Have you ever gone into a fit of giggles, and no matter how hard you try… you can’t stop? That happened to me today and the sad part of it is that I was here alone at home and only laughing at memories. Memories of retreats gone by, special memories, but mostly memories of one special friend.
She wasn’t originally a friend, but a student of mine, and honestly, and she knows this, she was not a favorite student. First of all, she was hard of hearing. That made teaching her anything hard, since she never heard what I was saying… and if you’ve ever met me you know I am not a quiet person. I had to repeat everything to her many times, and I was never sure she was hearing me at all… her hearing aid screeched back at me when I got too close, and I never understood how she could hear anything at all over the noise it made.
But as I taught her things over and over again, I learned a lot about her. She was a very special caring person and was nursing her ailing husband of whom she spoke as he was a true saint. The love she had for him was remarkable, and I knew that was hard when he passed away, and I worried about her. But she’s a survivor, in more ways than one. She had breast cancer and survived, and has survived two husbands.
Our friendship grew and she became more and more special every time I saw her. And even when I didn’t see her, like when I had emergency surgery and woke up to find a hand written note from her on my table… I will never know how she knew I was in there, but she did, and kept me company as I slept after surgery.
Then she started attending my quilt retreats, and I got to spend more time with her. The first retreat she attended she rode up with me… I learned a lot on the three plus hour trip up, and on the way back with a car full of goodies she has bought for every friend and neighbor she had. And what fun we had while at the retreat… She decided one retreat a year wasn’t enough, so we’ve spent a lot more time together..
And she decided she wanted to join my Relay For Life team, and raised over $600 all by herself, and was sorry she hadn’t raised more.
Or there was the time she decided I needed a secret sister, and did a darn good job at keeping the secret part secret… God bless you Pinocchio, God bless you!
I can’t begin to tell you the special memories I have of this extraordinary lady, or explain why just thinking of her gives me the giggles.
I could only wish that everyone could have a friend like her.
Love you Joanie Bolognie, and I’m thankful to have you as a friend!