By Lorry Myers
I was at a fundraiser and across the hall, in the wine line, of course, were two women I am always happy to see. I joined them, of course, and Meghan and Heather threw their arms around me, both at the same time. Heather suddenly stepped back and said, “Meghan, this is it! Go get her!” With that, Meghan’s eyes widened and off she went.
What was going on?
You never know with these two “old” co-workers of mine who remain my steadfast friends. Over the years I have watched these young girls grow into responsible adults, busy mothers, and caring community members.
What were they up to tonight?
I felt a tap, and Meghan was back with a dark-haired beauty beside her. Heather was almost giddy when she grabbed my hand and announced, “This is Whitney, Ramona’s daughter.”
I stood there frozen, unable to breathe. My hand instinctively, covered my heart and I managed only to say, “Our Ramona?”
“Our Ramona” was another co-worker who became much more than that. Ramona Davidson was an involved mother of school age children and the farmer’s wife who drove a grain truck like it was nothing. Ramona was the one you could count on to make treats, coordinate the carpool, or volunteer to chaperone. Ramona wasn’t frilly, or fluffy; she didn’t try to over impress or outdo, she was just her genuine self.
I loved that about Ramona.
Then one day, Ramona came to work with a limp that only worsened. After a doctor’s appointment, she called with news neither of us expected. Ramona was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer and immediately began experimental treatment in a hospital several hours away. All the while, she never lost her smile or her optimism so I was unprepared when she told me the treatment wasn’t working and she didn’t have much time. While I cried, Ramona told me she had thoughts to share and she wanted me to promise I would write them down for her.
I would have promised Ramona anything.
Each person in our office was impacted by Ramona’s early death. With the passing of time, I often think of my friend and the words she offered sixteen years ago. Now, close enough for me to touch, stood Ramona’s daughter. Whitney is a wife, a mother, and a daughter who spent half her life without her mother.
Ramona’s little girl is all grown up.
For the complete article see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.