Growing up, I was friends with a girl named Tammy Markham. She was a beautiful person, inside and out. She had a lovely voice and a beautiful smile and she was my friend, no matter what. Her family was my family. Her momma was the one who got me to like fried shrimp and I'm sure a whole host of other fried foods. That woman could cook and I was always excited to be included at their table. Tammy also taught me the joys of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. My hips and thighs thank you!
I spent many a night at Tammy's house and when I ran away, it was always to there. Not that I did it too many times but when I did, Mumsey always knew where to find me. I first watched the movie "Somewhere In Time" at Tammy's house, it is a favorite of mine, still.
Tammy had two cars. A Volkswagon Bug and a convertable "Thing" (remember those?). We were driving down the road one night and decided to put the top up or down and did it while driving. I learned that night that you should stop to do such a thing. One time, a youth group was visiting our church and they were staying at several houses in the neighborhood. Tammy and I were taking them there and we were in her "bug". I'm sure you know those cars hold at most 5. Well, (brace yourself, mother) we probably had 8 in there. I ended up in Tammy's lap steering, her doing the foot pedals at my command since she couldn't see. We got everywhere safely, though how, I don't know. We had more fun together.
Her sister, Sherry, called me today to tell me Tammy had passed away on Tuesday, she went into cardiac arrest and never recovered. A while back, she had suffered some sort of "episode" that left her paralyzed and rendered her essentially speechless so this was a blessing in most ways. But, it was comforting to me knowing where she was and if I had some extra time going home I could always stop by Longview and see her. But, I didn't do it often enough and for that, Tammy, I am sorry.
But, please know that tales of you and I will live on and I will always remember you as a beautiful soul, lovely singer and the best friend a girl could have.