My Best Friend's Eulogy

Picture it: Miami Beach 2050. Four old ladies all living together in a lovely Mid-Century Modern home.

This is how I envisioned my golden years.  Leah and I and Beth and possibly Liza would all be living together.  We would have nagged our husbands to death by then and we'd be eating cheesecake in our moo-moos and playing an obscene amount of mah-jong.

Never in my wildest nightmare did I see our story ending like it did. 

I'm going to skip all of the potentially incriminating college stories and instead tell you a story of love.

Picture it: Gainesville 1994. Leah and I began our journey at the University of Florida. My major was undecided as I am terrible at making timely life decisions.  Leah was interested in majoring in psychology and had signed up for the intro class. 

Leah had many wonderful traits, but patience was never her strong suit.  When I think of her becoming a psychologist, I laugh.  And then thank god she found her way to the career resource center.

She came back to the dorm one day all fired up about this major called Landscape Architecture. I had never heard of it, but it had to be a better fit than psychology.

The next semester, Leah enrolled in Design I, alongside the regular architecture students.  By the end of that class, she had officially changed her major to architecture and the love affair had begun.

As I toiled away on pension benefit amortization journal entries, I watched in awe and admiration as Leah produced the most beautiful and amazing models and drawings I had ever seen. I couldn't believe the things she created with her hands.

In the process, Leah taught me so much about architecture.  My previous knowledge was basically door, wall, wall, wall, wall, roof.  Yep that looks good to me!  Leah taught me how to really look at a building and explain why it was beautiful or sometimes, a total train wreck.

In fact, the first time she visited my newly built home in Atlanta, she pointed out all the quirky things our builder had done.  Things that didn't make sense to her.  Things I never would have noticed. Ever.  YOU KNOW, THE BUILDER SHOULD HAVE LEFT 12 INCHES BETWEEN THE EDGE OF YOUR BATHROOM SINK AND THE WALL. (paraphrased, obviously).  And for the next nine years, I always cursed the builder every time I banged my elbow on the wall next to my sink.  Because Leah was right.  There wasn't enough space.

Leah's passion for architecture was inspiring.  She'd frequently stay up all night at the architecture building working on her latest assignment.  We'd bring her frozen yogurt from an old Gainesville favorite, Flavors, hoping the sugar rush would sustain her overnight.

When it came time for her final class critique, I can remember how nervous Leah was.  She'd pinned all her work up on a board in our apartment.  And it was fantastic.  I sat on the floor and examined it for hours. She was going to kick butt.  I just knew it. And I was so proud of her.

Leah's physical time here on Earth has passed.

But her amazing spirit lives on.  In the mischievous twinkle in her son's eyes and his envious head of hair.  In my heart.  And in yours.

So in honor and in memory of my sweet friend Leah, I ask you to find your passion, do a mitzvah, or simply bring more kindness into this world.

And in the wise words of the Golden Girls' theme song writer:

Thank you for being a friend!

My best friend. I love you, Leah.

Dancing Queens Circa 1992


  1. What a lovely tribute to your friend. So sorry for you loss, sending lot of love and prayers :(


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