My little Margie:
Born thirteen years before I was.
A tiny, elfin. Maybe 105 lbs.
Wed at 18.
Moved to Chicago.
And back to Minnesota. Moved in with my parents.
She often counted on me to babysit.
The kids tormented me until I played my “hobo” (oboe) for them.
The oldest, Michael, died at age 22. In a freak motorcycle accident.
She was never quite the same after that.
Bouts of pneumonia.
Getting on her feet: Bought a house in Lakeside.
Remembering the clothes hanging on the clothesline, in the dead of a Minnesota winter.
Loved to tease her, like going to her house on Halloween, dressed up as a bum . When she didn’t recognize me, and said: “Hey weren’t you just as the front door?” She recognized my laugh.”
I moved away. On my career path. She moved to a lovely home in the boonies.
She applied for a job at AT&T, and we worked together. Me, in Management, she as the union rep. It didn’t work. She took a job as a janitor, and eventually, in the plant department.
She visited me, often, traveling to Brainerd or Owatonna, Mn.
We celebrated with good food and laughs.
On a new year’s eve, we watched Guy Lombardo. She called it the dance of the living dead.And that is when I began calling her the village idiot.
I moved on, to Omaha, where my husband died.
She retired, early.
I moved to New Jersey.
We never did connect in the same way after that, but when there was a family emergency, Margie was the one who let me know.
I moved back to Minnesota, to Iowa, and then to Pennsylvania, only seeing Marge, when I took a trip back home, to vacation or to grieve another loss.
We kept in touch, by email and an occasional phone call.
Marge moved to Las Vegas.
She was on one side of the country and I, , on the other.
When her husband died, she moved back to Minnesota.
She seemed happy.
I was having some hard times and she sent me money.
I survived, thanks to her, and she said: “Don’t pay me back. Isn’t that what family is all about?”
I knew her health was failing.
She said, “Don’t worry about me. I don’t want for anything.”
The last time I had contact with Marge was 3 months ago, her birthday. I thanked her for what she had done for me, and asked her how she was doing.
She didn’t respond.
She was sick.
I knew it.
Now she has only a few days left in this life, if that.
Margie, the little 110 pound munchkin, with the deep voice, the twinkle in her eye, the conservative who never liked wearing dresses. And who would spend her time in retirement, crocheting blankets for the women’s shelter, was now in her last days.
She is surrounded by her 3 children, drugged, and barely breathing.
She will pass to another life, most likely in a few days.
My little Margie: I love you and will miss you.
And thanks to you, I will carry on your legacy, until it is my time to meet you again.