I’m feeling sad this week. My mood, I know, was triggered by the death of a neighbor here in Florida, a sweet woman I barely knew but liked. At her memorial service Monday afternoon, I started thinking of all the people I’ve met over the years, people I barely knew who are now gone. People I still miss. Some were old and their passing wasn’t a big surprise, but many were way too young to die. I can think of four who passed on in 2014: Lyla Fox, Virgina DeWeese, Patti Shenberger, and Joann Cotant.
I don’t know why some people make a lasting impression in just a short time. Usually I run into people I know I should remember but don’t. There are a few, however, that have remained in my memory for decades. I can close my eyes and go back in time. It’s like watching a film clip or part of a home movie. The memory is more ethereal than photo perfect and might come back as the remembrance of a hug, the sound of their laughter, or simply the pleasure of being around them. I don’t know if it’s a shared connection; that is, if these people were alive today and I was gone, if they would think of me in the same way. I hope so, because the friendship seemed real at the moment.
Besides the passing of my neighbor, and seeing her husband’s grief, I think this time of the year makes many of us remember friends and family we’ve lost. I know I find myself recalling Thanksgiving gatherings and Christmas holidays from my past. Most precious are the years when the holidays were still a time of magic, back when I, my family and my friends were young. Or when my children were young.
Alas, those days are past, but rather than weeping over those memories, I want to thank those people, even those I only knew for a short time, for being a part of my life. To quote Bob Hope, “Thanks for the memories.”