Friday, March 13, 2009


A milestone birthday with the women from the Turnpike. Lorraine is in the middle and I am right behind her.

I lost a friend yesterday. Lorraine, shown here with her son, daughter in law and cherished great grand son passed peacefully in a nursing home in Florida.

I knew she was quite ill and had been in the nursing home for quite some time. This was the cruelest of punishments for she was an independent person who chafed in the roll of a bed ridden person. For that I am glad she is now free, strong and with out restraints.

We met years ago when she was my age now. We both worked as toll collectors for the Florida Turnpike to supplement our retirement incomes. I was an early retiree at 54. I normally worked second shift and she worked third. But one night, I was asked to work third also. There were only two booths so if you weren't working with someone agreeable, it could be a long night for traffic was almost nonexistent. You were looking at either an 8 hour conversation or 8 hours of silence.

We immediately hit it off finding that our lives paralleled in many instances and were surprised to find out how many people we knew in common. She had worked for the United Way before retiring and they worked in conjunction with my company, Florida Power and Light. She knew all my bosses. We even once shared the same last name. Her son bears the same name as my ex husband. That wasn't exactly a good thing.

Lorraine had lived her life well. She had done some modeling, loved fishing, animals, and the out doors. She had two sons and had lost her husband before I met her. The friends she made, she kept.

The men and women who worked for the turnpike became close. We were often confined to the same booth for 8 hours. You either bonded with or learn to abhor the person you were tied to. Fortunately, we most often bonded. Some of my favorite people came from that environment. We stay in touch and I have been gone for 7 years.

Lorraine was special to all of us though. She was kind of the glue we planned all reunions around. She will be so terribly missed but I can only be glad she was in my life as long as she was.

Good bye my friend.


  1. Patti - I am sorry for the loss of your cherished friend. My heart goes out to you.

  2. May light perpetual shine upon her.

  3. My sympathies to you and to her family.

  4. I am sorry about your friend Lorraine. I had a good friend named Lorraine too; I met her when I worked in a hospital in Norfolk. We stayed in touch after we moved to Raleigh, and I heard that she was moving to Tucson to be near her son. After a few more years, we lost touch and my letters to her were never answered, but also not returned. I wondered if she had gone into a nursing home, but I never found out. She would be around 88-90 now. I liked her so much I named one of my kids after her (middle name). It is too bad I can't find out what happened to her, and too bad you lost your friend.

  5. It is a nice post but also a sad one to see and hear of your loss.

    You will always remember her every time you pass through a toll booth. And watch out. She might be ready for you.

  6. Jewels, Pat, robin,Judy
    and Abe,

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts and for allowing me to express my loss. It was so helpful.

    Judy, I hope you find what happened to your friend. Seems we both had a special Lorraine in our life.

  7. I'm sorry to hear that Patti. I'm sure you have lots of memories, they make you sad, but also happy you have them. That's how people live on.

  8. Thank you Robert. The people in our lives help to make us who we are.