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"Will I Ever See You in Live Person?" Musings on friendship and loss.......for Rita.

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Technology can be our best friend or our worst nightmare. 
Facebook brought a love story to someone very special to me here,
and it announced the passing of an extraordinary friend of mine for 35 years on my
iPhone lock screen while I was at work recently.

 The FB update was: "Still in shock after learning about Rita Hoshino's passing."
I was stunned....I simply could not believe it. 
How could my vibrant, energetic, hysterically funny, inspiring 'friend to everyone '
be gone at age 58? 

I met my friend Rita, already an icon in student leadership at Pacific Union College, only 6 years ahead of me, when I worked for her at the Campus Center. We navigated student leadership, social clubs and created many warm and humorous memories. Rita had a way of filling life with wonder and fun. We kept in touch through many life chapters for each of us. Rita never forgot a name or a face. She could remind me, and apparently most of her throngs of friends, of a funny memory or a friendship long forgotten. She proudly wore her nickname 'Rita Rolodex'.

Rita (in the hat) and me next to her in the 'dark hair' circa early 1980's at a Children's Church Conference in Colorado. She loved performing and acting like a 'kid' and to be honest I never got the hang of it. I just loved traveling with her and this fun group of friends. 

 Late last night my husband and I arrived home from Los Cabos and I opened my computer to reread my final Facebook messages from Rita. Last summer she was working on a project about adoption, a journey we both shared, the miracle of adoption and finding our birth families later in life. Last June, Rita had messaged me the lyrics to a sweet song on adoption and signed off with a humorous 'bee swell'. 

She ended with a P.S.-
"Will I ever see you in live person?"

It just about broke my heart........

Some friendships feel like you always pick up just where you left off and I love that.
As I watched her touching memorial service live-streaming from the our college campus church today, tears streaming down my face,  I realize how much I wish we had one more 
'live person' day to laugh together and to remember.  

My friend Rita was a gift and beloved by many....
this quote by Raymond Carver was shared at her service.
Beloved.....yes she was.

You know the friend you think will be there forever? 
Drop them a line or make a call just to be sure they know how beloved they are today.

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