A Great Loss
Today, at about 06:00 Central Daylight, my good friend, Sylvia, died.
She was a very sweet, elderly lady who never did really grow old.
She had the loveliest natural silver hair and pale skin, which made her look really good in pastels. She wore pink a lot, long before it was the current fad .She wore lots of modern fashions, including Crocs shoes on her tiny feet, in pink or powder blue.
She lived quite a life. Being only about 5 feet tall and sweetly quiet in personality, she married a lumbering guy who had many long, loud opinions, and whom we all, also loved. I am sure he is devastated, right now, although we all knew Sylvia’s time was at a close.
A teacher by profession, Sylvia never backed down from imparting proper English upon anyone who needed it (with an appropriate Southern drawl, of course.) Long after her retirement, she was still at it, peppering conversations at church with corrections of our grammar. Somehow it never felt like correction; more like a blessing. I guess that was a sign of her closeness to Jesus.
However, she also taught Spanish, and would greet anyone in that language, once she learned they had even a smattering of a grasp on it. “Hola, Catarina,” she would greet me. “Como estas, hoy, mi amiga?”
And we would have to answer in Spanish.
Since I majored in languages, we could converse a long time before one of us got stumped.
Sylvia was a people lover. She always believed everyone was innocent. Of course, while she could rationalize with Lizzy from Pride and Prejudice that we can’t ALL be good, she ignored that rational thought as much as possible. It was so easy for her to love anyone, and for anyone to love her. Even those who felt silly mispronouncing Spanish in the aisles of the church just loved her. My daughter, who knew ASL and some French, would answer her in one of those, and Sylvia was delighted to learn “just a bit more — you never know when you might need it.”
And because she was a lover of all people and thought all people innocent, she loved me when others thought me guilty. She had no evidence. In fact, the evidence made me look mighty guilty, but she refused to believe all that, and just loved me. I want to be like her, some day.
Her funeral will be huge.
I toy with not going. I don’t want to see her dead. It’s too late to hug her one more time. Her husband’s tears will cause mine to drown me. I don’t like some of the people she loved and who loved her in return. There won’t be enough room in the church for us all, anyway.
Besides, I just want her back. Selfish, I know.