Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Watching a friend die

Nothing slaps you in the face of your own mortality as when you witness a friend's slow but sure demise. Having lost many of my own relatives and parents years ago, I was reminded of the agony the family and friends go through as well as your sick friend.

In 2000 I was collecting signatures in front of CVS and Country Fair Market for Framingham's first Public Policy Question and met many. One older grey haired women, after hearing my speech, signed the ballot. Little did I know, this grey haired senior citizen would play such a role in my life. And in 2002 I decided to run for State Rep and was contacted by Toni Burrill. She asked if she might help gather signatures.. and that she did. She asked all her neighbors, family and friends. I did get on the ballot and lost my shirt to Deb Blummer. That same year, I started the talk show "Jim Pillsbury Live" and almost every show, Toni would call in, with a great question of our guests.

In 2004 my old friend Grave Easton became my co-host and played solo acoustic guitar and sung his own songs. Toni was Grave's biggest fan and loved his songs. In the Candle Light was her favorite song and if Grave didn't sing it on that show, she always let me know.

In 2012 I ran again and of coarse, Toni was collecting signatures for me. As her health waned, she couldn't get to her beloved TM. Toni wanted me to be at TM, so she didn't run again and I was elected to TM.

And then last year, she once again, collected signatures for my last Public Question. She believed in Democracy and how her signature meant something.

In the last months of her life, she was at Windgate and I would see her every day. I would take this frail women outside for a but, have a laugh or two and she really enjoyed it and got into trouble for doing it.

Toni was and will always be in my memories as long as I live.

Sunday at Boyle Brothers on Union Ave from 4 to 6PM is the wake

Monday at St George's at 10AM is her service.

Toni requested no flowers.

1 Comments:

At December 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a sad story, but also a testimony to what true friendship means.

 

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