I didn’t think it would hit me as it did.
Dave came down for coffee and I blurted it out. “A lady in my hometown died!”
I started bawling. This wasn’t a little trickle of a tear slowly moving south. It was an all out cryfest, shoulder-shaking, nose-filling sob attack.
“Honey, who was she? Did you go to school with her? What is it?” (Poor guy! I hit him out of nowhere with this and he hadn’t even gotten his coffee yet!)
“No…no… it’s not like that!”
I took some deep breaths, blew my nose, and filled him in.
I have many fond memories of my growing up years. Being a lover of words, written and crafted words hold a special place in my heart. My hometown newspaper each week posted a column entitled, “Up a Country Lane.” written by Evelyn Birkby. I never met her in person and not many of you would even know her, yet my mom and I considered her a dear friend. We would read her words, laugh about her stories and even share tears. Evelyn would write about her life as a farmer’s wife, mishaps in the kitchen, outings with friends and everyday adventures in the coming’s and going’s of life in Iowa. After I moved away from my hometown, Mom would read a particular column of Evelyn’s and if she thought I would like it, she would cut it out of the paper and drop it in the mail to me.
So when I saw in my Facebook feed that Evelyn passed away, it hit me hard. She had written for that column for 7 decades! SEVEN DECADES! I haven’t even lived that long! And to top it off, she lived to be 101! That’s double me right now! So basically I’m feeling just middle-aged! Looking back at my years and all that my life has been, I can’t even wrap my head around the idea that she lived double my life right now.
For a tribute this week, my hometown paper posted a column she had written as her farewell post. Her opening line was: “As with all things, it is finally time for me to leave my typewriter and microphone and move on…”
If I added an emoji here it would be that of the sobbing cry face!
Her opening, crafted line deposits an enormous lump in my throat and I can’t quite swallow. For a writer to leave their words behind is an amazing legacy.
Typewriters also hold a special place in my heart.
I mentioned last year to my siblings that I wanted a typewriter like the one we had growing up. “Does anyone have it?” I asked them. And then an ensuing group text column emerged from my family scouring around the internet, searching out a replacement for me
Last month, this one arrived at my home from my brother.
Matt has been pounding away, writing stories, and crafting words. My heart bursts with memories of my own typewriter days where I would make up stories, type out adventures, and tape them to my mother’s dining room wall.
Listening to the click, click, click of the keys is a rhythmic song to my soul. The sound of the strokes brings me back, I reminisce and reflect… We all have one life. How well can I live out my days with what I’m given? Evelyn had no idea how she touched my life, my mom’s or all those who read her words.
Our one life touches many lives.
How are we dealing with this one life?
- Are we living our dream?
- Are we traveling down the lanes that will lead us to good places?
- Are we enjoying the adventure?
- And if not, how can we make it the adventure we desire?
The news of Evelyn’s farewell did more than bring big tears to my eyes. It reminded me of past times, good days, lanes I should return to, and words that need to be written.
I end with words from Evelyn about living long and well… “Greet every morning by saying it’s going to be a good day, and do all you can to make that happen.”
Friends, let’s keep reminding ourselves that good things are ahead. Our life is ours to live well so let’s make it a good one.
Make this day a good one!
~ With lots of love ~ Rachel