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Remembering a Friend

Home | Video | Remembering a Friend | Interview with My Mother | The 23rd Pslam

By Leora

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Remembering a Friend

 

Carol (Erstad) Duber

 

Carol and I had been friends all through school and besides various classes were in chorus.  At that time the music department at our school was large and Carol played the piano for the chorus and for Concert Choir.   We had many trips out of town for competitions and I remember her spending many hours behind the Grand Piano that belonged to the music department.   Carol and I with several classmates formed a triple trio and when we graduated from Globe High School in 1971, our Senior Triple Trio performed for the graduation ceremony.   We drifted apart after graduation and during those years she married her high school sweetheart Bob Duber, went to nursing school and then had John in 1978.  At our 10 year class reunion Carol and I were reunited and since I had also married and had a son the same age we started doing things with our children.   Carol joined BSP in February of 1980 and then had her daughter, Lindsay.   I had a daughter in 1982 so with our children so close in ages we were planning many things with them.  

 

Carol invited me to a Christmas Cookie Exchange that her chapter, Alpha Tau was having and by February 1983 I also had joined BSP.   Those years were just full of activities both with sorority and with our children.  We became even closer friends and BSP became a common bond.  We both loved it and our friendship blossomed.   There were many years of rushing, parties, fundraisers and so many activities I wonder sometimes how we managed to do all of it.  

 

Carol was a perfectionist…not only in how she presented herself but what she did with her time.   She would plan for hours for some of the socials we had and there were many hours sitting at her kitchen table making name tags, or working on some sorority function.  Carol loved to sew, do craft projects and one year we decided to make Christmas ornaments out of dough and dip them in paraffin.   We had a whole production of dough ornaments, geese, lambs, bears and dolls with various cut outs.   We had numerous shopping trips to the valley too and Carol loved to shop.   We found out we had the same taste in earrings and would often pick out the same pair. We used to laugh about who would get to wear theirs when we would go places together.

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Apart from sorority Carol loved to dance and she and Bob were always going wherever they had an opportunity.  Carol was very supportive of Bob’s political career and campaigned very hard right along with him.   

 

When all of us in Alpha Tau first heard of Carol’s first episode with breast cancer we couldn’t believe it was happening to someone so young and so close to us.  The disease seemed to be in remission and Carol was working as a school nurse just like her mother Barbara had been when we were kids – but then she started having migraine headaches.   They became so intense she could not work and function in sorority so she dropped out of BSP.  I stayed close with her through those years doing things with our families and our children. We loved to take our kids to the Mesa Museum of Art and we would stay and do projects with them; take them to the movies, zoo and other places.   It wasn’t until years later that we encouraged her to come back and join us again in Xi Alpha.  We knew she couldn’t do things as she used to but we felt that it would be a good place for her to get her mind off of her health issues.  

 

It was not long after she re-instated her membership that we heard the cancer was back.  This time it had shown up in other parts of her body and the only way to deal with it was with chemotherapy.   I remember visiting her at her mother’s house in Sun City many times.   When she lost her hair she was devastated so our group bought her a wig.    Nancy Mackay and I went “wig shopping” and took three blonde wigs for Carol to try on.   We ended up having a “Wig Party” and somehow Carol talked us into putting those wigs on too.  Another time Patty Nolan and I visited she insisted we promise her that we would plan Lindsay’s wedding since she knew she wouldn’t be able to do that.  But she did manage to plan for Lindsay’s wedding and loved every minute searching for decorations from home with her computer.  Everything had to match and everything had to be just right.  She drove her friends crazy with all the details but it was a beautiful wedding and Carol was so happy to see a day she thought she never would.  Patty and I were relieved because the pressure was off of us to meet Carol’s standards.   We were so happy that she was able to have so much fun and her health allowed her to be there for that day.

 

Carol attended sorority meetings as often as she could.  Many of us would pick her up and by this time we had oxygen tanks and lines to maneuver but that didn’t seem to diminish her zest so everyone made the effort.   It really bothered her that she was not able to contribute to our chapter as she had in the past.  Sometimes we had to go to her because she wasn’t able to leave her home and finally after struggling for so long, Carol finally gave up her battle on July 5th 2005. 

 

She exemplified the meaning of what Beta Sigma Phi is all about. 

 

Life - She lived it wholeheartedly, even when it was difficult.

Learning – She never stopped the process of learning.

Friendship – She had so many friends, some closer than others but she knew what being a friend was about.

 

She is truly lighting the way for those who follow.