One of the funniest people I have ever known passed away yesterday. We had worked together since 2004 in some way or another. Most recently, we cowrote and received a grant for trade books to go with the math textbook at my old school. This year, I moved to another school in order to make the switch to sped. I didn't do a good job at keeping up with people. Of course there were the typical run-ins at district meetings and such, but nothing more than that. I knew the cancer was back, but I took for granted that she was strong and she had gone into remission once before. So why wouldn't she win again? So I lost touch. It still didn't seem real on Friday when I was told the hospital had called in her family. On Saturday morning, one of my friends from my old school called to tell me that my friend had passed an hour earlier. I took a few minutes and cried for her and the husband with 3 children she left behind. Then my husband said something like, "She was a funny, funny girl and there is no way your crying would make her happy." So true. The last time we spoke she told me crying wasn't allowed from me and she needed me to be funny so she wouldn't have to put on a brave face for my benefit. So I am reposting one of my favorites because it is about my friend Lynn.
Every year we drew names for Secret Santa. Every year, you hoped someone good got your name. By good, I mean someone who doesn't think fruitcake is a delicacy. So when I drew, and got a good friend of mine (who definitely likes what she likes), I saw my opportunity. I immediately knew that I was going to prank her. I went to my mom's house and asked, "Hey, do you have any old junk that I could regift to my friend for Secret Santa?" She was more than happy to help me with my joke, and out from under the bathroom sink, she pulled a package of champagne bubble baths (still in their box). The cellophane was coming off and the Walmart sticker (old green kind) was still there. I had struck gold. I gathered up some other things from my house (to be honest what teacher doesn't have some stuff to regift?).
On Monday, the trick began. I can't really remember the order of the gifts that I gave (one was a gourd painted like an apple with a chip in the lid), but what I do remember is my friend showing me the "gifts" with an astounded expression and the words, "Look at this, LOOK AT THIS!" By the end of the week, pretty much the whole school knew what was going on (it's amazing that no one told). On Friday, I did give her real presents of things she actually does like. She was a good sport (even though I'm not sure she has truly forgiven me).