February 12, 2011

Dear Lois,


Today is your celebration!  Your Mom and Dad have planned a wonderful day to celebrate your life--bubbles, flowers, children, good food.  The Botanical Gardens have never seen such a sight!  I am excited to meet so many of your friends and supporters.    I wrote you this letter this morning.  I tried for days to write to you, but I just stumbled around.  But this morning, I finally could tell you much of what I've been thinking.


Dear Lois,

I don’t quite remember when I first met you.   I know that I first discovered your wide grin and advanced mischief skills through your mother’s blog.   When I found out you lived nearby I was thrilled to meet you and your family.

While you might not remember me, I will always remember you.   You and I didn’t spend much time together; maybe a game of patty-cake at a Down syndrome meeting, or a quick tickle when I stopped by your house.   If I had a camera, you’d instantly put on your charm.

I got to know you mostly through the stories that my daughter, Miss Kate, would tell me.  Boy, does she love you!  She’d come home from caring for you and just beam.  I can’t count the times she’d say, “Love that girl.”  You’re one of the reasons she is planning on adopting children with Down syndrome.


Soon after Miss Kate left to work in the Peace Corps, you got sick.  I eventually got my turn to help care for you.   That’s when you worked your most powerful magic.  How in the world were you, at age two, able to become a community organizer?     I saw how you brought people in to you—from the housekeeping staff, to the powerful doctors, young children, college kids, to grandparents—all were drawn in to your circle of joy.   You’d give a grin and bold wave on good days, and on bad days you’d give a sideways glance and the best wave you could manage.  

Lois, you showed everyone how to be honorable and dignified.  You stayed true to your mission of bringing love and joy to the people around you.   The other day a friend of mine said she wished she could have met you.  My instant response was that you’d have enchanted her.  I think you are enchanting people still, pulling them in and teaching them how to be loyal and true.

Lois, I have been trying to figure out what impact you’ve had on my life.  If I’m honest, I have to say that I don’t yet know.   I think that it’s too early to say.   You’re still making differences in my life and in others.  I see how you’ve influenced generations in my family—from my parents to my own children.   I imagine that my grandchildren will hear stories about you, and you will be still impacting lives.    

You pulled my friends in closer to me.  Introduced new people into my life.  Gave me the opportunity to bake a whole bunch of peach cobblers, both celebratory and mournful.  In your honor I think I’m going to have to change the name to “Bean Cobbler”, though I have to say, people might be a little afraid of a bean cobbler.

You did a terrific job, Lois!   Well done.

Love, your friend,

Beth


10 comments:

Melissa M said...

I'm sure it will be a beautiful celebration today.

stephanie said...

So beautiful...

Charissa said...

Oh, that made me cry.

kim said...

i'm glad you posted your letter. now i can read it and cry freely instead of holding it all back like i did this afternoon (well, TRIED to do...) :) love you, pal <3

Wendy said...

Beautiful letter and beautiful child. Now if you will excuse me I'm need to get a box of tissues.

Tina said...

That was beautiful, Lois has touched so many lives, mine so far far away, more than I ever imagined. My heart breaks for this loss.

Tracy said...

Beautiful, my friend. I'd go with the Bean Cobbler...it will give you a chance to talk about Lois! You should post the recipe the the header "Bean Cobbler."

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Beautiful letter Beth. So well written and meaningful to our community. I will so miss reading about the ButterBean. We are simply loosing to many to this horrible disease.

Karen Longo said...

Although I only know her through your blog, this brought tears to my eyes, and my thoughts go out to Lois and her family.

Lianna said...

There are those moments in life when one person you've never met can change everything in your life. I am so grateful for you, and Lois' family, to share what you have this past year. To celebrate Lois' life is what makes the angels heard here on earth.♥