If time were not a moving thing
And I could make it stay,
This hour of love we share would always be…
There’d be no coming day
To shine a morning light
To make us realize our night is over.
——Jimmie Rodgers, 1966
I lost a good friend today. I lost a friend who greeted me with a smile and hug and kiss every time I saw her. I lost a friend who had a quick wit and droll sense of humor and made me laugh whenever we were together which was, in the last few years, not often.
She came into my life twelve years ago through her love of one of my oldest and dearest friends in Columbia: Millie Miller. MM and I go way, way back to my first years in South Carolina in the 1970s. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in each other’s lives and our friendship managed to survive. That’s not easy these days.
Cindy told great stories about her life before Millie and could entertain a living room full of people lucky enough to be eating one of her home-cooked New Year’s Day meals. Black-eyed peas. Collard greens. Corn bread. Fried chicken. The girl could cook.
From the first time I met her until the last time I saw her, she called me Little Man. Hi Little Man, how you doing? Hey Little Man, what you been up to? Little Man, you need to come see us more. We miss you. I can truthfully say she is the only person on earth who ever called me by that name. Why Little Man? She would only say that I looked like a little man to her. Enough said.
Teresa’s favorite Cindy memory today was from a night a group of a dozen lesbians went to an Italian restaurant for someone’s birthday. Neither of us could remember whose birthday it was, but both of us remembered Cindy’s hilarious performance of pretending to sing Happy Birthday in Italian at the top of her lungs with the waiters who really were singing in Italian and appeared totally undone by the woman who joined them. Unforgettable moments. Memory makers, as my mother used to say.
Time is a moving thing and none of us can make it stay. The last few years were difficult ones for Cindy who faced many adversities in her life, but she never had to face them alone. Millie was with her every step of the way. Eventually, for all of us, the night is over, and we say goodbye to our favorite people. Cindy Driggers was one of mine.