December 19, 2007

"Fate made us sisters, our hearts made us friends"

Debbie made this card for me 22 years ago. Looking back I know there are some people who have contributed in profound ways to who I became. She is one of them.

We were 17, I was an exchange student from Norway spending a year in Asheville. In the fall of 1985 I needed to change host families. Debbie's mom Sue talked to her family, and they decided to try me out. I was the luckiest girl in the world. The hospitality of Sue, Ray, Danny, Kim and Debbie was unlimited. I lived as a daughter in the house. I got a sister. Debbie included me in her senior year at A C Reynolds. She shared her friends, her clothes, her time, her car, her laughter and her heart. We laughed, we cried, we worked, we talked, we read, we wrote, we danced, we yelled. We drank unbelievable amounts of Diet Coke. And ate chockolate chip cookie dough. For Christmas we got the pink pickled egg that had been standing on the counter of the gas station at Fairview the whole year. It was disgusting. We went to the prom, took drama class together, took Debbie’s car and Sue’s credit card and ran off for Florida and Atlanta. Debbie’s enthusiasm was a gift to her surroundings. She did not filter the world like many of us do. We loved our lives, we had great faith in the future, we were delighted by the opportunities that were in front of us. We knew everything was possible, like only 17 year olds can know that. We wrote hundreds of letters after I went back to Oslo. I still have them.

I have not seen Debbie in many years. I was in contact with her in October, confirming I would try to visit in April next year.

I am so sorry. I wish a beautiful soul like hers would not have had to experience the darkness she must have seen. Debbie and her family are constantly on my mind. I have no words big enough to express the gratitude I feel for what they meant to me. Every day since I got the news I have heard Debbie’s voice saying my nickname in all the funny, happy, goofy ways only Debbie could say it. She has and always will occupy a part of my heart. I would have been a poorer person had I not known her. She was and is my only sister. Thank you Debbie.

—Marianne, “Marna”


Stephanie said...

i love this haircut. this shot must be from the eighties? is that a diet coke in the bunny cup?

Anonymous said...

Oh Deb, my sweet Deb, Your eyes reflected the world. Your heart was too large for this world. The pain you felt makes me weep and now you're gone. I will always love you. Always. -AMG

Anonymous said...

Marianne, This was beautiful.
I am so sorry....

Judith Y.
from Fairviewlzwkoyv

Anonymous said...

Judith, thank you. I have been looking for you for so long. Please find me at

Zeb said...

Debbie, I will miss you!

marin* said...
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