I gazed up at the stars tonight,
And let my mind wander free
The past became so vivid,
I reached out and touched a memory

Memories of days gone by,
A childhood we thought would never end
We found in each other a playmate, a confidant,
But most of all a best friend

In the beginning we were content to play,
In a dirt pile with a bunch of toys
But childhood things were soon cast aside,
For a sandy beach with lots of boys

Under the cover of night we whispered,
Our hopes, dreams and fears
Always there to lend a hand,
Or wipe the others tears

We lived each day with passion,
Lucky were we to survive it all
We took a few bumps and bruises,
But boy did we have a ball!

We left home to spread our wings,
With grown up lives of our own
And through the years I never forgot,
The best friend I had ever known

Over the many years that passed,
I often thought of you
And I hoped deep within my heart,
You were thinking of me too

I promised I would go back someday
And find my childhood friend,
But time flew by as it often does,
And you think time will never end

Violence took you from this earth,
When you tried to make a new start
That day heaven gained an angel,
And it broke this best friends heart

© Madona Smyser 2002

This is the story of two friends brought together by fate, bonded by choice and separated by circumstance......

Some of my earliest childhood memories include Vicki. We met when we were five years old, our brothers were friends and we would talk through an open car window while our parents dropped our brothers off at each other's houses.
I remember my first day of school, I was frightened and I did not want to go. The walk down the hall to my classroom was surely the longest walk any first grader had ever endured. As I reached the room my fears fell away the instant I saw Vicki sitting there. Her freckled face and dimply smile chased away all my fears as a sense of the familiar made me believe maybe this school thing was doable.
From the very first we were more than just best friends we were more like sisters. We laughed and cried, fought and made up again. Over the many years that followed we sometimes found different friends to spend time with but always landed back together as if no time had passed. When we were angry at each other it never lasted for very long. I was at her house so much her mom assigned me my own list of chores.
We loved to take her parents boat out into the canal that ran behind their house. We would pretend it was our boat and spent many hours dreaming of what it would be like when we grew up.
As we got older we nearly lived on Fort Myers beach, she would get mad because my dark completion tanned so much easier than her fair freckled skin. She loathed her freckles; she didn't realize how adorable they were and how they only added to her already sweet personality.
Vicki was close in age to her brother David; he often found himself and unwitting participant to one of our many schemes. David and Vicki took care of their little brother PJ. From a very young age Vicki changed PJ's diapers and carried him around on her hip while other girls were still playing with dolls. I guess what I remember most about PJ was his never-ending passion for chocolate milk, he loved Nestle Quick, that boy was addicted to the stuff! He would turn into a little tornado until one of us would fix some for him.
We thought her older sister Connie was so cool, we begged to go everywhere with her. We loved riding in her van with the big speakers and listening to Steve Miller Bands greatest hits. The music would bounce off the walls of that van and man did it rock!
Her oldest sister Carol was the absolute coolest because she was soooo grown up, she was married and had her own house and we dreamed of the day when we could be so grown up.
Vicki had another older brother named David also and he was yet another older sibling that we idolized.
Vicki was with me the day I met my future husband and abuser, she was there the day we got married. She was also there to say good-bye the day before I left Florida. Her words to me were hopeful but her eyes told me she did not approve of him.
I only saw her one more time after that, we were in our early twenties, we didn't get to see each other for very long because her husband was not very nice and made it clear that I was intruding. For the first time in our friendship I felt like we were strangers. It made me so sad, I asked her if she was OK and all she said was yeah. The whole time we talked she kept glancing nervously at her husband, and I felt and could see that things would be better for her if I left, it was obvious that he did not want me there.
That was the last time I saw my friend. I moved away and looked for her when I went back on vacation but I never found her, I wish so badly that I had tried harder.
Vicki and I lived such similar lives, even after we were grown and lived in two different states. We both married men that abused us and both had two daughters with our abusers. The difference is that I made it out and my friend did not. I ran to another state and hid from my abuser. She filed for divorce and was killed by her abuser, he then killed himself. Vicki died at the age of 35 and left behind two daughters, a father, brothers and sisters and many friends. She deserved a life without violence.
I wish I could tell her that I never forgot her, that she was a part of most of my childhood memories. I wish I could tell her how much she meant to me and how I missed her sweet smile all these years. Most of all I wish I could tell her how sorry I am that I didn't look harder for her, sorry that I didn't know how badly she needed help. I didn't help her when she needed me.
That could have been me, I lived the same life at one time and I guess I feel guilty that I made it out and she didn't.


My friend was a victim of Domestic Violence, please if you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence get help before it's too late.
For more information on domestic violence click HERE

Go Rest High Upon That Mountain
By Vince Gill

I know your time on earth was troubled
Only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go Rest High On That Mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a-shoutin'
Before the Father and the Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
Gathered 'round your grave to grieve
Wish I could see the Angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

Go Rest High On That Mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a-shoutin'
Before the Father and the Son

Go Rest High On That Mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a-shoutin'
Before the Father and the Son

Go to Heaven a-shoutin'
Before the Father and the Son.


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Lady Madona GraphixPaula Vaughan
The painting in this set is used with permission
of the artist and is © Paula Vaughan
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Go Rest High Upon That Mountain
By Vince Gill