Loss of a friend

11 Mar

Phone call from my mother just now, to tell me that she heard today that Marie had died. She was 91.

I met Marie when I was 13, when she started taking classes at my dad’s Bridge club.

Over the years, Marie and her sister kept in touch, stopping for a chat whenever I was at the club, even remembering my birthday. We didn’t see one another much while I was at University – I wasn’t at the club much at that stage – except when my mother and I catered one of the functions. Marie particularly loved a chocolate slice – which I made for Otto’s party yesterday.

Fast forward to my coming back from a year studying in Austria. Dad and I had a regular Bridge date on Mondays for a while, and Marie and her sister were regulars. We always played fast at their table, to make time for the chit-chat about what was going on in our lives. Sometimes I’d go over on other days to have my hair done at the hairdresser up the road, and I’d always pop up to show off whatever he had done that day. I was sure he gave me a discount because of it.

When Fraser learned to play Bridge, they were delighted to get to know him as well. They introduced themselves as “The Aunties” and asked him all the questions that Aunties get to ask. We almost invited them to our wedding, but we just didn’t have room on the guest list.

I haven’t played Bridge since Biggie was born, but stopped by the club regularly until dad retired at the start of last year. The Aunties were delighted to meet my daughters, and told them stories they remembered from my childhood. Biggie was always delighted to hear them – and to be admired, much as the Aunties had admired me in my teens – My parents called them the “Melissa Fan Club” for a while. Marie was – and her sister is – a warm, loyal and affectionate person, always ready with a smile.

The funeral is on Friday – I need to see whether I can rearrange the girls’ after-school pickup so I can go too.

Sadly, too, my mother followed this news up with pressure to take Biggie with me when I go to Essen. I got quite angry, actually. Tonight’s diatribe warned me that the Bigster will “never” forgive me if I do not take her, and “well you have to live with the consequences of your actions.”

I am already so conflicted about taking (or not taking) the Bigster, this is really not constructive. Ugh.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 11, 2008 in family, friends


One response to “Loss of a friend

  1. Friendless

    March 13, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Don’t take Biggie. This is Mummy’s special holiday. Biggie can come next time.

    I have a kid, as you know, whom I take to most gaming events I attend. That does get him out so he can interact with the real world. Often he goes off and plays games with other people, and I let him go to the shop with other responsible people, and so on, so he gets to learn to socialise in an environment where he’s sort of under Dad’s control and sort of independent. I think it’s good for him, and we have a good time.

    On the other hand, IT’S SO MUCH EASIER WHEN HE’S NOT THERE. I don’t have to worry about what he’s doing, I don’t have to wait for him to get into the car, and out of the car, and find his shoes; I don’t have to know where his glasses are or whether he brought a jumper or whether he’s had any lunch. I can just go and game and relax and realise at 3am that I didn’t get any lunch yet. And the only hissy fit I have to deal with is my own.

    The whole world knows how much you’re looking forward to your trip to Essen, and I know it would be lovely to have Biggie there, but dude, you’re going to be busy! You’ve got people to meet, games to play, games to buy. It’s going to be full on. You’ll be wrecked when you get back. Having to take responsibility for the Bigster will mean you’re wrecked before you even arrive.


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