I began yesterday morning just like I do every morning by reaching for my PC and connecting with everyone I know via email, Skype, and my blog comments. It’s typically something that I most look forward to during the day. As I scanned down the list of new messages, my eyes quickly filtering out the junk and spam, I saw an email from a friend with the subject that simply read “Brenda.” Before I even opened the email my blood ran cold and the hair stood up on my arms.
Brenda passed away a couple days ago. I’m shaken by this news and I’m deeply saddened by her loss.
When Ray and I first moved to Los Angeles over 15 years ago it was Brenda and her business partner Jennifer that gave me a chance at a new career. I was woefully unqualified to take on the position of Software Consultant in their company, but Brenda and Jennifer saw something in me and took a chance. It was a big chance as their company, TMC, was young and growing and hiring a new person was a big investment.
Over the years Brenda and I became friends outside of TMC. I will never forget Brenda’s kindness and generosity when Ray died. Within days she, Jennifer, and several of the folks from TMC were at my house, bringing enough food to feed an army, and trying desperately to take my mind somewhere else for a short period. The gesture moved me deeply.
I am sharing this news here, on my travel blog, because Brenda and I shared a wanderlust for travel. We’d often chat about places we’d been and dream of new places. We compared notes and many times would call the other before booking a new trip: “Hey, have you ever been to…….?” I didn’t make my final decision about taking this trip that I am currently on until I ran the idea past Brenda at lunch just a few weeks before I left. I KNEW what her answer would be, that’s why I was asking…I needed all the encouragement I could get.
Little did I know at that lunch she was gravely ill, and she knew she was. How can any human carry on knowing something like that and being genuinely happy about my new adventure. It takes class and style to pull something like that off. My friend Brenda had both.