I recently found out that my former best friend passed away. Her brother was kind enough to write and give me the details as well as other bits of information about the family. I am posting this in case anybody in cyberspace happens to google her name. I would like them to find this blog post and read about Mary Bea.
There aren't enough adjectives to describe the wonderful qualities of my former best friend. Smart, very pretty, talented, fun, nice and loyal. She and I were like glue soon after I moved 2 houses away from her in Lexington, Massachusetts in 1954. There were no other children our age, so we shared our early days together on the weekend and after school. We often took the bus to Boston, joined a very active Girl Scout troop (in my blog post about My Life as a Girl Scout, I wrote her name hoping she'd see it one day), and did what we could together because our stay-at-home mothers didn't work nor drive. She went to a private catholic school for several years, but we went to the same high school. There, she took college courses, went to college, became a teacher (at the same school my mother taught), left teaching, took more college courses and had a few different jobs, her last was about 30 years of working in several departments at Northeastern University, one as the Director of Personnel and her last position as Executive Assistant to the Provost.
During our almost 60 years, we often kept in contact the best we could but hadn't spoken to each other in maybe 10 years. Years after college, she bought a house with her then-boyfriend in Arlington and invited me for a weekend visit. I then moved to Virginia and lived there for 20 years, but saw her a few times on my return...always meeting up in Lexington. During one lunch, she spent a good deal of time talking about her very good friend, Candy, who had just passed away. I am doing the same for her, although more publicly. Mary came to my mother's funeral, I called after I heard her mother passed. Soon, our Christmas cards stopped being sent, her postcards from afar, birthday as well. Later, I always knew how busy she was at Northeastern, and didn't want to bother her....I wish I had.
On November 22, 2015, I gathered a stack of Boston Globe newspapers to dispose of. I hadn't read any, but on a whim, something told me to flip through the obits (I never do that, as a matter of fact, especially this time as I could hardly see, never mind read anything because I was 3 weeks away from my first eye surgery for cataract removal). Right there, on the very last bottom of one of the 4 or more full pages of obituaries was Mary's name, age, and date of death. I read it clearly. A short gasp and tears formed when I read it over and over.
April 1967 in front of her apartment in Boston or Cambridge. Mary on the right, me on the left.