In the beginning of the summer of 1969, Jay and I met a couple through mutual friends and spent the evening thoroughly enjoying their company. Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the friendship that would grow from that one evening. The four of us spent every Saturday night together for several years.
Susy and I went through pregnancies together. Our children grew up as close as biological siblings. We went through heartaches and good times together, and our friendship never faltered. Think about it. How many friends do you have left from the '60s? I mean really, really, good friends?
I have always known that Dick and Susy had an extremely close relationship. Married in 1965, they never wavered in their support for one another, never let little every day irritants cause friction in their marriage and you could always tell the love they have for one another just by being in the same room.
The reason for this column is not to brag on a lifelong friendship, but to give couples reading this some insight as to how to handle difficult situations.
Dick was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Had it been me, I would have been a basket case. Both Dick and Susy have handled this with more style and grace that any other humans I have ever known. They are doing what needs to be done.
Susy argues with nurses incessantly about staying with Dick 24 hours a day. At first, she was told it was against hospital authority. Little did they know that Susy has her own authority, and nobody crosses her when it comes to Dick.
They recently were blessed with their first grandson and are planning a July wedding for their daughter. Now, any one of those things would cause a normal person to panic. Well, maybe not the grandchild, because he is absolutely adorable.
In talking to Dick on the phone, you would never guess he was ill. In fact, I don't even think he considers himself ill. This is just another bump in the road, and one we all know without a doubt will be conquered by the two of them as a couple.
Count your blessings. Love your mate. Never give up on anything if you truly believe it can be corrected. They have given me a reason to brag that they're both my best friends ever. I love these guys very much.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)
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