Elinor was the type of person who could find something to laugh at in the midst of any situation and was great at helping others feel good about themselves. We met at a church Single Again group and became instant friends. When I mentioned that I was struggling with depression in the middle of the night, she immediately gave me her phone number and offered for me to call anytime (she worked the late shift as an RN and was up most nights). No matter what time it was, she always answered the phone and took time to just be there when I needed someone to listen. (Years later after Robbie and I were married, she went through a difficult time and I was happy to sit up late listening to her as she struggled through it all.)
My friend passed away yesterday, so to honor her, today I'm sharing some of my fondest memories of our fun times together. (Many of my photos were pre-digi, so please excuse the grainy quality as I share my recollections.)
It always makes me laugh to think of the time we participated in the Relay for Life and wore matching "cow" pajamas (made especially for us by my sister) for the Midnight Karaoke Pajama Contest. Elinor made signs for us to carry - one with a hamburger crossed out and one that read "Chomp on Cancer." And, yes, we won the contest - and not because of our singing!
I'll always associate Elinor with New York, a city that she loved to visit. We took a trip there in the spring of 2001. We had a fabulous week. A friend of hers at the time gave us corsages to wear, which caused lots of people at the airport to ask us what the special occasion was. Before I could reply that it was my first trip to New York, Elinor calmly explained that I was a super model, she was my agent, and we were off to a big photo shoot. The company in charge of the shoot had sent us these beautiful corsages because they were so excited to be working with me! Did I mention that she had a way of making people feel good about themselves! [You can see the entire scrapbook I made from that trip here.]
Once Elinor came to visit us when we were at my parent's home. Since I always rave about Mama's biscuits (which Robbie now makes for me), she insisted that Mama give her a lesson in biscuit making. There was flour everywhere and as usual when she was around, lots of laughter.
Which reminds me of our second trip to New York (this time with Robbie and my niece Nichole along for the fun). The night before our trip, Elinor arrived at our home and insisted on making a treat for us to snack on during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here she is with her son Michael, trying to decipher the recipe.
The day we arrived in New York, Elinor presented each of us with a gift - Christmas toe socks for me and Nichole and a Christmas tie for Robbie. (I love toe socks and Elinor could not resist these cute Santas for us to enjoy on our trip!)
Since we were treating Elinor to the New York trip, she surprised us with tickets for the four of us to see the Rockettes perform in the 75th Anniversary Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular production. (Very lucky for us because when we arrived in New York, the actors were on strike and there were no Broadway productions being performed!)
So today I sit here mourning my loss, yet celebrating her life. I have my feet propped up on the desk as I thumb through my New York scrapbook, I'm smiling at my Santa socks, and remembering the fun times.