It goes without saying that the loss of my parents remains the greatest void of all (my dad, age 90 and my mom, age 98) in my life. But I want to mention someone else special to me: my friend Maryellen Fitzgerald Marriner - giggle partner through high school, college and after. "Fitz" is someone people aspired to be. She was president of our All Girls High School (student pop: 900?) Student Council and I'll never forget that last meeting when she passed the baton to the next young woman ascending the presidency. The school gave her a standing ovation that the powers to be had to quell because it went on so long. I get moved to this day remembering this humble, kind and strong leader recognized by her peers. Fitz had a smile to beat all smiles. She never lost her sense of humor and faith in God and mankind even as she suffered through her countless cancer treatments and triumphantly defied all odds and made it to her daughter's wedding a long plane ride away. She died a short while later. We were separated by geography but no mater how much time elapsed we could pick right up where we left off.
I struggle with God in these instances. Maryellen was such a force in countless people's lives. Why did she lose the life lottery? I prickle at the statement "Life just isn't fair". No. It's not.
I have her Mass card nearby and derive comfort from her photo that encapsulates my dear friend's life of love, intelligence and humor. I remember her and I miss her.