I lost a friend today. Not just any friend, but a dynamically important friend. He actually died in early November, but no one called us, his family, to let us know. We found out yesterday. Richard and I have been friends since the early 1970s. We have been “sistuhs” since coming up in the discos during the era of polyester, thumping bass, and champagne splits at gay bars around Sacramento and San Jose. I will miss my friend for so many reasons. Our history is long and always loving.
What makes this so much more difficult is that the series of losses in the last few years of life-long family/friends closest to me, David, Mark, Joe, Miriam, and now Richard, is increasing. These are people that are my brothers and sisters, whether by birth or love. I’ve been so graced to have so many to call my dearest friends in life. Of the friends with whom I’ve stayed consistently close to for more than 35 years, only five remain, Margaret, David, Jeff, Sharon, and Shirley.
My more recent friends, and by that I mean people with whom I’ve been close for 12 to 20 years or more, like Cathy, Sandy, Jeff K., and others are just as vital to my emotional and spiritual well-being. These oldest friends, though, are important in a different way, because now that my family of origin, the three others in the Floyd Glica family, are gone, these friends are the only ones with whom I can share our memories nearly as closely as family. Even my siblings by birth have not known me as long as my oldest friends.
The road grows more challenging without these comrades by my side where I can hear their advice, see their smiles, or hug their warm souls in person. Sometimes, I feel like I will be like my 92-year-old Aunt Mary who talks about being the last one of her friends to remain here to remember. In my selfishness, I don’t want to be the last one standing. The pain, I think, would be unbearable.
I will miss my beloved family and friends forever.