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.
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 . . . .