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Thanks for sharing your story about your friend Linda. It is amazing where we find our friends and the ones that stick versis the ones that get lost along the way. You and Linda obviously had a lot in common. Thinking back most of my friendships have evolved out of shared interest; interest in gardening, dogs or artistic endeavors.
I recall the day a new editor began work in the Public Relations Office where I worked. Someone introduced us and we discovered that we shared a love of gardening. From that day until she died several years later we spent many hours sharing our gardens and our plant interests. We even discovered that we had a very distant ancestor in common.
When she was diagnosed and in treatment for cancer, I drove her to Missouri to see her aging parents for what would prove her last visit with them. Once there she was too tired to do much more than sleep and rest on the sofa. I throughly enjoyed talking with her father, a retired professor of Journalism. He was also a gardener and we had early morning walks through his prized plants. He was a World War II veteran and entertained me with his exploits as a journalist covering the war. My father had also fought in World War Ii but would never talk about his experiences.
Sharing a friend's death can be as important or more so than sharing their life. I stayed with Susan many days and nights while she was recovering from an operation to remove the cancer. It was a very hard thing for me to do and to this day I wish I had done it better, had been a warmer and more loving friend. But she kept telling me that she liked me to stay with her because I reminded her of her parents who were not overtly affectionate. She liked the fact that I would sit quietly with her and didn't feel the need to talk all the time. She did not live but a few months after the operation and I miss her even after ten years.