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Old friends, lost friends, friends you’re surprised to see

March 13, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

Suddenly everything's coming up friends.

Old friends, lost friends, friends I only knew a bit but liked enough to be happy to see again.

On Tuesday my friend Fred Larson buried his wife of 53 years. Delores wore out. She told Fred before she died she was looking forward to the new body promised in heaven and she was going to make the most of it. She would learn to play the piano, she would type with both hands. And she wanted to ride a snowmobile.

I didn't know it snowed in heaven.

Maybe three weeks before she died, I talked to Delores, but not for long. She said to come back to see her again, but before I found the time, she didn't want visitors, and just a few days later, she was gone.

Don't let this happen to you. If you haven't talked to a friend in a while, give her a call. Or him. If you think you'll have trouble keeping a conversation going, write a letter. Write an e-mail. Send smoke signals. Just make the connection. Friendship is too important to waste being busy with life.

When I went to the visitation for Delores and read her memory folder, the name of a pall bearer jumped out. Marc Ropte. I went to school with Marc Ropte but haven't seen him since graduation, yet there he was, standing in the corner talking to another man. I only knew it was Marc because Fred told me it was. And when I talked to Marc, I didn't talk long - I had too much to do and let life interfere again.

This is when I need a way-back machine for do-overs.

You know, you just don't think about finding an old friend like that. Seems his mother and Delores were sisters. They pulled two parts of my life together, and I didn't even know it.

Now, taking my own advice, I'm trying to find the former Linda Canfield, of Woolstock.

The last I heard, she was married and living in Duncombe. I don't know her married name, but I'd like to talk to her. Funny thing is, even though she keeps popping into my mind, she might not even remember me. I think she left school in Eagle Grove in eighth grade.

And while I'm looking for people. Terry Trenary, of Rockwell City, I need you, but I can't find a phone number. Please call. I promise not to whine or complain. I just need to talk. I'll even buy you lunch.

That's the beauty of friendship - if you just want to talk or want someone to eat lunch with, you've got it. Some friends are e-mail friends, some are far-away friends you don't see often. Some friends are merely memories. And there are some friends who help your heart whenever your heart is hurting.

I've cried on Rhonda Nelson's shoulder so often she won't let me near her without a blow dryer. Really, wet tears. They don't last long, but they're soggy just the same.

Just working up an appetite for bread sticks, I guess.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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