When I was in high school, my 3 best friends were Pat, Andrea & Michele. Pat I met when I started talking to her…and I did so because she knew this boy Richie that I liked and I thought maybe she could introduce me to him (why I didn’t talk to him directly, I don’t know, but hey, it worked out just fine). Pat introduced me to Michele; they had the same last name, no relation and were in the same homeroom. Pat thought Michele was cool and that I’d like her. I did. Andrea is Michele’s cousin and she was a lot of fun, too.
Pat I’ve stayed friends with since. Michele, too, until 1997 or thereabouts when a bunch of crap happened with her husband (it’s always about a man, isn’t it). Andrea, however…all three of us fell out of touch with her when she quit school in our senior year and hitchhiked across the country with her now husband Bill. Up until recently, I thought that’s the way she wanted it.
As you all know, I reconnected with Dave on Facebook…and I also reconnected with Andrea there. About a month ago, we met for dinner and had a great time. She opened my eyes about many things, most importantly about her cousin. Long story for another time, let’s just say I was relieved to hear what she had to say.
Anyway, that evening we talked about her Dad. Her Mom had passed some years ago of a stroke, but Dad was alive and well. He lived with her during the summer months and in Florida the rest of the year. She talked about how happy he seemed, and how nice it was to have him with her. I looked forward to seeing him after all these years and tasting his amazing eggplant parmigiana (I remember hitchhiking with Andrea and a tray of eggplant parmigiana (her Dad taught her how to make it) up to York Beach in Maine … she was bringing it to Bill, her boyfriend then, husband now.
I found out this week that he passed away suddenly…and tonight I went to the wake. I didn’t really know anyone there but Andrea & her husband, but her grown children were there and so I got to meet them for the first time. Wakes are not something I like, and I didn’t want my last vision of Mr. D. to be off him in a casket, so I didn’t look. The only thing I saw was his hand holding his rosary and that was enough.
I hope he’s happy wherever he is now, maybe with his wife and his cousin Brandina and her husband John (or Johnny J as we called him) (Michele’s Mom and Dad), tucking into some of that eggplant parmigiana that he made so well.
RIP Mr. D