My best friend Leslie’s mother died two years ago. Not just died – but died unexpectedly.
No last goodbye.
No final “I love you.”
It sucked, it was unfair, and I felt her pain. My father was murdered when I was seven years old and we lived in the Philippines. When I said goodbye to my mother to move to the United States with my grandparents, I didn’t know she would die of cancer before I had the chance to ever see her again.
I’ve known Leslie since the fourth grade and her mother, Tina, loved me like her own daughter. She clothed me; she fed me; she came to my school activities.
She taught me about selfless giving and so many other things about life… (In junior high, she bought Leslie and I a copy of Playgirl. That sure answered a lot of our teenage girl questions!)
I wanted Leslie to know I shared her loss because I loved Tina too. I also wanted to show Leslie that her mother lives on through her because they share many of the same qualities. More than anything, both of them were known to go the distance (like Timbuktu far) in helping anyone in need.
But what condolence gift would convey my emotions and sentiments? Flowers weren’t going to do the job.