This has not been a good year. Actually, for hundreds of thousands in our country, it has been as awful as it could get. So many people have suffered losses that I had a hesitancy in posting this. Just in the past week, a cousin lost her father in law and a Facebook friend and fellow blogger lost her mother, and several Facebook friends have family seriously ill with COVID.
I need to pay tribute to a work friend who will have a memorial service tomorrow.
It's so hard for someone to lose loved ones during The Holidays. I know that from experience.
Vicki made guest appearances a couple of times in my blog. The first time she appeared was in my very first blog post, which detailed my experience working blocks from a mass shooting on April 3, 2009 in Binghamton, New York. I was out with this woman, a work friend, at lunchtime.....
And I was with her the day of this experience, too.
Then again, she appeared one last time, when I purse dialed her several years ago.
Vicki came into my life when my department at work hired a new administrative assistant for our department head. She had worked for years at IBM and was a native of this area, unlike me. I think we hit it off fairly quickly. She worked just a few feet away and we had to work on certain things together.
Very quickly, this stylish woman with the impeccable hair and clothing chose me (me, with neither hair nor clothing impeccable, as I will freely admit) as her lunchtime walking and shopping companion.
We walked miles and miles over several years, favoring what we called the "Three Bridges Walk". We also spent a lot of time shopping at a downtown department store. Not too many small city downtowns have a department store anymore, but Binghamton does. And Vicki took full advantage of them.
|We used to love to visit the downtown Binghamton farmers market|
We would go to the downtown farmers market, where she would shop for spices.
She would listen to my tales of family, including my elderly mother in law and my autistic brother in law, and, in turn, I would hear about her sister, who ended up (too young!) in a nursing home because of serious health issues. Or about her son, who owned a pizzeria in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
I met her son and her husband.
After a while, her son moved back to this area and opened up a restaurant. We chose his restaurant (since sold) for my son's 21st birthday.
|One of the sights we might see on one of our walks (taken in 2015)|
Vicki had a ready smile for everyone. She could strike up conversations with anyone, again, the total opposite of yours truly.
Time passed. She was spending a lot of her lunches with her sister in the nursing home. We saw each other less but still enjoyed occasional walks.
But one day she seemed down. She was having a recurring pain problem that she had thought was a dental issue, but her dentist couldn't immediately find a problem. After some tests, the issue was found - a brain tumor. Benign in the sense of not being cancerous, it was painful and getting worse.
Eventually, she underwent cyberknife surgery, but it wasn't entirely successful. In the meantime, I was transferred to another department. She retired.
The last time I talked to her, she was having great difficulty communicating. A man (I assume her husband, or it could have been her son) had to help her some.
Vicki died December 21 after "a long illness", at the age of 73. Too young.
|In memory - taken in Confluence Park Binghamton|
2020 marches on, stomping on millions of families as it leaves.
Rest in peace, Vicki.