We can disagree and still love each other- unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.
We unexpectedly lost one of our beautiful friends yesterday evening. We first met Carolyn in 2006, and she quickly became a fixture in our lives – frequently accompanying us to movies, restaurants, and even on the occasional road trip.
Some people don’t understand why we enjoy hanging out with elderly people, but if they had spent just a few moments with Carolyn they would have quickly discovered what a delightful person she was.
She was probably the least judgmental person I have ever known. She rarely had an unkind word to say about anyone – but if she did they were most assuredly deserving of it. It was simply her nature to see the good in people.
Carolyn was rarely anxious about the little things that so many of us stress over. She would wave away concerns over her leaking patio roof or who was going to be president, but she always cared enough to ask about the health of my family members or which plants I had purchased on a recent trip to the local nursery.
Carolyn could be extremely humorous without even trying. She is the only person I have ever known who treated a wig like a hat. She would haphazardly throw it on before leaving the house, and then hang it on the hat stand when she arrived at her sister Betty’s for a game of dominoes.
And speaking of dominoes, that was one game she was always happy to play regardless of how badly she felt, and she thoroughly enjoyed rebuking her sister for swapping out pieces when no one was watching.
Riding in the car while Carolyn was driving was its own kind of amusement. I will never forget how she said she liked to drive especially fast around the curve on Buckner because it made her feel “elegant.” When coming up behind a car at a stop light, she would wait until the very last second to slam on the brakes, leaving us passengers screaming like we were at a theme park.
She loved frozen yogurt – especially the Cake Batter flavor.
She read constantly.
She loved plants and gardening.
She was kind, and generous, and loving.
A French poet once said, “A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.” Carolyn is gone, and we have certainly experienced a loss, but I also recognize what a blessing it was to have known her and to have been able to call her my friend.
I will miss her terribly.