(Desiree Spies)

It’s taken a few days, and I can’t say that I’ve gotten my head wrapped around the fact that my best friend has left the planet.  Becky and I met briefly in 1965, when we were both in the 5th grade and I was back in Leeds for a few months between my Dad’s deployments.  We moved back to Leeds permanently in the fall of 1968 after my father’s death in Viet Nam.  Becky and I were in the 8th grade.  To this day, I have no idea why she decided that she was going to be my BFF, but she would have it no other way, and called me every night to giggle for hours on end until I came to the realization that unlike just about everyone else I’d ever known she wasn’t going away. 

We made quite a pair, she Japanese, tall, loud and a total brainiac.  I was and still am, 5 foot nothing, tiny (not any more dangit), merely very smart and quiet; she went down the halls like the QEII and I was always in her wake.  What we discovered is that we filled in the blanks for each other and there was never a drop of competition, ever.  We could and did tell each other everything and could trust that a confidence would never be broken.  We saw each other through high school angst, boyfriends and navigating through the cliques that neither of us fit into, and frankly did not want to, so we formed our own.  The Freaks and Geeks are all still friends.

Becky introduced me to my college sweetheart who remained my friend until his death in 2010.  After I left Birmingham in 1982, she and Paul set me up on a blind date with Bill Spies, and as a testament to another of her skills we were engaged 2 weeks later.  I don’t know if it was a goal of theirs, but it did get me off their sofa!!

We were in each other’s weddings, she and Paul were godparents to my oldest child, Daniel and I was godmother to Joey.  We’d watched their struggles to have a child and were so tickled for them when Joey was born.  Until Tuesday, the hardest thing I’d ever had to do was read the prayers of the people at his funeral service, that is, until I read them at hers.

We all know there were lots of ups and downs and changes. Through it all, our friendship was a constant.  Perhaps I represented home and simpler times – I don’t know. What I do know is that Becky was my touchstone and she’s gone.