Virginia Wallace was a certain type of friend. I was fortunate to call her friend for more than 14 years. I believe she felt the same way about me – felt fortunate to call me her friend. We were a certain type of friends. We knew each other, we knew each other’s hearts, thoughts, fears, insecurities, hangups, failure, worries, mistakes, embarrassments, best memories, failed relationships, first times of all kinds of things, we felt safe with each other …not so much our day to day, hang out at the house, what we like to eat, drink, etc., though I can tell you that she mostly ate grilled cheese and cheese quesadilla, rarely ate vegetables and puller her face anytime I ever offered or suggested to her something that was of a healthy choice.
I often told her, “I’m so glad I was not your mother. You would have made me crazy.” Her response would be, “well, you weren’t my mother and my mother loved me and thought I was cute, so there.”
Ever onary Virginia. Stubborn, independant, caring, thoughtful, tender, witty, determined, kind, smart ass, reflective, emotionally honest, vulnerable, playful, smart, compassionate, attentive, a good listener, honest at all times, diplomatic, never took sides, even if she wanted to.
She took up very little room in a friendship, you had to make her take space, not give her choices if you wanted to return a kindness, be prepared for push back if you ever offered help, be more wilful than she was if you could find that kind of courage. If she’s reading this, she’ll be looking at me and pulling her tongue out, shrugging her shoulders and thinking, “tough titty.”
She was a warrior for the safety and welfare of animals. She fought many a fight, rescued many an animal throughout her entire life. She worried through the night about a cat that was lost, or a dog that might have escaped during a thunderstorm. We shared that same worry. Collaborating on where the pet might be, at times even taking separate cars as we roamed neighborhoods in search of a missing dog.
She had a gun named Suzie. Carried her in the glove compartment of her SUV. Many a time she’d say, “Don’t make me get Suzie out now.” I was always intrigued that for such a tender woman, she wouldn’t have hesitated to use Suzie if life ever called for it.
She was a Florence Nightingale of Hospice nursing. A role that suited her perfectly. She shared many a story with me of her patients; the compassion she felt and showed all of them had to have made a huge difference in their transition from this world to the next. I imagine it wasn’t only her compassion that made a difference, her sense of humor would have helped enormously. She had a dry wit. She was quick with it. Always perfect timing.
She was an angel to many. She was an angel to me.
My certain kind of friend left the earth on July 14th, 2020. We did share a certain kind of friendship. It was unconditional love. It wasn’t perfect. We had our down times, times we didn’t keep contact, times we struggled for words to say, times we felt awkward, but we always found our way to the other side. She was forgiving of all of my “isms” that might have caused me to be less than a perfect friend, but her forgiveness was real, it didn’t linger or withdraw from you at a later date. It was thought out and sincere and offered in her own time and you could relax and feel safe in it and in her.
She was my One Sure Thing. I imagine she might have been that for so many other people. The void I feel in my daily life, is something I could never have been prepared for. I took her for granted. It felt like the right thing to do, always. She was always there, a phone call away, day or night, eager to listen, to respond, to let you know she heard you, she cared about you, she loved you. She was never going to not be there for you, until she wasn’t…