The word I wish I had on this sad day


Please help me.

I need a word.

This is a word we don’t have in English, but one that we really need.

This is a word I need today on a sad day.

My friend’s mom has passed away.

This is a woman I’ve known more than 30 years.

This is a woman who has made me laugh and has made me feel loved.

This is a woman who has suffered with illness far too long.

She is no longer suffering, but it’s a sad for those of us left behind.

And so, Dear Reader, perhaps you know the word I need and that so many of us need.

A word for “parent of your dear friend.”

It’s not “Mom” or “Aunt,” and it really can’t just be “parent of my friend.”

I need a word that does justice to this special relationship.

Have you had someone like this in your life, Dear Reader?

Your friend’s parent with whom you’ve formed your own connection.

Your friend’s parent who was a safe haven when you were growing up in a home that was less than stable.

Your friend’s parent who could listen when perhaps your own couldn’t.

Your friend’s parent who gave you widsom, a different perspective and even love.

Your friend’s parent who maybe changed your life?

And of course, the reverse appreciation is true, as well.

After all, one person’s annoying, crazy mother can be another’s delight.

I’ve had many moms of friends who have made a difference in my life.

Stella is the mother of my friend, Cater, who I met as we toiled in local news in Phoenix.

Stella’s as Southern as sweet tea and moonshine.

Who else could take my nickname, Dak, push it out through her gravelly smoker’s voice and turn it into four syllables?

“Daa-aaa-aaa-k,” she’d say as she’d beckon me over to get squished in a giant bear hug.

There is also Genie, the mother of my college roommate, Heidi.

Genie didn’t hesitate to ask tough questions — whether it be about politics, questionable dating choices or my career.

These are not the first parents of friends I will lose.

We’ve been losing people since high school.

And, as my friends and I plow through our 50s, it’s simply inevitable that pace will pick up.

There are lots of our parents we will have to say “goodbye” to that we appreciate and love for their specialness.

So you see, I’m looking for a word.

I so desperately want that word.

The one that means, “Thank you for simply being you. For making room for me in your heart. For caring so much about the new job, the guy who broke my heart, the blessing of my marriage.

Thank you for our special connection.

For your time.

For your support.

For your love.

I don’t have the word to describe what you were to me, but my, oh my I am so lucky, so thankful, so blessed to have had you.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

17 abandoned cats rescued from Wilmington apartment, humane official says
17 abandoned cats rescued from Wilmington apartment, humane official says

Seventeen cats, most of them feral and unsocial, were rescued from a Wilmington apartment, where they had been abandoned. Fayette County Regional Humane Society agents were called to the complex, in the 800 block of Xenia Avenue, to help Wilmington police because neither the Clinton County Humane Society nor the Wilmington Area Humane Society has humane...
The story of the invasive callery pear
The story of the invasive callery pear

Last week while discussing the newly released Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Invasive Species list, I mentioned that callery pear was on it. I have written about the story of this invasive tree, but it’s worth doing it again because it’s really quite interesting. Callery pears were first brought to the United States from Asia back...
No injuries from apartment fire on Summit Square Drive in Dayton
No injuries from apartment fire on Summit Square Drive in Dayton

UPDATE @ 12:12 a.m.: An arson investigator has been called to the scene of the apartment fire in the 800 block of Summit Square Drive.  Dayton Fire Capt. Brad Baldwin said crews arrived to find heavy fire on the first floor of a unit and at least two people had climbed out of a second-floor window before crews arrived.  The fire affected...
Good Samaritan Hospital closing will stress EMS transport system, Dayton chief says
Good Samaritan Hospital closing will stress EMS transport system, Dayton chief says

Premier Health's decision to close Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton by the end of the year will stress the city fire department's emergency transport system, but the issue will be regional issue in terms of emergency medical service response and transport, Dayton Fire Chief Jeffrey Payne said.  "It will leave a little bit of a void in coverage...
Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York
Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York

Spc. Trevor Nichols, a soldier from Clark County, is missing from Fort Drum, N.Y., and a national organization is asking for the public's help in finding him.  "I see absolutely nothing that says foul play" or suicide, Brenda Paradise, a private investigator who volunteers for Guardian Search and Investigations.  That organization...
More Stories