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Sadly I could write about lost friends more than once and that makes me feel all the sadder. I decided to write about the first time it happened because I still remember the heartache. It wasn't a drifting apart; she simply cut me off. But I shouldn't get ahead of myself.
Mary and I grew up together in Inwood, upper Manhattan, New York City. We didn't live really near each other - there were several blocks in between. We met in Kindergarten because we both went to P.S. 152. We became good friends and stayed that way into adulthood. We did just about everything together although less so when we each discovered boys. But we were still so close that I asked her to be my Maid of Honor when I married. She accepted, despite the fact that her priest told her she would be sinning if she set foot inside a Presbyterian church. The only reason I didn't do the same for her was that she married an athiest Jewish man (she was raised Catholic) and they eloped to Vegas.
Mary's marriage didn't take place until some time after I was married and my husband and I moved about 60 miles northwest of NYC to our first little home in the country. At that time, Mary was on the rebound from a very tragic relationship - her fiance had died from complications from the polio he had as a young teen. She was dating a black man (always the rebel because it just "wasn't done" and her folks were furious with her). She called me one day, hysterical - she was pregnant and believed her father would literally kill her. I tried to talk her into coming to live with us while she had the baby, but she made the choice to have an abortion. Now at that time, it was not legal to abort in NY state. So like so many desperate girls, she went to a back door abortionist. She was so sick and injured afterward that she did come to stay with us for a few months.
I have to say I had a very difficult time forgiving her for that abortion. You see, I desperately wanted a child and couldn't have one. Basil and I had been going through everything available at the time to make it happen. In any event, my heart went out to her and by the time she returned to the City (but not to the same man), she was as healed as you can get. Sometime after, she met Stan and they married.
In the meantime my husband and I had moved to an apartment over a delicatessen that he went into partnership in and from there to a house the partnership purchased. Mary and I were still in close touch and we visited back and forth to spend time with her and Stan. Our husbands also became good friends.
To make a longer story a bit shorter, the partnership invested in what we called Sugar Loaf Crafts and Antiques and set up shop in a big barn - it also had an art gallery. The little hamlet where we lived (Sugar Loaf) was becoming a craft community. Mary and Stan were antique experts and one thing led to another and they became our partners in that new enterprise. I almost needn't say more - friends and business??? For awhile it went very well, but inevitably Mary and Stan and some different ideas that Basil and his partner Norm - and they clashed. I wasn't directly involved in any of that - I just kept the books and tried to stay out of the problems (remain neutral).
One day, Mary called me and really let me have it. She and Stan were dropping out and she was very disappointed in me - that I didn't stand up to Basil and Norm. Well, DUH, I had - but he was my husband and there was little I could do or say to change things. It all fell apart, and she said she never wanted to see me again. I tried numerous times to patch it up between us, but she never returned my calls or answered my letters. Eventually, my heart broken, I gave up. Even writing about it now, I can remember the pain. Perhaps if I'd been stronger I might have challenged Basil and Norm more, but I doubt it would have mattered.
I tried searching for Mary on line and Facebook under various possible names - I have no idea whether she is still alive or what happened to her. For awhile I became angry - how unfair she had been to me! But that finally passed. Why could I forgive her for the injustice and she couldn't forgive me for what she considered betrayal? Sometimes I think perhaps she was not the friend I believed her to be.