I learned recently that a former co-worker of mine was ailing and it was likely to be terminal. She sadly passed away over the weekend. While she had a long good life, I know that I for one think that the world is a bit less bright for her passing.
I worked with Mickey at a large bookstore in Missouri. She was a retired high school English teacher and one of the loveliest, feistiest women I’ve ever had the privilege to know. I was kind of jealous of all those kids that got to have class with Mickey. My high school English teachers were all quite stellar, but they sure weren’t Mickey. She hosted a book club at the store and was constantly challenging me to read outside of my comfort zone. I recall having just lovely discussions in the mornings with her about everything from books to current events to what was going on my my life. I actually liked coming in at 5 or 6 in the morning because it was a nice quiet time spent hanging out and shelving books (and talking) with Mickey.
When I gave notice, it was around the time of my birthday. She pulled me aside and handed me a gift. Inside was a lovely card with a collection of three books. They were the Kristin Lavransdatter books by Sigrid Undset. It was really the first set of historical fiction books that I’d ever read. Mickey thought I’d like them, and was sure to tell me that Sigrid Undset was one of the first women to ever win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The card was one of the loveliest I’ve ever received and I still have it.
After I finish this insanely large library book I’m working on, since I can’t attend the funeral tomorrow, I’m going to pull out the Undset books and give them a re-read for Mickey. I think she’d be ok with that as her memorial.