Friday, October 25, 2013


We had lunch with Kate today. Four of us who had met, and assisted, or edited, or project managed, or whatever, at Saunders College Publishing, at one time or another. Lauren and Kate also went to college together. Kate lives near me, but our paths rarely cross. She teaches college English. Ellen is now subbing in elementary schools. Lauren got a PhD, taught, then started her family later than the rest of us. With her sons in junior high, she writes and volunteers, Beth, the lone chemist, is the last of us still editing textbooks. We all have kids. We all have husbands.

Except Kate. She lost Jerry to a heart attack a couple of Sunday mornings ago. He collapsed while jogging. Kate was cleaning up the kitchen, and he just never came back. The cops knocked on her door. Do you know where your husband is?... Kate suddenly must go it alone. Their two sons, a college sophomore and high school junior, have not yet left the nest. They had a good life together, Kate says. She has no regrets. It is good to hear; it is good we are here. We came to comfort Kate, but she comforts us.

Thus the reason for our lunch. Girlfriend time at Tokyo, good feng shui in Skippack. Hugs, wine, sushi, bento boxes, teriyaki. Warm coral walls and high ceilings frame tall picture windows: the reds, yellows, and grays of a sunny autumn afternoon punctuate our conversation, which now seems sacred: Jerry, how they met, what happened, the funeral, teaching, publishing, books to read, craft shows, dogs and cats. My gaze wanders outside: I sat on that patio with Gary, just last summer, celebrating our own anniversary. So much has changed. Now Kate is facing the autumn without Jerry, much too early in their lives. This could have been any of us. Life may be short; or it may be long. We have no idea. Girlfriends: in it together. Call us, we tell Kate. On a good day, on a bad day. Whenever. I recall Anne Lamott's Help, Thanks, Wow. For Kate, I ask, please Help.

1 comment:

Lauren D. McKinney said...

Nice, Robin. Carpe diem indeed.