At first, I did not know what I was seeing. I though, OMG! That's Sherri! What ever happened to her?
We shared a house with seven other girls during our junior and senior years of college. We pledged different sororities, so we did not have all of the same friends, but we shared the walls of the house and more memories than I can begin to fathom.
We graduated in 1996. Email was just becoming something that everyone used – at work. If you had it at home, you used a dial-up connection that took forever. There was no Facebook. There wasn’t even MySpace.
I have kept in touch with many of my college friends. Unfortunately, I have lost touch with even more. One of the reasons I keep my maiden name in my Facebook profile is so that old friends can still find me.
But I never found Sherri. To be honest, I am not sure if I even looked. We had a lot of fun together, and when I think about her, all I see is a big smile. I remember her being very positive and very happy.
I clicked on the link last night where I saw her picture staring back at me, and I quickly learned that she was diagnosed with cancer back in 2015. A Go Fund Me account was set up by her husband to help defray the cost of her medical bills and to help them support their three children.
It’s been 21 years since I have seen her. In that time, she got married, had a family, lived a full life and had died. Way way too soon.
I feel so sad today. I wish I had reconnected with her. I wish I could have been there for her.
It’s normal for people to go their separate ways. It’s part of growing up and moving on. Had I not seen the note on social media, I would not even know she had died.
Grief is a familiar emotion for me. Almost as much as joy or pain. However, I do not know what to do with the loss of this friend that I once knew. A friend that I have not known in over two decades.
My solution was to dig out my college things and try to remember the good times. I found photos of us all in our house on S. Walnut Street, just a few blocks from campus. I found pictures of us out to dinner and at a comedy club for my birthday one year. And I found this one of many of the roommates in the kitchen, where we spent so much of our time. Cooking ramen and mac and cheese, having house meetings about rent and utilities, sharing drinks and the occasional cigarette, and laughter.
Thank you, Sherri, for the trip down memory lane. I hope that if you were in any pain, that is gone now. I hope your husband and children got to spend as much quality time with you as was possible. And I hope that some of that light and happiness that I remember about you was with you up until the end.
My deepest condolences to her whole family.
|Some of the WCU Girls. Sherri is on the far left.|