Not long ago, when flipping through a notebook, I found a where I had started and abandoned a shopping list.
Underneath I had written. "I need to buy tomatoes, coffee, and toilet bowl cleaner. But David is dead, so how is that possible?"
Beverly and Kathy, RWA Conference, 2010
I have no memory of writing those words but I recall, in all too vivid detail, the feeling. I think Emily Dickinson described it best as a formal feeling.
She was my friend and someone I deeply admired. I didn't know her longer or better than most of the people in her life, but when we met almost five years ago, something clicked between us. Because we held similar views on very important things like cloth napkins, hostess gifts, and silver iced tea spoons, she always teased me that we were sisters.
I took that as a compliment of the highest degree because nothing in Beverly's life was more important to her than family—not her career, not her New York Times Bestseller status, not the air she breathed.
At first, I thought I wanted to write about some things she would want to be remembered for. Then I thought, "Who am I to make such assumptions?" There are those who could, but it's not me.
So I am going to mention a few things I would like to see her remembered for. I think Beverly would be all right with that.
Beverly and Stephanie at RWA Conference, 2010
- She was the consummate professional.
- She was every inch a lady.
- She was living out her Happily Ever After.
- She wanted everyone to succeed. She would tell you what she had learned. If it was something she hadn't learned on her own, she gave credit to the person who taught her.
- She was the epitome of kindness and grace but it was not of the meek sort. Her generosity of spirit and sweetness came with fire and life.
- Her shoes and bag always matched.
Today, I have to buy milk, lemons, and laundry detergent. How is that possible?