“Days they pass so
nights are seldom long,
time around me whispers when it’s cold ...”
— Poems, Prayers and Promises (John Denver)
When I hear those lyrics, I marvel at how fast life passes by. Has it really been 10 years and eight years respectively since my dad and mother have been gone? Can two years possibly have passed since we got the stunning news that Bev passed?
Wasn’t it just yesterday that she sat on my office couch and told me a funny story about her bunny, about the night she woke to find a raccoon staring back at her from her dresser or about the mice who liked to build nests under her car hood?
Can it be that long since she confided to me that living alone, her greatest fear was falling or becoming ill and not being able to call for help?
Yes, it has been that long and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to delete her number from my cell phone. She might find that ironic since we mostly did all of our talking face to face.
I fear I took Bev for granted when she was with us. You know how it goes with someone you see every workday — you nod, say a quick hi and go on with your day. For the longest time after her passing, every time I walked by her cubicle and she wasn’t there, I was surprised all over again.
I edited her column each week, most times just checking spelling, grammar and the like without every really stopping to think about what she had written. But for some reason, her last column resonated with me as I read it. And it stuck with me.
When we found out on Sunday that she had passed, the thought crossed my mind that even though she had not mentioned feeling unwell, maybe somewhere in her soul, she knew she would be leaving us soon.
And these were her words of comfort to us.
Bev, I miss our talks, the jokes we shared, the tales of our pets, our lives outside the paper, the struggles of being a single woman on her own.
I’m sure you are looking down, smiling at the thought of your legacy that will help people like us.