Featured Column
Week of 3.27.2006
She left us
            The beautiful woman had died. Everyone in the neighborhood knew her. She was the lady who had taken care of the scores of cats in the area. One of the first questions that arose was, “Who was going to take care of the cats now?”
          Her husband, her sons and daughter, her friends and relatives had lost the beautiful woman who had meant so much to each of them. In her quiet and unassuming way she gave generous amounts of herself to others. There are people in life who take and there are others who give. This lovely woman gave. She had become a friend to her sons and her daughter. She had become her husband’s best friend. Her family knew of her compassion, her ability to give without thought of reward. She cared for animals, she cared for all people. She never offered judgment. Anyone who came close to her could feel her caring heart.
           And then one day her life ended unexpectedly. She was gone. They asked, “Who can we turn to now? Who will listen to our troubles? Who will care for us? Who will always be there, to listen, to smile, to pat our cheek and say, ‘Things will be okay.”
          The mother, the wife, the sister, the aunt, the cousin, the friend would no longer be there to nurture, to comfort, to provide the quiet devotion they had all relied upon for decades.
          To most who knew her a void quickly formed in their minds. Mingled with the sorrows of those still living and left behind was the thought, “She was so important to us. She meant so much to all of us.” In her quiet, peaceful way she had become the focal point of so many lives, so many people. To so many her life had not come clearly into focus until she was gone from their lives.
          Perhaps we all take for granted the contributions of those tranquil, peaceful, all-loving people who spend each day offering themselves without asking for return.
          Then a day wakens and we find that these loving, quiet and giving people are no longer here to share the burdens of our lives. Perhaps at that moment, when we are alone, we learn how much they have meant in our lives.
          Sometime life ends suddenly, without giving us an opportunity to say “thank you,” or “goodbye.” That’s the case with this lovely woman.
          So, her friends, her family, her husband and sons gathered together to tell each other how much she had meant to them. They came to shake hands, to hug, to cry and offer smiles, but they really came to offer their thanks to her for being so important in their lives. Each person came to acknowledge a beautiful woman, whom they perhaps hadn’t had an opportunity to thank, to acknowledge, in person, the week, the month, the years before.
          The tales of her generosity, her caring and her love were told to the people who had come to offer their farewells. There were tears, lots of tears. There were also smiles and laughter when friends and family remembered her. Then more tears when they realized she would no longer be there to share in their lives except through memories.
          Old friends and family who had not seen each other for years shook hands and offered condolences. They shook their heads in disbelief. More tears came. Smiles to break the feeling of tragedy broke on some faces. Shock filled hearts. A feeling of loss filled the air.
          Some said, “We should learn from this. Life is short. We should enjoy every moment and tell people that we love them. Hug more. Care more. Appreciate more.” Listeners nodded in agreement. Their thoughts went back to her and how they wish they would have told her more.
          The day went on. The sun began to hide behind the mountains. The reality of never seeing her again crept into their souls and some walked off to be alone and cry. A personal time had come to mourn alone.
          Night came and the mourners went home. Friends drove away, staring into the darkness. Family stayed a while longer and then the truth of loneliness came to those closest to her.
She was gone, but somehow she would always be there. Caring for them. Understanding them. Accepting them.
          Hours later the sun prepared to show itself. There would be an emptiness.
          Rosemary was not there.
Rosemary died
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
Ron Cruger