When I left Jersey City, New Jersey for college in western Pennsylvania, Mary Ellen Gallo and I drifted apart. We had been friendly since the fifth grade in Sacred Heart Catholic grade school. On Thursdays, we helped Sister Noreen prepare the alar for weekend services. Or, as we called it "Show Time."
Our bonding was based on hurt. Her mother had died when she was very young. My mother was slowly and then more quickly sliding into insanity. Yet, those subjects never came up in conversation. That was before psychotherapy came to the masses. It never occurred to us that talking about what was troubling our souls would help.
Over the years I have thought about tracking Mary Ellen down. I knew she had married, had three children, and still was based in NJ. Yesterday I found out that she had died, several years before her husband.
So, again, death has cast its spell, in a way that is new to us Baby Boomers. It used to be that it was the parents of our friends who died. Now our friends are going to a state of being we don't understand.
About a decade ago, an acquaintance from my freshman year in college, Becky Mitchell, had died. I still can't put the pieces together on that one.