I’m holding in my hands a book that belonged to someone I knew very well, but never met! She left this world last month, at the age of 90, so I’ll never get to see her in life—but we shared something extremely special: We loved and cherished the same two people, her son and my daughter.
Ilene and Curtis met after each had lived through terribly traumatic situations and found in each other solace, friendship and love.
Sally, Curtis’ mother, lived in North Carolina and, because of health issues, could not attend their wedding in New York. But that didn’t keep us from being long-distance pen pals. We’d remember each other’s birthdays and anniversaries and send notes about what our children were doing. Ilene and Curtis spent their summer vacations in North Carolina so she got to know and love her daughter-in-law as I did her son.
Somehow, every time Sally planned to visit Westchester, something intervened to prevent her from doing so.
I’ve learned, though, that you don’t need to meet someone face to face to love and appreciate them. Interestingly, the kinship between us was there before we ever learned about each other because, oddly enough, we looked very much alike!
I’m reading one of the last books Sally ever read and I can feel her essence and being on every page. I sense her wonder and delight and will savor the story even more so for what she left as she scanned each page.
I read the words through Sally’s eyes as well as my own. She lives on in the hearts and minds of her children and also by sharing with me her enjoyment of not only the written word, but of life itself.
Farewell, my friend.
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