I cried easily today, not in roaring waves of anguish, not with groans and flailing, but gentle streams ran down my cheeks, and I nearly didn’t notice. I sat between friends, who have little trouble letting tears fall.
That’s a big deal. It shows me that some things in me are changing, slowly, steadily.
The service in Rosemary’s honor was touching. The stories shared by the speakers, pulled on our hearts, fiercely dared us to “love like this, too.”
I love what Russ, Rosemary’s son-in-law, shared. He relayed that the family had eaten breakfast at Cracker Barrel the day before and that they sat where Rosemary and Bill always sat when they went for their weekly CB date. The waitress was their regular waitress. She immediately asked where Rose was. When they explained, she burst into tears and sobbed.
Russ reminded us how Rose always sought to make every connection a deep one. Waitress, student, parent, teacher, friend, family member, mailman, etc. Every story I hear told of her floors me.
I’ve only had one bad, BAD, day at the school. I nearly walked out, forever. I was angry, almost despondent in my anger. I think Rosemary read my posture from way down the hallway. Immediately, she came alongside of me, and locked eyes with me. She knew why I was angry, I’m pretty sure she thought it was justified. I don’t remember what it was she said exactly, rage is blind and deaf. But it amounted to, “I’ve got this.”
I don’t know what all happened, but a few days later, everything was righted. The impossible, the non-negotiable, changed.
We are not exaggerating when we share about her. It’s so hard to relay who it is we lost. There is now this gaping hole, it’s crater-sized, at our school. We couldn’t hire ten people to take her duties over much less her place.
She was the administration secretary, her “job” was to keep the Head Master organized, but every time anyone, overwhelmed ever started a sentence “What do we…?” or “How should we..?” or “Where will we…?” the response and solution to the question was almost always, “Ask Rose.”
We have stumbled and reeled down hallways we could have once navigated in pitch darkness, so great is our discomposure. Our universe seems shifted.
I sat between two dear friends, both writers, both confidants, whose very presence helped me grieve, and I’m pretty sure that we all recognized a great chapter’s close.