|(photo from the obituary)|
About fifteen years ago, after my retirement, I joined the Berea Fine Arts Club. There I met an older lady who was a talented watercolorist. Her name was Mary Jane, but everyone called her "MJ". Over the years we became friends. We served together for two years on the executive board of the club, she as secretary and I as vice president. Besides our love of art, we both enjoyed classical music. We went to a number of Cleveland Orchestra and Akron Symphony concerts together, as well as to the movie theater to see simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera.
We both drifted away from the club... I because I was traveling so much, and she because it was becoming too difficult to set up for the club art shows. We still kept in touch however and would occasionally get together for lunch.
Early this year she was diagnosed with cancer. In mid-May, when I returned from my latest trip to Mexico, I called her. She was in good spirits, and I told her that I would call again and that we could make plans to go out for dinner. I called, perhaps a week later, and left a message on the answering machine. She did not return my call. I called again, left another message, and expressed concern that she was all right. I called a third time. This time the answering machine was not working. I wondered if she had left her home to stay with her son who lives out of town, or if she were in the hospital. I had no way of reaching her.
I feared the worst, and a couple days ago I did a Google search of her, and, sadly, the first thing that appeared was her obituary. She had passed away on June 24th. I am sad that we never had a chance to get together again.
I will miss MJ, and I will remember her each time I see a painting of hers that is hanging in my home.