Friday, July 14, 2017
It all began with hurricane Ivan, in 2004. My hubby being a firefighter, a Chief at the time, volunteered to go to the area and help with recovery. His area of work was in Lower Alabama and one of his first stops was in Andalusia, Alabama. There he met Collace and Trudie. They were a couple in their 70's. His team helped at their home and then the entire FEMA group was housed at their church for the time their work was needed in Andalusia. But, something happened during that time in Andalusia--a bonding, a friendship, a special relationship that the Lord formed. Hubby came home from that trip with many stories, but the one that has had a lasting effect on our lives was the meeting of Collace and Trudie.
There was a connection right from the start. Collace was a Mason, so is my hubby. Collace was suffering from Post-Polio Syndrome, so am I. So they had many things to talk about from the very beginning. Soon our relationship was long-distance by phone. We talked frequently and would compared notes on health, catch up on family and our day to day lives. They made a trip to St. Louis with a tour group, but they didn't tour the sites. We met and had a picnic lunch in one of our pretty city parks. It was at that visit that I gave her a throw quilt I had made. Very Victorian, with laces, buttons, ribbons--just a pretty little quilt I thought a Southern Lady would enjoy---and she did.
Sadly, Collace passed away a few years later--he had many complications with his Post-Polio condition. Trudie, Bill and I keep our relationship going. For a good year, I made sure she had a card or letter in her mail box every day. They had no children and I just wanted to be there for her, but we were so many miles away, the mail was the only thing I could think of to do.
A few years after Collace's passing we were able to go to Andalusia for a wonderful visit with Trudie. We enjoyed her community, friends and Bill was able to attend a Masonic meeting there. It was a great vacation. We continued to talk and text. Trudie was traveling and enjoying life, we were busy with our first grand child. But, we continued to keep in touch.
Trudie decided to have a knee replacement on June 6, 2017. She was a little scared, but excited at the same time. She was always very positive. I texted her and talked with her on June 15. She was doing great, everything was going well. On July 4th I sent her a little text, with Happy July 4th wishes. The text went undelivered. Then I re-texted on July 8, still undelivered. And then the news arrived. Trudie was doing great as I thought, but developed blood clots on June 20. She was rushed to the hospital and they removed the worst of them. She was laughing and talking with nurses and friends then she just stopped talking and passed away quietly and peacefully.
Trudie was a kind, sweet, loving lady of faith. I miss her everyday. Everyone we meet has an effect on lives, some everlasting, some fleeting. Trudie's effect was everlasting. She was 88 years young, her positive outlook on life and her faith is something that made her younger than her years. I was so blessed to have met such a wonderful person. I thank the Lord for my friend.