A lovely person died recently. Her name was Mavis and I knew her a long time ago.
We were in a Bible study/diet accountability group together. She was older than me. Older than my mother, in fact. But we met together weekly for probably ten years. Even after our group stopped meeting, we continued to exchange letters and Christmas cards.
We had lots of things in common. We loved books and reading. We loved Hawaii. We loved our families. She grew up in Kingsburg, not far from I live now, and we both knew the Central Valley well.
When my family moved out of the area, we continued to keep in touch. When Mavis’s health grew more frail and she went into assisted living, her daughter kept up the annual tradition of letting Mavis’s Christmas card list know how she was doing.
2015’s card said Mavis was quite weak, but she had hit the century mark back in October.
Monday, I got the note that she had died on February 13.
I let my girls know and they both remembered Mavis well. The picture on the note was just how we remember her. Short gray hair, sweet smile.
The only time I ever saw Mavis angry was when she was telling our group about a conversation with her doctor. She’d lost a bit of weight and expected the doctor to tell her she’d done well and to keep it up. Instead he said, “Well, Mavis, you’ll never be svelte.”
She was spitting nails as she repeated that. “I don’t care about svelte! I care about healthy. What a jerk!”
Svelte or not, Mavis was indeed healthy, living to 100 years old. I bet that doctor has been dead a long time.
Seems that Mavis got the last word after all. As it should be.