I don’t have many best friends, so to lose one is a big deal.

I’m picky. Particular. I am friendly with loads of people. I’m acquainted with (and related to) people all across this county, not to mention Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Israel, France, Scotland, Wales, Germany, England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan… Real people, not mere twitter icons.

In my life, aside from my husband, my children, my dogs, one of my cats, and my horses, I’ve had two best friends. Two besties, if you will. BFFs. Two people who have been a big part of me. Literally part of me. People with whom I am so connected it’s as if we share the same soul.

Cheryl died fifteen years ago. A million years before her time. She was only 37.

And now Tom Stronach, a man too alive to ever die, has passed away. 1/27/2015. Tom and I met five years ago online when he commented on some stupid post I’d made. I commented back and we fell instantly into an indescribably close friendship. Oscar and I visited Tom and his wife, Ishbel, two years ago. It was a scary thing to do yet it was a beautiful experience. Tom and Ishbel and Oscar and I share the same wedding date. We both have two daughters and one son and one of our daughters is named Jennie. We are soul mates. We will remain so even though he’s gone.

I can still hear him calling me a git.

Bye Tom. I’ll miss you forever. I’ll make sure to check on Ish for you.

Here is Tom’s site: Is It Me?

Here is his birthday ode to me:  Ode to Julia R. Barrett, the Birthday Girl

Here is a post about our visit. He was nice enough not to show me bum: Julia and Oscar

And now I must stop. I can’t see the screen anymore.

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18 thoughts on “I don’t have many friends…

  1. Diana Stevan

    Oh Julia, I am so so sorry. I remember seeing his name in your comment section numerous times. He seemed like such a darling man. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Gone but not forever. Perhaps he’ll visit you in ways you can’t imagine. Sending you a hug.

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  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    I followed one of his comments from your site – he sounded like a lovely family man, with great affection for his granddaughter ( a post I remember). I am sorry he lost his battle too soon, and that you have lost a good friend. My thoughts are with you and his family.

    Alicia

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  3. Marylin Warner

    Julia, the blogs you two wrote about your face-to-face visit were extraordinary. There was such a genuine caring and connection.
    I am so sorry. Tom had cutting edge humor, especially about things that needed changing, but also heart-deep loyalty and appreciation; he was a man loved by his family and friends, and he’ll be greatly missed.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      He will be missed, Marylin. I miss him already. I’ve been in touch with the family all day, thank god. Makes me feel like I’m there, like he’s still with us. He did a dang good job. He would say not, but I say he did.

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  4. Marylin Warner

    I had been hopeful that somehow you would be his hospice nurse to help him during the final hours. I’m glad you’ve been in touch with the family during this difficult time.
    For the past years candles have been burning at Cathedral on the Plains for Tom, and during tough times he asked for more candles.
    The candles will continue for awhile, glowing Heaven-ward to remind him of how he’s missed, but also for his family as they miss him.

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