::HERE'S TO YOU, MRS. ROBINSON::
Today's her birthday. Tonight was her birthday party -- at my parents' house, on their deck, we were having a cookout. I was going to pick up some Elvis Jailhouse Merlot for her on my way home from work.
But Opal Robinson, my mom's best friend whom we met in Indonesia in early 1991, died this afternoon of a heart attack. I got a frazzled call from my mom at around 2:30, asking how to get to Baylor. I talked her through instructions, and asked if she was okay. "No, it's Opal. Her coworkers found her on the floor in her office, not breathing."
She is survived by her husband Jim (who is trying, ninja-style, to kick brain cancer's ass) and her kids, two girls a little older than I, one of whom got married last summer
. She was six and a half feet tall and weighed -- I don't know -- probably about 400 pounds. We all thought Jim would go first. And they'd just bought a house in Fayetteville.
She sang for the American Women's Association Singers in Jakarta, and one of the funniest bits in their shows was when she -- large and unapologetic -- donned a gold lamé jumpsuit and sang "Blue Christmas" as Elvis. Hence the wine.
I'm still pretty shell-shocked. Opal was awesome.