Friday, August 16, 2013

In Memory

It is inevitable when you get to a certain age that death comes quicker for people you know. I didn't expect this one.

Shelby was in the 1974 graduating class at West High School in Columbus, Ohio and I knew her mostly through other people, like her first husband, Rob, who was close to my best friend, Connie. Rob was in band and so was Connie's first husband, Tom.

I saw Shelby at the 15th reunion with Rob and we chatted briefly. I think she knew Hoity-Toity better than she knew me, but that is to be expected since they were in the same graduating class. I got to know Shelby better on Facebook over the past year and she seemed happy and contented with her life. She posted pictures of her children and grandchildren and of her husband and she shared thoughts, quotes, and pictures that were special to her and demonstrated her faith.

This year marked the 40th anniversary of the class of 1973 graduating from WHS. The reunion was held at a casino in Columbus on the west side of town. Shelby had been diagnosed with cancer a few weeks before the reunion and was in a lot of pain. She handled it the best way she could, but I think being invited to join our class reunion helped a lot. Many of my classmates knew Shelby very well and inviting her to the reunion made perfect sense. Shelby didn't plan to go since she was in the class behind us, but at the last minute (the day of the reunion) she decided to go and was welcomed with laughter and open arms.

When I woke up this morning and checked Facebook, the first thing I saw was that classmates were asking for prayers for Shelby's family's loss. I didn't expect that. She had just started chemotherapy and would get better. Except she didn't. Shelby is gone and she leaves a hold in so many lives she touched with her smile and her generous heart.

I didn't know her well and I regret that now. What I have learned of her since we became friends on Facebook is that she is someone I would have enjoyed knowing better. She was a rare person, a woman of faith and family, and a person of depth and strength. She is missed by all that knew her. I miss her, too.

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