Weekend Column – We Had Plans

Nov 9, 2015 by

The Little Black Dress and Kellyanne McCaul Warren could be considered friends of a lifetime. I’m talking the kind of friendship found in legends and songs.

They have been friends since, well, let’s just say a long time because I’m not about to divulge anything relating to the LBD’s age. As I recall, they met while both their respective families were on vacation somewhere in the Pocono Mountains.

Kelly was a New Yorker. The LBD an Okie. They never lived in the same state. Didn’t matter. Just one of those relationships that just blossomed over the years.

The Dress and I went up to New York for her wedding. She was a bridesmaid at ours. Although she almost wasn’t, because apparently her plane started smoking really bad right before takeoff and they all had to evacuate and jump down those slides. She made it on another plane and to Tulsa for our wedding with a few minutes to spare.

Seventeen years ago, we, the LBD and I, were living in Juneau, Alaska, and awaiting the birth of Eldest SON of Thunder. Somehow Kelly convinced me that I had to fly The Dress to The Big Apple to get “hip” maternity clothes, as Alaska stores were known more for fly fishing waders.

The Dress returned a week or so later with a few extra suitcases. And yes, there were all kinds of leopard print maternity wear.

They talked and talked and talked about every two weeks or so. And about halfway through the conversation, The Dress would hand me the phone and let me have a few minutes.

Kelly always talked about coming down and taking The Dress on a spa vacation or something. We always talked about getting the LBD back up to New York. There were lots of plans.

The big joke was that when their respective husbands, that would be me and Jeff, died, Kelly and The Dress would move and have a “cabana in Savannah” and be waited on hand and foot.

A couple of weeks ago, Kelly left a “like” on Facebook about a column I had posted. It was the one about why we ran the tattooed rapist on the front page.

That was Oct. 12. The next day, Kelly was eating at a restaurant near their apartment in New York.

She went down the stairs to visit the ladies room. She tripped and fell.

Five days later, Oct. 18, she passed away. She never woke from that fall.

The next day, Oct. 19, was the LBD’s birthday. It was the first time in decades Kelly did not call and wish her a happy birthday.

Jeff, her husband, called the LBD a couple of days after the fall. He said that Kelly just wasn’t responding to anything. “She loved you, Corby,” he said.

And then he mentioned how Kelly was always trying to make plans for our families to get together. Something we always talked about. And how Kelly was always trying to work out some getaway with The Dress, just the two of them.

To hit that cabana in Savannah for a few days. Lots of talk, lots of plans. But they never materialized.

Because we all know we have time. There’s always tomorrow, or next week or maybe even next year.

No. No you don’t.

The Sunday after Halloween our church honored those members who had passed away over the last year. Candles were lit. Our minister then asked the congregation if they had friends or loved ones who had passed and wanted them recognized.

The Dress looked over at me. She was a mess. I looked up and said, “Kelly Warren.”

And I think that’s when it finally really hit me. Damn it, Kelly. You are not supposed to die falling down some stairs. You and The Dress had plans.

They had plans, but there was no tomorrow.

Until next time.


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