Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ju-dy, Ju-dy, Ju-dy



Remember Cary Grant’s distinctive voice purring: Ju-dy, Ju-dy, Ju-dy?

Okay, all you Cary Grant aficionados already know that he never repeated the name in Only Angels Have Wings or any other movie, though he did say "Susan, Susan, Susan" in Bringing Up Baby.

Yesterday at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, I stopped to talk with a friend who has managed one of the mall’s kiosks for several years. Judy suffered a setback a while ago when she tripped on a sidewalk curb and sustained multiple injuries. Her strong disposition and desire to remain active helped her to heal quickly. She continues to hold a positive attitude and always calls me by name as she greets me with a smile.

Thinking about that smile reminded me of my friend Judy in Minneapolis whom I haven’t seen in years. She always liked to say we were best buddies. We worked together for an insurance company on the hill whose image was all-important. They had once instructed the maintenance crew to spray-paint dead spots in the sprawling front lawn to improve its appearance before “the big bosses” came to visit. Judy found humor in situations like this and her bubbly laughter was contagious.

During my brief reverie, I wondered what might have triggered the thoughts about friends named Judy. Surely, seeing one smiling friend at the mall wasn’t a strong catalyst. I quickly realized that another Judy, a close high school friend, had been on my mind for weeks.

When I arranged to visit my home town of Two Rivers a few years ago, I made plans to meet several friends at a favorite gathering place. They surprised me with an unexpected guest, Judy. We talked about old times, indulging in uninhibited excess as we devoured our favorite pizza combinations and pitchers of ice cold beer.

Despite a beatific smile, Judy’s blue eyes held a perpetual gleam that revealed a devilish personality. Too soon, she died last month.


Everyone has a Judy in their lives, a friend whose smile lights up the room or brings a tear of joy at the thought of pleasant memories. Even if, rather than Judy, the name is Jesse, or Kris, or . . . .

7 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about your friend. Your blog has made me think of one or two 'Judys' who I haven't spoken to recently. I'm going to post this comment and make a few phone calls. Thanks for the prompt.

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  2. I'm sorry about your friend. I can think of several friends whose enthusiasm is contagious.

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  3. Rosalind and L.Diane, Thank you. Sometimes, when it comes to contacting family and friends, we are reminded that procrastination is not an option.

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  4. What a lovely post and an important reminder to all of us.

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  5. Hi Gail, I came upon your site via my dear friend Dawn D. Wilson's site. Thankyou for this post. The "Judys" in my life are all those dear friends I have fallen out with over the years over what now I know to be trivial misunderstandings. I have no way of contacting most of them, so I include them in my prayers when I remember, knowing that the blessings I ask for them do make a difference. With blessings to you, Michael. Oh, if you wish to visit my site, its address is: http://michaelfitzgerald-clarke.blogspot.com/.

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  6. Thank you, Siv. I agree.

    Michael, your decision to pray for those you no longer have contact with is a wonderful course of action for all of us.

    I will visit both of your sites. Unfortunately, Google doesn't often recognize me or allow me to leave comments. I'll do my best.

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  7. I have several dear friends like that but none named "Judy". It's sad to lose a friend, but good memories can help ease the pain.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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Aloha and thank you for visiting today!