By: Aly Halberstadt as told to by Sandy Portincaso
The grandchildren were with me during those summers, the summers I drove Miss Phyllis. On those mornings, I’d follow along to the car as two of my grandkids would scramble into the backseat before I got in myself to pick up our friend. The kids were shy at first around Miss Phyllis, unsure how to relate to someone much older than they, but over time, conversations between these inter-generational acquaintances between the storytelling and banter of friends. We all looked forward to those mornings but as it always does, summer ends and school begins. My grandkids were quickly swept back into the hustle and bustle that August brings and could no longer accompany Miss Phyllis on her rides. Months passed. Then one day as I sat across my grandson, he asked, “How is our friend doing? You know, the one we used to drive to the doctor? Miss Phyllis?” As a tear started to form, I broke the news that she had recently passed away. It has been several years but I still think about how heartbroken he was to hear. We may not be able to drive Miss Phyllis anymore but we will never forget her. For, she was more than just someone we drove to the doctor, she was our friend.