Trudy and the author sitting beside each other smoking. Trudy, on the left, is in a cream blazer with a dark blouse, the lapels of which come out over the jacket. She's wearing make-up, large earings and her her blond hair cut short. The younger girl (the author) to the right has short dark hair with a fringe She's wearing an overside brown blazer with a black check through it. Both are smiling. Happy.

2024 Grateful 50: One of a kind

Trudy is dead, mam said. She died during the week.

I was surprised that I was so surprised at the news. Trudy had been in the health wars for years.

I’d called to see her when I was home after Boss died last summer. She hadn’t changed. Okay, she was older and not as chiselled, but age does that to us all. It rounds out the edges.

She was still the Trudy I remembered. Still every inch as glamorous. Hair. Face. Nails. Clothes. All perfectly done.

We sat in her conservatory, drinking wine, smoking cigarettes, and looking through old photos.

We talked about the people we knew from back in the day when we both played golf locally.

We talked about life. About loss. About sickness. About death.

We talked of everything. And we talked of nothing.

As a young girl growing up in Ireland, we had two channels on TV. The number of female actors I was exposed to was limited. I had a girl crush on Kate Jackson (Sabrina in Charlie’s Angels). I quite fancied living in the boonies, a fancy fuelled in no small part by Melissa Sue Anderson’s Mary Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. And I was very taken with Irish rally driver, Rosemary Smith.

I didn’t wear makeup. I didn’t follow fashion. And I rarely looked at a magazine.

For me, Trudy was as exotic as it got.

She’d mastered self-deprecation, complementing it with an acerbic wit. Her laughs travelled up from her fashionable shoes, hearty and infectious. And she always looked so glamorous.

I was slightly in awe.

I never tried to imitate her style. There was little point. She owned it. It was uniquely hers.

I don’t know where this photo was taken. Judging by my jacket, I’d say it was most likely the late 1980s. It may well have been during an evening out in Dublin or perhaps after some golf match somewhere.

I can’t remember.

Trudy though? Trudy, I’ll always remember.

She was one of a kind. With her death, my life loses a little of its glamour but retains the essence of her joie de vivre.

I’m grateful to her for the confidence she gave me in the days when I didn’t know how much I didn’t know.


4 Responses

  1. What a photo! And as an admirer of descriptive alternative text for images, I appreciate the alt text for this one. Anyone using a screen reader gains understanding of the text by knowing what the photo shows. My heart thanks you for the post, my inner accessibility advocate thanks you for the alt text!

  2. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Great photo of you both. L couldn’t guess who you were. I know your beauty inside and out! Cheers.

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