Have you ever remembered someone fondly because of something they remembered fondly about you? I have. And it feels really good.

Last weekend I lost one of those people.

My home town of Chisholm, Minnesota recently held an all-class reunion that I wasn’t able to attend. But thanks to technology, I was able to text back and forth with classmates and hometown friends, send and receive photos and videos, and monitor the goings-on via Facebook.   As they say, it was almost like being there.

With sad, yet beautiful irony I heard via Facebook on Sunday that one of my classmates had passed away — just as our class was gathering at its favorite watering hole last Friday evening. Her name was Lorri. She had been battling cancer.

Like many, when I first hear of someone’s passing, my first reactions are shock and sadness. The next reaction is to reflect back on the last time I saw that person; our last conversation. In this case, I remembered Lorri and I had visited at an earlier class reunion.  That evening she generously shared a lovely remembrance with me.  She said she always remembered me because I had been the very first person to talk to her on her first day at Chisholm High School.

Lorri sat in front of me in Mrs. Rukavina’s history class that day.  I noticed her and did what I would have wanted someone to do for me; I said hello.  To Lorri’s credit, she was pretty outgoing, which made it very easy to talk to her. In the few moments we had to visit before the class bell rang, we discovered that her dad had worked for my dad many years before. It was indeed a small world.  A friendship was solidified.

Lorri and I were friends throughout high school – not BFF’s– but friendly enough to always enjoy a conversation and a laugh. Sometimes that’s enough. I always thought she was beautiful and gutsy. And she always appeared to enjoy life.

I am sad Lorri has left us, but am positive she is smiling, laughing, making conversation, and boldly winning friends wherever she is now. Surely it must be Heaven.

So long Lorri, my friend.