Best of Friends

DeeDee, Charlie & Me

Best of Friends
Is the glass half empty or hlf full?

Wow! Has it really been 20+ years since high school? Yes it has - we are all now in our 40's. Some of us are grandparents. Some of us started having kids early while others waited and are now having babies.

Some had great times in high school while others didn't. Some were bullies and others were bullied. Some tried drugs yet some didn't. In the end we survived high school one way or another. If you could go back, would you?

There were some great times for me. I was not afraid of anything. I had best friends, one a guy and one a girl. I always had guy friends. I still do, I just have more in common with guys - like cars.

Now my best female friend, Danette, was the 3rd child out of five. While I was basically an only child. We had two totally different outlooks on life. She was known as the school slut. And I was not. Most guys in school that I dated thought I was like her, but that never happened. Once the guys found out I wouldn't sleep with them - they were gone. I use to laugh about it and now it's even funnier. We met in one of our classes - ROTC.

My other best friend was Charlie. We met the 1st day of high school. He told me on a daily basis that he loved me and wanted me to go out with him. I would always say no. Why? First it was because we didn't know each other. Then it was because we were friends. I was always afraid to hurt him. As time wore on he became the best friend I could ever ask for.

Danette couldn't stand Charlie. Why? Honestly, I have no idea. But it was always a battle if Danette saw him around talking to me.

By the time we were in our junior year, she started hanging out with less desirable kids. Kids that were into stuff I wasn't, like drugs. Yeah I wasn't a saint and it was the '80's. But drugs were never my thing. I ended up dropping out of school to work full time. And Danette stayed until the end of the year.

We spend a lot of time together after school, since I married her cousin. We both had kids and would get together as often as we could. Once things didn't work out for either of us, we were both in different but the same situations. I was always her shoulder to lean on. I felt like I had to save her all the time.

One time I was working and I got a phone call from Danette's family. She was in a bad way and needed to be watched for 48 hours - she was on a suicide watch. I spent the first 24 hours with her. She was suicidal over a guy.

The guy she was going crazy over was seeing her and another girl that Danette & I went to school with, therefore, causing her to feel so bad about herself. Danette made it through without a scratch.

From time to time Danette was still hanging around those kids that I didn't care for in high school. Also still doing drugs. She went from coke to meth. The further she got into drugs, the less time we spent together.

Once she married the guy who she had been suicidal over, they had a child together. I soon found out that they were doing well and making a nice life for themselves.

As the years flew by, we saw less and less of each other. We were both living our lives, raising our kids and working. In November of 2008, Danette ended up finding my number through her cousin – my ex-husband. She called to let me know that her mom had passed away. We talked and I listened like always. I knew her mom and she died from drinking. Addiction kills. So of course, I went to the funeral. At that time I realized why I hadn’t heard from her and I could see why she was avoiding me.

The last time I spent time with her was around Christmas of 2005. At that time she was fighting Graves’ disease. Danette had always been tiny, but she had put on a lot of weight and was having problems with her eyes because of the medication she was on.

Now at the funeral, she was rail thin again and all over the place. I really only got to talk to her for a little while. And that was the last time I will ever be able to talk to her.

On April 12 2017, Danette, who was moving out of her boyfriends’ place, hung herself. I didn’t find out until the next day. She was 45 years old. She left behind her 3 young adult children. She broke her father’s heart and 1 sister and 3 brothers that will ask why until the end of time.

The story goes like this:

She got into meth really bad with her husband. They were into meth so bad that they were beating on each other. So they split up, which was better for everyone involved. Eventually, she found this last guy they were both on again off again on meth. I guess they were fighting and he threw her out to go stay with her dad. While she was supposed to be in the bedroom packing, he was in the living room. Danette took a rope and a knife and hung herself from the closet clothes rack. The thought is that she was hoping he would find her before anything happened, but if he didn’t she would be able to cut herself down. They think she passed out before she realized what was actually happening in the end.

The way I found out was a fundraiser for Danette on Facebook. I'm not a big Facebook fan; I get on there once in a while. So I found out the next night. Little did I know but Charlie was trying to contact me because of Danette. He had tried calling me through Facebook. Finally he reached me by contacting my husband at the time on Facebook. Charlie knew because his mom knew Danette's dad.

I reached out to Danette's sister and found out about the memorial time & place. I let Charlie know when and where everything was happening. He was worried about me more than anything; he said he would go if I needed him to.

This all happened the week before Easter. So since I knew Charlie was alone, I invited him over to spend Easter with my family. Easter was nice and fun, thanks to Charlie. He has always been a fun person. I missed hanging out with him.

The day after Easter was Danette's memorial. This was one of the worst funerals I have ever been to. Danette's dad was a mess. I've seen this man since I was 14 years old. He was tough and funny. It broke my heart seeing him like that. Her whole family was a mess. The worst part was her kids. The girls were bawling. One of them was just sobbing. It was very heart wrenching.

Thank God Charlie was there with me. Like always my rock. The whole time at the memorial, I keep looking at him wondering what the hell had I been thinking all these years. Charlie was my rock and always has been. I could always cry around him, I don't normally cry around anyone I don't trust. And I don't trust a lot of people.

The moral of this story is no one is worth your life. No matter how bad you feel without them - period. It's not who's going, but the ones left behind. Like Danette's kids and the rest of her family.

After going through this - it really struck home for me. Life is too short. The glass is always half full no matter what.

Please read part 2 to find out what happens to Myself & Charlie.

Donna Gonzales
Donna Gonzales
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Donna Gonzales
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