A friendship that lives on

She moves gently into my thoughts often. I knew her in school but my  conversations with her were few. I recall her having very long, honey blonde hair  and honest eyes that seemed to be waiting for a reason to smile.

I did not realize  how brilliant, funny, kind and quick-witted she was and I regret those years I did  not know her. I would see her from time to time in a store or at a Caribou event  and I would nod at her or wave, but we did not speak.

We met again under much  different circumstances long after we attended Caribou High, and the bond we  formed cannot be severed; not even after her death.  

She referred to me as Miss B and to me, she was Rosie. Her job as my assistant  was something she mastered in record time. She was fantastic on the phone,  precise in her paperwork, and never late. Her only weakness was her progressive  struggle with her health; something she did not allow to interfere with her daily  tasks. Rosie was married and had one daughter, who was the flame in her mother’s  soul. Together, Rosie and her daughter were infallible. Their adventures were the  focus of unending laughter that often dominated our work space.  

Rosie was a remarkable story teller and a historian, especially when we discussed  her extended family. When she spoke of her mother and her father, it was with  great respect, honor and adoration. As was so common during the era her parents  were born, and mine as well, there was a vast amount of poverty. Rosie and her  siblings never wanted for anything in regard to shelter, nourishment and clothing.  She would tell amusing tales regarding some of the antics of her great-aunts and  uncles, her eyes shining with light that comes from laughter. We would experience  what I refer to as belly laughs — the very best kind.  

Our last conversation was actually while we were messaging each other on  Facebook late one Sunday evening just before Easter. Rosie sent her last message  to me at 10:53 p.m. on April 9, 2017.  

“Good evening Sweet Cheeks! How did your day go? Mine went good. I only  needed my 02 (oxygen) once today. I’m praying every day and it seems to be  working. Easter is a time of miracles and what better time to be positive? Well,  you sleep cozy and warm and I will talk with you tomorrow. Love is all around  you. Goodnight, Sister/Friend.”  

She also sent me two Easter icons – one was an Easter bunny with a heart and the  other was of two Easter bunnies holding wine goblets as they toasted each other.  The following morning, I received a message from Rosie’s daughter telling me that 

her mother had passed away; just about forty-five minutes after Rosie sent me her  final message. I believe I am the last person she communicated with.  

How I miss Rosie. I cannot help but wonder how many other Rosies there are out  there; people of great caliber with wisdom, integrity, and wit. People we do not  truly see, for the outer shell can be deceiving; I know this to be true, my friends.  

Rosie was a superstar and it was my honor to be her friend. I will always love her.  

During these times of conflict and world unrest, let us take care of each other with  kindness. Please stay safe, my friends.

Belinda Hersey lives in Caribou with her husband, Kent, and their two dogs, Barney and Morgan.  You may email her at belindaouellette9@gmail.com.

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