I met her in 1986 at a divorce support
group in Springfield, Missouri, and she
told me a little about herself.
She was in her late fifties, thirteen years
older than me. But the
more she told me about
herself, I realized that we had a lot in common. We both were single, and
smoked. She was a pet lover, like
myself, and had a
Chihuahua dog and an obese cat
she called "Fat Cat." I had a little Scottish Terrier named Junior.
She'd been married thirty years to her
first husband, and he'd passed
away. She was a
petite woman, five foot tall, 115
lbs. with Sandy colored hair, and a ruddy
A friendship grew between us in the late 80's and 90's. We both had gone through
tragedies in our lives. I'd lost my six-year
old son, Chris to a drunk driver in a car
crash, and she'd lost her two younger sisters in a car accident, also.
We'd meet for coffee, or get a bite to eat
together. After 9-11 and in the early
2000's Marilee's health was starting to
deteriorate. She'd reached her seventies,
and had been a heavy smoker since
a young age. It was
catching up with her. She
started having to sleep with oxygen on
her, and periodically in the daytime.
I was beginning to worry about her driving.
From then on, I did most of the driving.
One time in 2007, I was taking her to an appointment. As soon as she
stepped out of the passenger seat of my
red Nissan, she fell on the pavement.
We were parked in front of a strip mall.
An employee from a
tanning spa called an
ambulance. When the EMT'S arrived, they asked if I was a relative. I said, "No,
I'm just a friend."
They took her to Cox South Hospital ER and examined her. They said she was getting Emphysema, now called COPD.
In August of 2008, I met my husband, Kenny.
We were married three months later.
He moved the the one hundred miles
from Springfield and Birch Tree, Missouri.
Marilee and I lost touch with
each other after that. She was not only a
loyal friend over the years. But fun-loving,
gentle and kind. She's probably gone by
now. I loved her, and am glad that she
touched my life.