(To enlarge photos and read the captions, it is necessary to click on the first photo.)
Her name was Judy Grimm. She was a “little sister” assigned to me by Chimes—a junior women’s honorary at the University of Wyoming. The year was 1967 and that summer, we started up a correspondence that consisted mainly of her asking questions and my answering them. She was a freshman coming from Colorado to Wyoming and her main fear was that she wouldn’t be able to wear cut-offs to class.
She was a relaxed sort of girl. We were different in many ways, but alike in others. She pledged my sorority. We were both English majors. We shared a first name and since we also shared a best friend, we were to weave in and out of each other’s lives for the next 49 years. She was a funny tomboyish girl with a devilish grin. We spent a lot of the two years we were in the house together forsaking our early afternoon classes to play bridge with the hashers after lunch. She had an infectious sense of humor and when she married one of the BMOC’s and became Judy Hill, it was to be just one of the surprises her life had in store for us.
After earning an undergraduate degree in English, she discovered that her true talent was in science and she went on to become a dental surgeon. When she divorced her BMOC and joined the military to see the world, I went with our mutual best friend Patty to give her a send-off in New Orleans, and when she was sent to Germany and Patty went to teach nearby, I went to visit them there and we traveled to Paris and Spain together as well.
Years later, after she moved back to the states and I moved to Mexico, she came to visit me in Mexico several times. When I went to Denver, I stayed at her house and when she sold her house and downsized, I visited her in her new high rise luxury apartment overlooking the park. We were making plans to see each other in Denver at a mini-college reunion when I go through enroute to a family reunion in Cheyenne this June/July.
But a phone call early this morning changed those plans, for it was Patty telling me that Judy had died the night before in a London hotel room. Due back in the states a few days ago, she had phoned to say she was cancelling her flight reservations to check into a hotel and get over a bout of the flu. She had said earlier that her month in England had been the best of many vacations she had taken in her life. And so in the end, she seemingly died the way we all would probably like to die—doing what she liked best. She was scheduled for back surgery in a few weeks, and if it had to happen, I am so happy she died in a London hotel room instead of a Denver operating theater.
R.I.P. Dr. Grimmer. We didn’t write much and although we didn’t always see life the same, we did continue to see each other over the nearly 50 years since we first met. You always did enjoy traveling, whether it was with company or alone, buddy. I hope your last trip continues to be as enjoyable as your penultimate one was.
I’ve since written THIS about Grimmer.
Ironically, the Daily Prompt today was “buddy.” https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/buddy/