Friday, June 24, 2011

Update: Donna!

Believe it or not -- and at this point so much time has passed it is probably slightly hard to believe -- I finally called Donna!  I whined about her previously here and here.

It was last Tuesday, June 14, Flag Day, and Casey's birthday.  I figured the absolute worst case scenario would be for me to call Donna, find out that Casey was dead, and that I had upset Donna by calling and asking about her.  This may or may not be realistic to worry about, but I am kind of a worrier, and good solid worrying doesn't have much to do with being realistic.  I thought that on Casey's birthday Donna was sure to be thinking about her, so she'd already be upset.  It was a great plan!

I called around 7:30pm, from my bedroom closet.  I make all my phone calls in my closet now, it's a habit I picked up when I started called Mom every other day to check on her when she hurt her back several years ago.  She was in so much pain and was so depressed.  The calls were brutally difficult to make but I felt like it was so important to check in with her, to try to think of something funny or interesting to tell her about my day when her days were filled with nothing but incapacitating pain.  When my mother can't even fake being cheerful, things are bad.  I got into the habit of making the calls from my comforting dark womb-like closet, and sometimes I'd hold hands with one of the long sleeved shirts.  I suppose we all take our comfort where we can get it.

Donna answered the phone, and I recognized her voice.  She was thrilled to hear from me, and realized who I was as soon as I said my name, despite not having spoken to me for two decades or so.  Then she asked where I got her number, and when I told her I found it online, she seemed a bit disturbed.  I told her I just looked in the white pages online (if she's listed in the phone book she's listed online), and she said that actually she doesn't have internet access at home anymore, and never uses her computer.

Well, that explains her absence from Facebook.  I'd rather lose one of my toes that not have a computer with internet, but I guess everyone has different priorities.

My old friend from high school is not dead!  Casey is alive and well and living in Washington DC with her Puerto Rican husband and her 14 year old daughter.  Donna gave me her number and wrote down mine, so we can all continue to keep in touch.  We spoke for more than 30 minutes, catching up and just enjoying hearing each other's voices again.

I actually waited a couple of days to call Casey.  I wanted to give Donna time to tell Casey I'd called, and who knows, maybe Casey would even call me first.  On Thursday night she hadn't called and so I took the phone back into the closet and called her.

I got an answering machine, and was leaving a message: "Hi Casey, this is Ellen, I just called to say hi --" and I heard the line pick up and her voice shrieked: "ELLEN!  YOU'RE NOT DEAD!"

Well, I guess my old friend and I always did have a few things in common.  Her sister Donna had not called her, and my voice on her answering machine was completely unexpected.  We had the most wonderful time bringing each other up to speed on marriages and careers and families and just all the things that make up a life.  She sounded happy, and completely in love with her husband and her daughter, who sounds remarkably like the teenage Casey I was friends with.  She and her family are planning a trip to Orlando sometime later this year, so I should be able to get to see her, after all these years.

I am so glad I finally called!


  1. such a great outcome! this is just wonderful news. how funny the way she greeted you, after you agonized about the same thing!

  2. It's just such a relief to have finally called her, and to know that she is safe and happy. :)


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