When I met my friend Sysylia, she was a happy person always grilling, laughing and playing with her dogs. Her apartment was in the same quad as mine. We often let our dogs play together and became good friends. She stood by me when I went through a bad break-up, helped me move, and was always there to encourage me. I no longer lived in the quad but I was only a few buildings away.

On Saturdays, we would often get up early to go to Central market for the best pick of the fresh seafood being delivered and purchase our groceries for the week. Then the following day, we would spend the day in the quad, cooking our food on the grill and possibly boiling our crabs or crawfish. Best of all, we had many long talks.

It was during one of these talks, I found out she had been engaged before to someone that was deceased. Then, in that same conversation, she told me in confidence that she was sick, very sick. Her former fiancé had been ill, a result of his past iv drug use. Soon, she discovered she was ill too but the good news she told me, was that she did not need to be on all the medications. She had great faith and knew she had been healed. I was skeptical and worried but she said not to or it would make her wish she had not told me.

In 1996, I once again had an apartment directly across from her. We were still talking and hanging out when we could but she was tired all the time. She said she would probably never marry and own a set of Calphalon pots like she always wanted. We would go to many of the kitchen stores in the area and just look at the sets of Calphalon pots and pans. I used to think she was silly but humored her and went along. Before I graduated and moved back to the Dallas area, she asked me to promise her that when I marry, I would buy a set of Calphalon pots.

We talked and emailed often when I left but as time went on, those calls and emails became less and less. Then, her phone was cut off and no emails came. I thought she was just busy. Turns out, she had gotten sick just before Christmas of 1997 and died the first week of 1998.

In a blink, my dear friend was gone. After Sysylia’s death, her mom was going through Sysylia’s things and she found my address. She wrote me a letter to let me know she was gone. She went peacefully after being sick for a long time. I didn’t want the letter to be true but I knew deep down, she was.

I am now married to Andrew. God sent me a good man, one that wants to be a husband to me and is a good father to Patience. About one year after we married, I received a surprise gift. I can no longer remember if it was Mother’s Day, a holiday or my birthday but I received a set of Calphalon pots and pans. I wanted to cry as a flood of memories came to mind. My promise to Sysylia had come true!

I love and miss you, my dear friend. May you be at peace until we meet again!

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