A few days ago I discovered that my best friend from college passed away nearly two years ago. It was her birthday yesterday and we always exchanged birthday cards. Her cards stopped coming in April, 2019. I continued to send my cards. They were not returned, so I thought she received them. This year I was curious, so I googled her. She died January 31, 2019, a sudden death the obituary said, surrounded by friends. I had hoped she had just forgotten or life had gotten in her way because of a new boyfriend and all, but it wasn't life at all...it was death.
Karen had an unusual life. Let me just say she had hair red, until 15 or more years ago. It wasn't red, but gray and very short, for my second wedding. She had been in my first wedding as well and that was 40 years ago. Was I the friend she needed and wanted all those years?
I do not know the details of her death, the obituary said she died suddenly and further reading brought me to the fact it was just a few days after she had committed to a book deal. She wrote poems, mostly about her husband who died from complications of Alzheimer's. She was on her path to become a published writer, and her friend, April on a path to become a professional actress. She was a writer and I am an actress - published or professional, it doesn't matter in the end. The journey, they say, not the result.
She sent me this poem on my birthday. She wrote a note on the same page to say she submitted for a contest with the subject "April Showers". I wasn't the object of this poem, but she probably thought about me as she wrote.
Here's to my dearest and oldest friend Karen, someone who never expected and always gave. I just have one question - damn it - why did you die without letting me know?
April showers in the square,
Green and gaudy nudity.
Cars collide and drivers swear.
April doesn't care.
April flirts a stormy cloud,
Splashes with impunity.
Plays to the umbrella crowd.
Thunders right out loud.
April is a dainty brute,
Teases with such cruelty.
Offers up forbidden fruit
In her birthday suit.