Sunday, May 31, 2015

Remembering a Friend

I guess I have reached the age when I am doing something I said I would never do. i.e. read the obituaries.  I find as I read the newspaper, either online or in print, I glance to see if there are any last names I know.  In the past week I saw two death notices for a parent of two different people I know.

Today, being Sunday, there are always many more notices than during the week.  As I was glancing over the names I saw one of my friends from my days with the City of Detroit.  Actually, she was a friend, a co-worker, a teacher, and the woman responsible, sorta, for my three sons.

Constance Kempisty worked for the City of Detroit as the Principal of the Special Chemistry Department.  In that role she was my teacher in my student days.  Years later, I worked with her for a short time in her lab on a project looking for interference in the detection of barbiturates by gas chromatography.

But more than our work relationship was our personal relationship as 'just friends' and her convincing me to go on a blind date with the man whom I would eventually marry.  And then have three children.  And so the reference to her being responsible for my sons.

We've seen each other on occasions over the years, not too often, and kept in touch by email.  The last shared emails were about the death of another co-worker and my former boss.

There is only viewing today and a service at the funeral home tomorrow.  I do not like funeral homes and rarely go.  My going today is totally dependent on the weather.  I've already had to pump out flooded window wells and mop up water that seeped in through windows into the basement.  We are under a flood warning and it is still raining.

It saddens me to see old friends die.  It reminds me that life is short, too short for some.  And it makes me grateful for every day I have here.

Thank you Connie.  Because of you I have a family to be thankful for every day.


  1. I think she would be touched by the beautiful sentiment you shared here. It's funny how one person can change our lives. Life is short and too often we take things for granted because we get busy in our daily lives. Even if you don't go I think she would understand since your home has some flood issues. I hope it is not too severe

    1. It's cold, it's wet and I just pumped out the wells for a third time. There are puddles everywhere. I am absolutely beat. Just hoping the sewers do not back up

  2. I don't look at the obits but then I don't know many people other than the ones I bowl with or exercise with but it is sad when you see someone you know has died. The girl who trains us for exercise class just lost her dad today, I met him once. It's till sad for her though. Nice to have such wonderful memories of your friend.

  3. I started reading the obits years ago. I've already lost several friends over the years (mostly to cancer, but one to a disease that destroyed her liver, and she was unable to get a transplant in time). It's always sad to see the name of someone you know (be it a survivor, or the deceased) in the paper. My sympathies. It's especially hard when you are dealing with the early stages of a flood. Our weather is so out of balance. I hope sharing some of your memories and challenges helped you draw strength for the hours ahead. Alana

    1. I was looking at some of my early blog posts today. Back in 2010 there was a news article about a homeless woman who died. She used to hang around the hospital and I mentioned in my blog that a friend would give her money. That is the very same friend who died. She had a very big heart.


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