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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dear Lorraine,

I'm about to return home from Florida, and didn't want to leave without saying goodbye.  I played Monday night with Carol, Fran, Sydel and Madeline and I went pie.  They are worried that the game is going to break up now that you're gone.  I hope that doesn't happen.  Madeline said she called Marty and the boys to find out what happened to your set and they screamed at her and said they trashed everything, but she didn't believe it.  I called too while I was here, but didn't get a reply.  Your set and your mother's set, I understand.  What will become of them?  

I could feel you in the room, little Buddah - talking to yourself and your tiles. I should have realized when you  stopped commenting on my posts, but too busy with my own stuff I failed to notice.  So I got a shock when I heard of your sudden death and had to adjust to the knowledge that you would not be here when I arrived.  No more lunches, no more games.

Remember when I flew in for the tournament and my flight was late and I raced from the airport to pick you up and then drove on I95 like a maniac and we made it just in time?  Or the time you showed me the baby owls' nest when we were the last ones out of the clubhouse?  I still have the insulated mahjongg lunch bag that I swapped with you for the beach tote.  Thank you so much for bringing me into your game when I didn't know anybody.  And for your steadfast support for my cockamamie writing projects, the ill-advised mahjongg murders.

When I went to bet on Monday, I saw little numbers with circles next to the names on the pad.  What's that for?  I asked the girls.   "It's something Lorraine liked to do," Madeline said.  "She liked to see how many games we played."  She misted up, and so did I.  But it sounded like something you would do.  Why would you need to know how many games you played? No reason, just curious.  So now I am going to do it too.  I'm going to start a tradition of putting the number of the game in a circle next to the person bet on.  I don't care if no one else wants to do it - I will do it and this way I can bring you into my game like you brought me into yours.

So bye, my first Florida friend.
Rest in peace.