Memorial Day – Tribute to my friend Judy

Posted on May 31, 2010


This is a story about an ordinary hero.  It is Memorial Day weekend, and to be honest, she has been on my mind.  She is not known by many, but she should be.  She came into my life 6 years ago.  I met her when I got sent to training.  I’ll be honest, my first thought…this woman is annoying.  To be honest, I’m sure that was the first thought of hers when she met me.  We were so very different.  My friend Judy, let’s see ultra conservative, republican.  Me, liberal democrat.  Judy, very religious church goer volunteer, me, tennis playing Sunday girl.  Judy, mom and grandmum, me, only furry critters.  Yet, somehow, these two very different souls connected.  How?  I don’t know…perhaps god’s gift to both of us.

So, what ended up happening?  Well, I attended training with this woman…rolling eyes periodically as I didn’t want to be there.  Ms. Judy ended up getting a job at the firm, and we ended up working very closely on many a project.  We both became each other’s biggest advocate at work, and I had no idea that we would become so in life.  This woman would be sitting at the opposite end of a conference room when I would suddenly hear her exclaim…”oh, Deb can help you with that.”  Huh, I would say…and suddenly I would find myself in the middle of some project thanks to Ms. Judy.  I would tell her, please, I’m buried with enough work, don’t volunteer me for more.  Ms. Judy’s comment, “ah, come on Deb.  They need help.” And to that?  Well, hell, how could I say no.

We both ended up being put on the 12th floor for awhile.  Why am I telling you that?  Well, there were only 3 of us on that entire floor.  I had been the only one for several years prior to Ms. Judy being put on the same floor at the opposite end.  One early evening I got called to the COO’s office.  Upon my arrival, the COO told me that he was putting a security lock on the floor..his comment….I’m concerned about having Judy on that floor.  My comment, “um, I’ve been there several years.” His comment, “I wasn’t worried about you.  You were fine.”  I called Judy on her cell and told her that the COO was worried about her.  We joked about it.

What ended up happening with my friend.  Well, she started having some mini-seizures.  She would show up at my office because she felt safe if she had them with me.  I drove her to the doctor’s office.  She was quite pissed at me, but I told her, look you’ve got to go and find out what is going on.  What was going on?  Well gliobastoma.  If you don’t know what that is, let’s just say it is very bad.  My little friend was quite incredibly brave going through the chemo and radiation treatments.  I ended up driving her there as finally the doctor wouldn’t let the girl drive.  She hated my jeep.  As we would drive to treatment, she would ask me why I would have such an impractical car.  I would tell her that I loved my wrangler and why would I need a practical car.  We would argue all the way to treatment and all the way back.

She finally ended up in a nursing home.  I would go and have dinner with my friend.  On my first trip there she turned to me at the dinner table as I sat down.  “Deb, you need to go make Mildred’s bed.”  Huh, I responded as I sat down with my plate.  “She needs your help,” Judy said gesturing toward the woman I did not know.  What happened…yep, I went and made Mildred’s bed and Frank who was her friend.  Why?  Well, because this little friend of mine always gave so much of herself and because of her friendship, well, simply made me a better person by knowing her.  She was the most brave soul I know going through a terrible disease and in her wellness, and in her illness, made me a better person simply knowing her.

Posted in: Life