The dreaded call from the UK that I have feared for so long came yesterday.Isabel, my friend of almost 20 years has died. The ovarian cancer she had fought for 5 years with such strength and dignity finally won.
Our friendship began as 2 spinners in guilds that wanted pen pals in 1990. For 10 years we exchanged patterns,funny stories and life adventures. We learned that we had so much more in common than a love of fiber. We had 2 children and husbands many years older than ourselves. When we met for the first time in the UK, that budding literary friendship blossomed into a special connection that "the pond" could not break. We were so alike but so different that we became the perfect traveling duo. Isabel was quiet and smart and witty, while I was cheeky,loud and overly friendly. We both loved to travel,sip wine,have cream tea and laugh. Our semi annual trips together took us to every place of fiber interest in the UK. It was Isabel that introduced me to the BFL sheep on the hillsides of Wales. Although she was afraid of sheep close up, she agreed to spend her 5oth birthday at the Welshpool sheep show where a charging Texel sent her right over a gate.Some birthday celebration!She would go anywhere to make my trip special. Our inability to read maps brought us to some places that we never intended to see but that made travel so much more memorable and funny. She was my friend and the sister I never had. It was the sisterhood of the traveling spinners. Laughing was the thing we did best.
The walking trip along Hadrian's wall that was to be our next adventure is not cancelled...I'll walk it alone one day and laugh and recall those wonderful trips with Isabel. And of course, I will miss her. She brought joy and laughter to my life as only good friends can do.