Bonnie Boerema

Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema

Photo of two women's clasped hands.

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 complexion.

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.

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