You know that one house and that one friend’s mom that you remember from your childhood? It was the one place you always felt welcome by that one mom who was not yours. You felt special because you knew she really wanted you around and it wasn’t because you were her kid and she had to feel that way. It was your first experience of knowing your worth and feeling valued because of who you were and not because of who you belonged to. Sure, I knew my mom loved me and that mattered to me, a lot. But there is a time in your life when you feel funny and interesting and likable because you are who you are, and only because of that. And someone else enjoys you and wants you around.

I grew up in Palos Verdes California, down the street from Lucy. She was that mom in my memory and always in my heart. I was about eleven when I met her. My mom was an artist when I was growing up and Lucy was always decorating something. I am not sure what ever came of the meeting or if my mom ever painted the mural she inquired about, but I do know that her oldest daughter, Kathy and I became fast friends along with all of Lucy’s daughters. She had four. It was like I hit the Jack Pot meeting them. They all went to a local Catholic School and because they didn’t go to our public school, the neighborhood kids were small minded and slow to embrace them. Well, all I can say is… their loss was surely my gain!

I took turns being good friends with each of her daughters during different stages of my life. And then a few years later, Lucy went through a divorce and met a man named Bob, who she married, bringing two more kids into the fold. It was a wonderful family and I loved each one of them in different ways throughout my life. But Lucy ended up being my friend that I’d go visit years later. I remember staying up late at night for hours at a time talking to Lucy. I loved spending the night at their house and when they moved, I think I went into a small depression. Until, we reunited when my mom discovered a phone number that had gotten “misplaced.” That summer, I promptly moved in with them in Orange County where they’d moved and spent several weeks hanging out with Lucy as she picked out new wallpaper and tile for the 6000 foot home she was building in Fallbrook overlooking their several acres of avocados that Bob was going to manage.

The plan was for me to find a job somewhere in Fallbrook and join them. But between getting very engrossed in a serious relationship and missing my own mom a little more than I thought I would, I didn’t follow through with the final plans to move there with them. Though, I did get a job offer after I’d moved back home. And always kind of regretted not getting to live in that amazing house that my sweet Lucy built for her family and included me in that plan. Even though I never lived there, I visited several times a year for many years until I got caught up in having my own family. Slowly, the visits became less frequent. Though Lucy and  Kathy, attended my dad’s funeral and Bob and Lucy attended my second wedding, and Lucy even came to stay at my house a time or two, I regret letting life interfere with our visits and I often wonder how different my life might have been if I’d moved into that wonderful home.

A few years before Lucy died, I took my daughter to visit her and we had such a neat visit. I wanted to share a piece of Lucy with her and I really feel she “GOT” who Lucy was to me. I will always be grateful that she agreed to go and that we have that memory.

Tonight, while I was driving home, I drove past a house with a long driveway filled with cars and it reminded me of that house in Fallbrook. It always looked as if it was having a party, because of all the cars parked there. But they all just belonged to her family, each in their own rooms or in different parts of the house just living there. And it gave me this warm melancholy feeling. And it made me think. Legacy isn’t just something physical that you leave, it’s not a building or a fortune, but something intangible. Something far more valuable. It might leave a hole when it’s gone that takes your breath away, but even more, it gives you that place in your heart to fall, the one person, or place you remember when no other place works quite as well.


It’s been over a year since she has left this world

and yet, sometimes knowing that she’s not just a phone call away any longer,

takes my breath away.


winnie goodbye quote


36 thoughts on “I Miss You Lucy

  1. It is so sad when we lose those we love, and for a long time we often find we don’t want to think about them because it hurts too bad. But then one day we find that thinking of them and the memories makes our heart smile..
    What a lovely post Diane.

      1. Sometimes I really do, but try to when I may not really understand. Those times when we have not experienced what the other person has we may not be able to fully understand, but we can still care just because we know they are hurting.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your friend Di. I can relate. There are those few that we feel we can run to refuge when we just need a dose of inspiration. I have lost that one long ago, so I know exactly what you mean. xo ❤

    1. Debbie,
      I am sure you had a Lucy! I know that someone had to have mentored you into the amazing woman you are today!
      Thanks for reading during your busy moving and publishing season!

  3. This was a wonderful post, Di. And keep in mind that, as long as she is in your thoughts, and in your heart, she’s not really gone. You’ll still see her…, even maybe talk to her. Some people never leave us. 🙂 Be happy !

    1. Paul,
      Thank you for that! I spent the day with my niece yesterday and I believe that you are so right. I watched her grow myself and get to the point where she was a strong, say what she meant and believed without holding back kind of lady. Hopefully,everyday, I am learning to be more like her, trying to be a tribute to her memory by being a Lucy for other young girls myself. You are right, she is with me daily. I only have to draw from my memories that we shared. Thank you for that Paul! As always you say just the RIGHT thing!

  4. You’ve done it. This is probably the best you have ever written. I recall Alice Keenan, who had this same effect on my sister … There are no regrets though, for as the song goes – there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done – surely Lucy lives on in your heart, and truly as you say the seed she planted there will bear fruit for generations to come …

  5. This warms my heart, Diane. I love the beauty of the relationship you had with Lucy. It’s truly special when people come into our lives like that and accept and love us unconditionally. You’ve been given a gift to have known her and still hold her in your heart. With that, she’ll never be far from you.

  6. Lovely story. It is fun to remember those few people who you knew you just belonged together with. I haven’t stopped to think about those dear ones in a long time. It is amazing that they included you in their plans with their new house. That speaks worlds.

    1. Jim,
      I like that! “Who knew you just belonged together” THAT is it! There is just this predestined kind of connection that you feel, even as a kid!
      Thanks for reading and commenting! I have missed your in-put!

  7. Saturday morning is the time Mother and I chatted. She is no longer at the other end of the line. I miss her so. I can relate big time to this post and especially to the quote at the end. Good ole Winnie!

    1. I know what you mean Marian,
      I remember Lucy had a hard time hearing when I would call and so I started sending notes more than calling. I kind of regret it now. I guess this is a good wake up call to spend more time with those special people who are still here on this earth!
      Thanks for your thoughts and taking the time to share them!

    1. Thanks for reading! You are right! We don’t make the rules. I think that hind sight is 20/20.
      Even though I cherished Lucy. I regret not making a point of visiting more often! I found one of your posts and loved it but couldn’t find the other!
      Could you send me the link please??

    1. Holly,
      Thank you for also reading and sharing! It means a LOT! I was hoping that THIS would inspire everyone to think about their own Lucys and be grateful for them all! 😉


    1. Diane,
      Funny you would know that. 🙂
      Actually, my first friend out of her daughters, Kathy, has sent me poems and letters that I wrote to her over the years, that she saved.
      JUST knowing she kept them and being able to read what I wrote, and know I did tell her how much she meant to me, means more than anything I could ever ask for.

  8. Oh wow, did this touch my heart and bring back sweet, sweet memories. I had a great aunt and uncle that I treasured as much as you did your Lucy and I love this last line of your post: it gives you that place in your heart to fall, the one person, or place you remember when no other place works quite as well. The Winnie the Pooh stories were my favorite to read to my daughter and I loved your quote from him. I think I read them as much for me as I did for her. Thanks for sharing this post! It added such a sweet touch to my birthday! Hugs and love, N 🙂 ❤

    1. Natalie,
      Happy birthday!!!!
      It is such an amazing gift to have adults in our life that bring us to that first place of affirmation
      Isn’t it? I think that they all had something to do with the development of our character. I know that your Aunt and Uncle must have been special because of how special you are! I wrote about Lucy right after she died and a lot of people seemed to relate. So glad you had a Lucy too!

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