Sunday, August 19, 2007


Only about two weeks ago, I was writing to my friend Vicki about the changes in our bridge group. Three of us have already moved away and a fourth one is on her way. Farewell bridge mornings with lunch and memories, exchanges of addresses, promises to keep in touch and visit when we can, have become too frequent. This has happened before, but now it takes a new meaning. As we grow older our lives change, when we move away and start anew chances are coming back will be harder. Still, I know we will try and succeed.

This weekend it was different. On the Saturday morning, Vicki called and the seriousness of her voice told me it was not to ask me how I was. Her voice broke when she told me that Hilde, one of our friends, had passed away! I sat down and tried to grasp the news. What? how was that possible? had she been sick? where? so many questions came to mind. First and foremost, I remembered how she was sensible and no nonsense, straightforward and plain spoken, a good listener and realistic. She was planning our trip to Vermont this Autum. I am sure all arrangements were made to perfection. We will miss her!

There were not many details yet about her passing, but they were not necessary at the moment. A link in our chain has broken and it will never be the same. In our small group, this is going to be very difficult indeed. I have no idea what arrangements will be made, I am sure though, that each one of us will try hard to be there. The need to gather in times of sadness is strong, especially in a small community with an expatriate presence where your friends become your family. In our bridge group, without being each other's best friends, we have been there for each other in good times and bad. As the warm blanket we were once compared with, we will mourn together and offer comfort to her daughters. May she rest in peace!

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