Remembering My Pig Butt Buddy

I’m thinking about a good friend today. She was my Pig Butt Buddy.

For this to make any sense, you must know that we live in a rural area not too far from a couple of pork-processing plants. I sometimes do secretarial temp work. I was headed in to an assignment when my cell phone rang. It was my friend Beth. Here’s the conversation we had:

Me: Hello.

Beth: I just saw a truckload of pig butts and it made me think of you. Is that a bad thing?

Me: I suppose it depends on why it made you think of me.

Beth [chuckling]: Well, there were all these tails sticking out along the side of the truck. They were wiggling in the wind. It made me laugh really hard, and laughing made me think of you.

Me: Well, then that’s not a bad thing.

We wished one another a good day and said goodbye. On my way home from work that night two pig trucks passed me, one right after the other. I called Beth and left a message, “All right, you started it. Now pig butts make me think of you.”

That’s the day we became pig butt buddies. My home is filled with pigs that she gave me through the years. We would occasionally leave phone messages for one another leaving no name, no phone number, just, “Pig butt.” We celebrated the Chinese Year of the Pig with monthly pig gifts. As a matter of fact, right now I’m wearing the pig slipper socks she gave me.

We lost Beth just over a year ago to ovarian cancer. Today would have been her birthday. I used to tease her that I was so honored to have a friend whose birthday was celebrated by an entire foreign country. (In case you weren’t aware, to day is Cinco de Mayo.) There are times when my grief over the loss of such an important person in my life is still physically painful. More often, though, memories of her make me smile or even laugh out loud.

My time with Beth was much too short, but I’m so very thankful for every moment I had with her. She was a sister in Christ, so I know I’ll see her again one day. For now I’ll just have to make do with memories of my amazing, wonderful, Pig Butt Buddy.

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