finch-shoe-box Written by Bobbe White, for The White Pages on WTAD.COM 

Rekindled Friendship, a Bright Future and Fallen Finches

Last Thursday, the Facebook Messenger indicator was lit. Kind of like, “You’ve Got Mail!” A mutual friend asked me to call Debbie T. Hello past flash! Debbie and I go way back. Waaaaaaay back. Our dad’s worked together at Heintz and Hurley Shoes forever ago and we grew up together –sort of- except she was a parochial and I was a public, but we never held that against each other. We both ended up in Orlando around 1977. Seeing as the only other person in Orlando was my old swim coach, it only made sense to reconnect with someone closer to my age. It opened the door to a social life, rather than remaining a dust collecting doormat in a large city.

While in Florida, I became engaged and married and eventually, Jeff and I moved back to the north. Debbie and I neglected to keep in touch after that move. Cell phones, texting and Facebook were still futuristic.  Sure, we could’ve used land lines, but we just didn’t. Sometimes that happens. So, I called her Saturday and we talked. And we talked. And we talked. And we talked.  For nearly 2 ½ hours, which by the way, could be my all time record on the phone. It was an instantaneous catch-up.  Just. Like. That. (Queue: a snap)

It seems that Debbie and her spitfire friend, Sharon, have had some unusual – make that, unbelievable- health experiences. They now have the desire to share their stories, with whoever needs to hear them. The ladies hope to share their messages through speaking and writing. There are at least two things that were great about getting re-connected with Debbie:

  1. How cool it is to pick up with a friend, after, ohhhhhhhh, say, 40 years
  2. That she would think of me to be her sounding board for their dreams

There’s a third thing, which is perhaps the biggest thing: these two women have endured nearly impossible health circumstances and have come through them with unscathed spirits and selfless desire to help others.

There’s one vivid memory, however, of hanging out with Orlando Debbie, that isn’t so great. It’s one which congers up feelings of regret. It may or may not involve two finches, in whose well-being I was entrusted for a week. She delivered them to me in a spacious, two-tiered cage. What Debbie received upon her return, was an empty cage and the birds in a shoe box. And, yet, we are friends, I hope, after reminding her of this sad ending.  Gosh, I still feel bad about those birds…