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.