Sunday, October 17, 2010

Requiem

Every high school class has one -- the girl who is near or at the centre of everything. Known by all, if she is not in charge then she gets everything organised for the one who is. If she's not the organiser, then she's the tireless worker who makes the event or whatever happen. She has very definite ideas about what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, when it needs to be done and, if all else fails, the gumption to do it herself and to joke and cackle and make it fun. In our class, that person was Anna. No matter the activity, whether a dance, a choral performance, an operetta, or a student council election, she was part of it, usually infecting and involving a lot of others with her enthusiasm. We met during our first week of kindergarten in 1950 and remained classmates until graduation in 1963. After graduation, we saw each other only infrequently but somehow maintained the bond of shared experiences. At our most recent class reunion, all of us spent a great deal of time recounting and chortling over incidents and events long past, yet still as fresh as yesterday in our minds. Anna chortled the loudest. Anna left us last Monday. She was visiting one of her daughters, and on Sunday evening complained of a cold. On Monday morning, she failed to awaken. She leaves behind her loving husband of 44 years, four daughters, numerous grandchildren, many friends, and at least one BFF. Her death leaves a large hole in the lives of those of us privileged to be her classmates and friends. Go in peace, Anna. You left us too soon. There was never anyone like you before, and after you there shall come no other. You are missed.