I found out last week that an old friend and co-worker of mine, Susan Hanlon, passed away after a terrifying illness. I sent her a card recently after hearing how sick she had been, and have no idea if it even arrived in time. She's beyond those cares now, of course, but it's another grief, not having known sooner. Not having seen her in years.
Times like this make me think a lot. This time, my memories go to shared laughter, hard work, joint goals and long days in a company we both admired. I honestly don't know anyone who didn't appreciate Susan. She was one of those special people. Secretary to the CEO, she could have been full of herself, but wasn't. Words come to mind like quiet and hard working, but also fun and interesting. She took time to be nice—not just to department heads and their assistants, either. She probably knew just about everyone in the company.
I tend to think in terms of music and verse, especially when ordinary words fail me. Since I was thinking of the Rubaiyat last night, it's still in my mind, so I'll share another verse for Susan and her family. It's perfect for her, and I'll think of her as she was next time I pass a garden, or when my beds of Iris bloom next spring.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head. - Omar Khayyam