Dark distant mountains and valleys of green
Past painted deserts, the sunsets on fire
As he carries me home to the Mull of Kintyre"


God speed, Sherry. I will miss you, and your long, rambling letters, and your great laugh. This is for you.

33 comments:

Linda S. Socha said...

Ah Jo
What a lovely memory and tribute to your friend....There are no greater memories than those shared with loved ones over the years....The sweet and shared times are yours forever
Linda

joanne said...

Oh Jo, I am so sorry, what a shocking loss. I am so glad that you were blessed with such a wonderful friendship and the many, many memories to warm your heart. The song is lovely. God speed Sherry.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Godspeed, Sherry. You must have been a most lovely lady and you will surely be missed forever.

And Godspeed, Jo. you carry her heart with you (you carry it in
your heart.)

Sending deep condolences and warmest wishes to you and to Sherry's family.

Firefly said...

Its is wonderful to have friends like that who you stay friends with for so long even when you live far apart. My thoughts are with you.

Kathryn said...

Those are sweet memories.

I'm so sorry. Hoping you can hold on to the good times & feel peace thru this.

Russell said...

Very sorry to hear of your loss.

Cherish the memories of your friend.

People who touch our lives become the mosaic that makes up ours.

willow said...

I love the synchronicity of the The Mull of Kintyre playing like a sound track to your life. So sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Lovely post.

Linda said...

Oh, I am so sorry. Blessings to you, and to your other friends.

Alissa said...

So sorry, Jo, but glad that you are able to remember and share with us these good times together.

DJan said...

A lovely tribute to a friend taken too soon from your life, and from all those others who love her. Your well written story made her come alive for me, and I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

Jennifer D said...

Thank you for Sharing your friend and your story with us. My heart is with you today. I am so sorry.

A.M. said...

That was so beautiful Johanna. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss and my heart is sad for you, but I'm glad that you have so many happy memories of her.

Hugs,
A.M

Laurie said...

What a lovely tribute, Jo. I am so sorry for your loss. How lucky you both were to have such a long and rich friendship! Godspeed, Sherry...

Arley said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Jo. Please let us know what happened when you find out. Hold on to those memories forever!

Owen said...

A beautiful tribute Jo...

TomCat said...

Josie, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful requiem for her.

PinkPanthress said...

Jo, I am so very sorry to hear this.
It is always a sad thing if someone isn't with us anymore, but it's worth if the one has been someone we nknew for a long time & were close to. :(

Never forget the good times you had with her & think of her positively when you see a plane. *hugs*

May she rest in Peace.

Sam Liu said...

I truly am deeply sorry for your loss, it must have been terrible to lose someone that close to you. My heart goes out to her family, they must be devastated. But you'll always have your beautiful of memories of your time with Sherry, may she Rest In Peace.

Single and Sane said...

What special memories. I'm sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose an old friend, and it's especially difficult for those left behind when it's sudden and inexplicable.

Margaret

The Bug said...

What a lovely song - I had never heard it before. I'm so sorry for your loss - & for for her family's loss. Devastating.

The Bug said...

What a lovely song - I had never heard it before. I'm so sorry for your loss - & for for her family's loss. Devastating.

Country Girl said...

A touching post and beautiful tribute to your long-time friend.
I am so sorry for your loss, Jo.

kenju said...

I'm sorry for her loss, Jo. I know how much sorrow comes at the loss of a treasured friend.

Kym said...

Oh Jo....I am so sorry to hear of your loss and I will keep you in my prayers as well as your friends family...that is such a wonderful memory to have of your friend and thank you for sharing!

cat said...

Oh Jo, I am so sorry for the passing of your friend. How lovely to have such sweet memories of your friend.

Whitney Lee said...

What a beautiful tribute. I am sorry for your loss. I am sure the suddenness is also difficult. You are in my thoughts.

Cedar said...

Sorry to hear about your friend Josie...I am thinking of you. Risley

Brenda's Arizona said...

What a lovely tribute, Jo. I bet you have made a lot of us want to contact an old friend and remind them they are special. Thank you.

Pauline said...

so unbearably sad and yet such a lovely way to send your friend off on her next journey - memories are a poor substitute for a person but they help, they help.

muthu said...

In a friend- There is but a heart's trend.

My deep condolences..

Hope memories shared together will carry thy forward..

Donna B said...

Oh Jo, I am so sad to hear of Sherry's sudden death. What a bittersweet post. I was again touched watching the video and seeing Linda, Paul's wife whom he lost to breast cancer, walking beside him....great, great writing from you, yet once again. You really are so very talented, you should be making money and becoming more famous with your true gift of the written word.

Paula Slade said...

I'm so sorry Jo. May the beautiful and vivid memories of your friendship with Sherry bring you comfort.

Goldenrod said...

The people of Balmedie couldn't say no?? Sounds like they're just as money hungry as much of the rest of the world.