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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.


  1. Dear Linda,

    I am very sorry for the loss of your friend and Mahjongg partner and share your sorrow.

    I was introduced to the game of Mahjongg 5 years ago and play weekly with a wonderful group of women all 30 years my senior.
    They graciously tolerate me as being the youngster in the group and I have learned a lot from them all.

    We last played June 20th and the next day our friend and constant player to my right, Doris was stricken and passed away.
    We were saddened and shocked, Doris was a fun player who made silly mistakes but was always first to laugh at herself.
    She always called the game Mar Jongg :-)

    It will be very difficult to get back together next week. Our game will be played in honor of your friend and our dear friend Doris, may they both rest in peace and smile down at us when we gather.

    With my sincere condolences,
    Donna Slack
    Lake George, NY

    1. Thank you so much, Donna. It's players like Doris and Lorraine that give the game so much depth and richness. Your comment means a lot to me.

  2. Heartfelt Linda :-)
    We are playing this coming Tuesday and I know it will be bittersweet