Last week I received the following email from my high school friend Cyndi Lough’s younger sister Tami asking if she and her mom could visit me while they were on vacation in Michigan.
Hi Rosemary –
My mom and I are flying into Muskegon this weekend and we were wondering if we could stop by sometime next week for a quick visit, say 15-30 mins or so just to say hi and give you a hug. We completely understand if you are not up to it and definitely do not want to take time away from you with your family.
While home I definitely plan on doing some of your hikes. The bench hike and the Lost Lake hike sound delightful. I won’t be sipping wine but may just need to slam a beer :)
Your blog is so wonderful and inspirational. I love all the rich stories filled with love and grace and guidance on how to make life real and authentic. I feel as though I know your kids and grandkids as well – not bad from someone who didn’t think she could write! I am so glad that you decided to write this blog and are openly sharing this very difficult journey.
I absolutely love the title – Live Simple, Love like crazy!. It has encouraged me to create a photo/story book for my kids this fall. After Cyn passed I made one for her son Logan. I had planned on doing mine for quite some time and you reminded me that we may not have as much time as we hope.
Let me know if you are up for a visit and know that you and Mark are constantly in our thoughts and prayers.
With Love and Grace,
Tami Lough Johansen
Tami and Momma Lough’s visit was extra special because I had not seen either of them since Cyndi died from lung cancer on January 20, 2012. They, along with two of my other high school friends, Nancy Mingle Bates and Nancy Jones Schwab, visited me at home last week and we all laughed and cried as we shared stories about Cyndi.
Cyndi Lough was my adventurous friend in junior high. Cindy had this beautiful smile and a dynamic personality and we became close friends immediately. I loved going to her house because her parents were way cooler than mine because they weren’t as strict.
One day I was over at her house while her parents were away and Cyndi decided she would take her parents’ car for a ride. I was a little nervous because we were only 14 or 15 years old at the time and Cyndi didn’t have a driver’s license. She managed to drive us safely to and from our friend Tom Munson’s house and everything was fine until I found out later that she burned the clutch up on that car. I don’t think I rode with her again until after she got her driver’s license.
I think the most adventurous thing I did with Cyndi and six other friends was hitchhike to Muskegon State Park. All eight of us girls slept in a tent in Cyndi’s backyard on Glenwood Drive in Laketon Township and after we were sure her parents were asleep we snuck out of the tent and walked a mile to Giles Road and hitchhiked. We had too many girls for one car so we had to split up into two cars. We all stuck together throughout the night and goofed off until three or four in the morning and then went back to Giles Road and hitchhiked back to Cyndi’s house. Believe it or not we were able to get a ride and luckily we all stayed safe. I would not recommend hitchhiking to anyone, but I’m glad I did it.
I always thought Cyndi was a bit wild but so much fun. She loved life, she loved to learn and she always gave the people she met a chance because she was so fair.
Tami and Susie,
Thank you for taking the time to visit me, Mingle and Jones.
Momma Lough, I still love your humor and your laugh and will never forget when I told you and your dad that I was going to marry Mark even before Mark knew it himself.
Tami, you have an openness and a zest for life just like your sister Cyndi and I love that you tried to find my tree and The Bench. I hope you were able to slam a beer for Cyndi and I.
I loved our visit and I love you both!