A tribute to a special lady

Writing is one of my favourite ways to spend my time and please believe me that I have a list of subject matters that I’m itching to discuss with you but they must wait because I need to voice something from my heart.

I am sad to say that a very special lady I know fell to rest recently.

Having been dogged for years with ill health, her death has still come as an unexpected shock for everyone who knew her. News of her passing has been an extremely keen blow in our community.

I’m not even going to pretend that I understand how her family feel so I’m not going to discuss that. I just want to honour my friendship with her in my own way.

I’ve mentioned her in this platform before simply because the sheer optimism and pragmatism of this wonder woman was enough to remind you that there really is no point in complaining about the hand you’ve been dealt. In my previous blog Living My Tapas, it was her sweet face beaming at me across the super market carpark, shuffling on a frame that might have suggested an age of more than double her years, weak from a recent hospital stay. But she beamed.

It was the first time she had been out of the house in a long time and she was so happy to be out in the fresh air. I was so happy to see her and we embraced and talked and she gifted me with something that I’ve never had the words for, but the best I can do fumbling around for a word is ‘strength’. I’ll never forget it.

She very kindly agreed that I could interview her about her positivity in the face of her physical challenges. Regrettably, that never happened but in a way, that’s fine because anybody who knew her knew anyway and that is the most important thing.

I told her how much she had given me and with the humility so typical of her she said

I do nothing special, just try to live good life. I will never take for granted what I have … I am thankful for that everyday.

Outwardly, perhaps many people didn’t realise she and I were friends past casual acquaintance, but we shared conversations about deep, personal things, about yoga, about good books or just good natter.

She and I shared a connection and I held her in very high esteem. I’m very glad she knew that.

Rest well, friend, I will miss seeing your bright smile.