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Friday Slide Show: Remembering a Friend Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

17 January 2020

Last month we lost a friend of over 30 years. The memorial service was just last weekend. And she has been very much on our mind these past few days.

She was about our age, born in Kentucky, the oldest of three girls. She got into the printing business early and made a career out of it. When the sector began to shrink she transitioned into software support.

She always knew what she was doing. And she did it well.

One day a cousin-in-law of ours was noodling around LinkedIn looking for a job, which was his habit every 16 months or so. He got fabulous jobs but never managed to keep them, a sweet trick if you can pull it off.

We never heard her once said something she didn't mean.

He came across Cherry's name at a company he was interested in and saw we were a contact of hers so he called to ask if we'd make an introduction. Loathe as we are to ask for favors, it wasn't for us, so we agreed.

We gave Cherry a call and after the usual secret handshake and well-being check, admitted we had to ask a favor.

"Anything," she said. "Any time."

We never heard her once said something she didn't mean. She had a very close relationship to the truth. In fact, if anybody made the mistake of trying to pass off popular wisdom or mere speculation as truth to her, she'd ask, "How do you know that? Do you know that for a fact?"

So when she said she'd do anything for us, we were speechless. We knew she meant it as a fact.

Then, of course, we were obliged to squander her generousity on our cousin-in-law's request.

Friends. Joyce, Paula and Cherry in 2010. Cherry and Paula were married in August 2008.

When we were leaving her memorial, one of her friends came up to us to make sure we took a rose. Joyce was happy to but we thought one per household was sufficient. No, Natasha said, everyone gets one.

And so in our household all week we've had two roses from Cherry's memorial.

We couldn't help but bring the camera up from the bunker early in the week to take a few photos of them. The sun was low but the light as direct as she was. We underexposed to darken the background.

The roses lit up for us in a way that reminded us of her. And our friendship.

The truth is we would have done anything for her. Any time.

But having lost her, all we could do now was take these pictures, preserving what can not last to remind us of what does.

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