Yesterday when I was down at a store in San Bernardino I came upon an old friend that I haven’t seen for a long time. I was so happy to see Ed Kalin who was there with his “helper or caregiver.” We enjoyed talking but I was so sad to hear that his longtime wife, Ginny, had died. Ed and Ginny were two of the early members who were part of the founding of the Running Springs Golden Oaks so many years ago. Her framed photo, along with Bob and Helen Hootman and other early presidents including Cleo Lisle, have a special place in that building (as they should!) As I recall Genny spent many years (many, many years ago) in the U.S. Air Force. This was long before women in the armed services were “really” accepted by many people. She truly was a trail blazer and I adored her. Everyone adored her!
Ed and I talked and quietly cried over the loss of loved ones and the sometimes trials of life but we parted with great long hugs. I liked his “helper-aide” so much as she had quite a continuance about her. I could tell she took great care of this (now) quite elderly man whose life has meant so much to so many. It doesn’t seem possible that Virginia (Ginny) died in 2011 and at the time of her death she and Al had been married for 62 years and she was 84-years-old. He misses her terribly and how could he not? They were married so many, many years.
I like to think this chance meeting was an early Christmas present to both of us. We both shed a few tears at losing loved ones we have spent so many decades with but also came away with gratitude for this unexpected meeting. We exchanged long, loving hugs in the middle of the huge store and I know it meant as much to him as it did for me.
During this holiday season take time to look back to loved ones lost and be grateful for them and for those who helped make life better for all of you, especially when times were tough.