Dr. Judy

(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/

40 thoughts on “Dr. Judy

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I think so, too… I had forgotten about that and just noticed it as I cropped the photo. Perhaps the photos I chose are in too light a vein, but I wanted to remember some of the good times and both Patty and Judy loved Paris. That was a good day..No emptier feeling than to know you’ll never see someone again. I think wakes are a way to try to fill that emptiness. Perhaps this is my blog wake for Judy. We spend our entire life remembering our beginnings–making funny stories about them. Then at our age we start to experience all the endings and there has to be something that gets us through them.

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      1. rudyblues57

        Hi Judy. This reply made me think. Hope this doesn’t come off wrong.

        For every beginning, there’s an end. Between the beginnings and the ends, there are memories. Sometimes the beginnings and ends are close together, with few memories, and they may not be worth keeping. Sometimes the beginnings and ends are far apart, with lots of memories between, but with so many memories, some are good, and worth keeping, and some are not. Sometimes, the beginnings and ends are far apart, and the memories are few, but all are good, and worth keeping. If there’s a lifetime of good memories between the beginning and the end, then the lifetime was well spent, and the memories endure, no matter how few. The good memories are what gets us through.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Calen, I’ve set up a private message on Facebook with all of our old friends we went to college with. It started as a fast way to let friends know about Judy’s death and to try to contact her old friends I haven’t been in touch with for the past 45 years. Yikes! People keep adding new names as they see who isn’t already on the list. Everyone is adding stories and wishes..It’s very nice. Grimmer would have loved it. Someone suggest we keep it going and that’s a good idea. It has been a long time since our last reunion!

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  1. okcforgottenman

    I was lucky enough to know Grimmer, though for less than 24 hours. Remi & I stayed overnight at her house in Denver on our epic road trip. I loved being the outsider, listening to them reminisce, cackling at old jokes, old shared adventures. I immediately liked Grimmer, and I think she liked me, although she wouldn’t have let it slip if she didn’t. We grilled meat on her outdoor grill, sliced and chopped veggies in her kitchen. That night, her cat slipped into bed with Remi and me. Tonight, I’m aching with Remi and Patty and Patti and Marti for her loss. Good night, Grimmer, if that’s possible.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      FYI, Remi is me, Judy, and the epic trip was 8,000 miles from St. Louis to Santa Monica pier and back, following Route 66 (paralleling on Interstates most of the way) on the way westward and then back through a more northerly route––CA, Nevada, Utah, CO, Wyoming, SD, Minnesota.

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  2. mfortune@live.ca

    my condolences it is powerful when one of our peers leaves this world. We are still cold here snow yesterday morning. Miss Mexico how are the dogs. My love to you Yolanda . Love Margarita

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      1. NutMeg

        Hey, SexyG is 96, so 67 IS young!! What I have noticed in life is that ironically, while it’s best for our friends/family to pass suddenly (of course I’m speaking of natural causes) it tends to be worse for us left behind.

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        1. lifelessons Post author

          I know. Although to nurse someone in pain often makes one wish for a faster death. I would just like to know more of the details we will perhaps never know.

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  3. Anonymous

    Lovely expression Judy. I can’t help but think that this was the perfect way for Grimmer to have passed. Knowing her she would have approved to go quickly and to have not made a big fuss for anyone. Of course, I’ve been thinking all night of her being gone and remembering her fondly. I cannot not for the life of me bring up a mental picture without her wonderful smile. She was achingly so down to earth and authentic. My condolences to all those who are going to be missing her. Beth Ann

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  4. Margaret Murray

    Dear Judy, so sorry for the loss of your friend. It must be a shock for such a vibrant person to go missing from your life. That she wanted some time to recover from the “flu” leaves strange unanswered questions, reverberations in an empty space. your poem about and for her was beautiful. Hugs, Margaret 🙂

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  5. Allenda Moriarty

    Judy, I am sorry for your loss. Such a shock to you and her friends who have known her for all of those years. Blessing to her on her path. Your tribute to her was perfect. May your memories bring you comfort. Thinking of you tonight and sending love.

    Liked by 2 people

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  6. Pingback: Spirits in Mexico | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  7. Pingback: Spirits in Mexico | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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