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My Lucky Star

February 22nd, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

Linda. With the one tiny braid in her long blond hair. I had one just like it but mine was a deep dark brown.lucky star
Linda. The tiny gold star hanging on a chain at her throat. It was mine but I gave it to her. It was inscibed “My Lucky Star”.
Linda. Sitting at the kitchen table eating home baked cookies with my mother while I changed out of school clothes. You’d think the two of them were best friends instead of us. Chatting away and giggling.
I remember the first time I met Linda. I was maybe twelve, just on the brink of forming real friendships. Growing out of adolescence and into…….a “teenager”. I had a friend around the corner named Joann. One day Joann introduced me to a friend she knew from school. That was that. No more Joann. Linda and I became nearly inseparable doing the sort of things girls at that age do. Experiencing “first time” things together, although in my eyes, Linda was the more worldly of us two.
Like all best friends, Linda was the first person I ever confided in. The first one I shared the most personal part of myself…..my poetry. (She cried and I figured it was good). My “Diary Of a Mad Schoolgirl”, the side splitting journal of our day to day antics, embellished to make it even funnier.
Time passed. We formed other friendships. Got married. Moved away. But always, there was Linda. Outgoing. Fun loving. Adventurous. Writing me long long letters about her travels. Islands here. Paradise there. Dog mushing in Alaska. I was a little bit jealous after reading that last one. Kept it for awhile and then threw it away. Threw them all out, not out of spite but Spring Cleaned Linda into oblivion. Wish I had that letter now.
One day, several years ago, her mother called me from Florida. That was where they were all living now. Linda had had some surgery done. Something cosmetic. Unnecessary. It went wrong. Caused a series of strokes almost killing her. In a way it did. She went blind. Temporarily at first, then again, this time for good. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she lost almost all of her memory. Couldn’t even remember close family members. Not even her husband….her kids….Me.
I couldn’t get my arms around it. Doesn’t remember me? How can she not remember me? Me. Her best friend.
All those memories. Those ridiculously hilarious moments. Gone. Just like that.
I still spoke to Linda. Called her up and tried to make her remember but hit a wall every time. She just couldn’t. Instead, we’d make small talk. A thick black line drawn between us. As definitive as an iron bar. In my mind I was screaming…..I don’t want to talk about the weather! This is me, Goddammit! Maybe I should have screamed it out loud. Maybe she would have finally remembered the real me.
I even saw her once more. She came to New York for her daughter’s wedding. She was sitting on her aunt’s sofa and couldn’t even stand up by herself. They had to help her. She nearly broke my neck hugging me. That hug told me something unlocked. Something clicked. That she remembered “something”.
Yesterday I got another call…. Linda died. Linda. My Linda.
If what they say is true, then she has not only gained immortality but has regained her sight, watching me cry my eyes out. She’s still wearing that gold chain I gave her all those years ago. Hey. Remember me? I’m your Lucky Star.

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5 Responses to “My Lucky Star”

  1. kss Says:

    Thanks for sharing that. kss

  2. Le duke de fromage Says:

    Magdalena, I think this is one of the best memory pieces you have posted. Your recollections of joy and sorrow in a friendship are well expressed, and are a reflection of treasured relationship. Well done. Le Duke

  3. magdalena Says:

    Thank you for your kind comments, Le Duke. As always, much appreciated.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Magdalena,
    So sorry for your loss. No one can imagine what it’s like to “lose” someone before they actually pass on. I’ve watched someone I cared about deeply, die of Alzheimer’s and someone else deteriorate after a massive stroke; both the saddest things imaginable. It’s something you never forget and all you can do is hold onto the good memories.
    You were obviously a good friend.

  5. magdalena Says:

    It’s the memories that sustain us beyond the tragedy. Thanks for sharing.

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