When I first moved to this neighborhood 18 years ago, there was a woman who walked early every morning. I’d see her on the drive to work. That wouldn’t be unusual except she was. She was short and slim with a huge fluff of white hair. She wore signature red lipstick that you could see from outer space. Every single day! Her clothing was very colorful, like you would find on small kids. All that wasn’t the most unusual thing about her.
She didn’t just walk, she hopped, skipped and threw her arms around. At first I thought perhaps she was challenged in some way but there was a rhythm about it. After a few days I realized she was doing an exercise routine. Either she had earplugs or she knew it.
She made such an impression on me that I posted about her early in my blogging days. You can find it here. That was back when I had few followers.
She always waved and I beeped my horn. I ran into her in the grocery store once and she said “I know you!” What she meant was that she recognized me from driving by. We didn’t exchange names or anything else.
The beloved husband and I called her the crazy lady and that was meant in a good way. Not everyone who is crazy is bad. Some are unique.
I continued to see her over the years. She was a very dedicated walker and she lived in one of the neighborhoods surrounding me.
I didn’t see her much last summer but it was a dreadful summer with a lot of rain and super-hot weather even in the morning. During the fall I saw her strutting her stuff. Arms flailing and it was a great sight. Almost as if normal returned.
I didn’t see her during the winter which was very mild. As I think back now, that was unusual. She had wonderful (and colorful) winter walking clothes.
This past week I saw her obituary. I almost missed it because I don’t know her name. There was a picture of a smiling happy woman with white hair and red lipstick. I was intrigued so I read it. There was a paragraph dedicated to her “unusual” walking and all the friends she made along the way. She died in hospice so she must have been ill for a while.
You don’t know need to know someone to feel a sense of loss when they die. Perhaps we can blame it on all the other stuff going on but it’s one more normal that is lost.
Rest in peace Margaret and know that you always brought a smile to my face.