Sunday, December 29, 2019

An Open Letter to Esther

Dear Esther,

I'm so sorry I didn't get to see you before you passed. I wish I had a chance to say good-bye in person. But you always did things on your own time. I will miss you dearly.

I truly enjoyed your friendship all those years on the bus. You were the Grandmother I never had. Matter of fact, you were EVERYONE'S Grandma on the Route 15. Those few minutes I had alone with you from Hearst Castle to Cambria were the highlight of my route. I loved learning about your life and history. You were a tough, strong woman, with a big heart. Growing up during the depression and then going through World War II while some of your friends fought must have been really rough. But like so many other's of your generation, you survived and lived a wonderful life. Raising children and helping make America that Shining City on the Hill.

I hope you'll get a chance to read this. I know you're probably busy catching up with family and friends you haven't seen in ages. I love you and appreciate what you brought to my life these past several years. May peace be with you for eternity.


Early this morning my friend Esther died. She was a regular rider on my bus route for several years. She was born on March 6, 1926. And died today, December 29, 2019. 34,266 days. Quite a life. Calvin Coolidge was president when she was born.

She was a tough old broad. One of my first interactions with her was her scolding me for now waiting for her. She worked hard and played by the rules. She had a long, fulfilling life with a loving family and close friends. Everyone on the bus loved her. She was always so proud of me for my weight loss and healthy life changes. Needless to say, I'll be thinking of her while I train and dedicating my next race to her.

Esther enjoyed the simple things in life. I think many from her generation were like that. She loved hot dogs from Costco as well as the rotisserie chicken. And she loved her dogs, Barney and Max. She always remembered my birthday and gave me a card with money. Just like a Grandma would do. Two Christmas's ago she baked some cookies and put them on a plate for me. Above is the picture.

I'm tremendously sad but also happy that I had the chance to know her. She lived (and died) on her own terms. Esther, you'll be missed.

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