|Louise, photo taken at her 50th wedding anniversary in August.|
I "met" Louise at least twenty-five years ago. I say "met" because it wasn't a face-to-face meeting, rather a conversation we had over the phone. I had her eldest son in class at the time and Louise was concerned for him due to the nature of my class. She had just learned that she had breast cancer, and my class, Health, covered topics which might trigger sadness/anger/concern in her son. We spoke several times and I promised to keep an eye out for Micheal's mental health. I did. In a way, the experience helped me bond with Michael and one of his friends in a special relationship, one that remained intact for several years after he left my class.
Louise survived that first bout with cancer, though the treatment was brutal and took a big toll on her health. I finally met Louise in person several years later when she started attending my church. I think, but I am not positive, it was Michael who brought his mom to church. His friend, the one from Health class, was in our youth group so it would make sense that Michael came with him. Anyway, Louise came with her boys and hasn't left until today.
Louise and her husband Jim, were both elementary teachers before retirement. Louise loved kids and her smile when she talked about them, tells me that they loved her back. We had teaching in common but she was sweet whereas I was snarky...the difference between elementary and secondary teachers. Over the years she has maintained a deep friendship with her team of teachers from her last school. In fact many of these friends attended her 50th wedding anniversary party on August and remarked about what a good day Louise had and how radiant she looked. The photo I've used was taken of Louise on that day.
|One of Louise's last sewing projects. She made these stuffed cows for a grandson who wants to be a farmer.|
Last night when book club met again, we talked about Louise and how much she meant to all of us. Then we bowed our heads and prayed for her, for her family, for a peaceful passing. We are a Christian group. We believe in life everlasting. We believe she is in a better place, one not plagued with cancer. But last night, with our prayer, we were all just thinking about losing a friend and how much we will miss her, Louise our sweet friend.
Goodbye, dear Louise. I know you are shedding your sweetness beyond the wall now and we shall meet again some day.