There's rejoicing all over heaven and I don't doubt that it's quite loud up there. My fiery and peppery friend, Phyllis Brandt, took a final two-step over onto the ultimate dance floor. I will surely miss my perky and feisty friend, that's for sure.
The picture above was taken several years ago when we celebrated Phyllis' 80th birthday. From left to right is my friend Amy, then my mother, Naomi; seated next is Opal, then me, then Donna (Phyllis' daughter) and of course, Phyllis. That was a special day of celebration for my dear friend, although I remember it being quite a challenge to get Phyllis to agree on some sort of party. I am grateful that Donna was persistent. Later, there's no doubt, Phyllis loved every minute of the lavish attention.
Phyllis was nothing like my own mother. My mother tried to be a bit more refined, a tad shy at times and always tried to be dignified and cultured. Phyllis, on the other hand, was more brash and bold, extremely loyal, but always speaking whatever was on her mind with that true South Philadelphia flare. Donna and I would laugh because we wondered whose mother was who's?? Phyllis could surely have been my mother, that's for sure. And Donna? Well, there's no doubt, with her dignity and decorum, she should have been Naomi's daughter.
In while it's so hard to say good-bye, the memories of those little visits inspire me today. I can almost hear her saying, "OH, I'm fine. You know, Alan and Donna take good care of me." And indeed they do.
She adored her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She especially loved Pie, her cat. Pie finally comes out to greet me on my last visit with her. This is rare. Phyllis says Pie is afraid of most people. I bend down to pet Pie and Phyllis says, "You must be something special 'cause she don't come out for nobody."
"No, whatever the special vibe I'm exuding to Pie comes from the fact that I'm probably as loud and brash as you, Phyllis, so she's used to that."
Thank you, my friend, for letting me love you and your bouncy bubbly self. No one will ever replace you in my heart. Dance on, my sister. Dance on.