Two years ago, Darlene and I were commenting on each other’s posts when she surprised me by asking if she could telephone me some time. We were fellow Ohioans (she was transplanted from Indiana), separated by about 100 miles. I agreed and that began two years of 45-minute phone conversations every Tuesday at 5 PM. It was like having an over-the-back-fence conversation with a friendly neighbor. We talked about everything – quilting, sewing, crocheting, cooking, family, our past, TV shows, favorite bloggers – there was never an awkward pause trying to think of something to say. Darlene’s blog posts were full of LOLs and so were her phone calls – she was both interesting and interested and 45 minutes passed quickly.
A year ago, she told me about a lump she had developed on her jaw which she didn’t consider serious but the doctor insisted on further tests. She was diagnosed with lung cancer. She never stopped being fun, interesting, cheerful and optimistic.
We had talked about meeting at a halfway point somewhere but time went by and she became too sick to travel. A month ago, Darlene said, “I guess we’ll never meet, but I’ll see you in heaven.” I asked my daughter to drive me to Columbus from our home near Cincinnati and we spent a pleasant afternoon with Darlene, her husband, her dog Maggie, and her cat Pancho.
From that time, Darlene’s condition worsened and on our last phone call, even though her husband had to bring the phone to her bedside, she said she was doing “pretty good”.
Darlene’s husband called yesterday to tell me that she had passed away at 8 PM on Saturday night.
Tuesdays at 5 PM will never be the same.