It's another loss! I have seen too many deaths this year, all since my father died June 5th. This time it was my best friend's (from home) mother. Christy's mom, Josephine, was a grand lady, and utterly cool. I met her first when she was one of our Girl Scout leaders. She became our leader, and continued to be from my fourth grade year on until we were Cadet Scouts (about 4 years). Our troop even met at her house, and each Wednesday her home was invaded by thirtysome girls. Invaded is the correct term as we took over the lower half (the kitchen, dining room, livingroom, and den) of the house. Not only did we invade their house, she and Dr. MacPherson also purchased thousands of boxes of Thin Mints as treats over those years for us.
As my Girl Scout leader, among other things, she taught me how to needlepoint. She also expanded my knowledge of other embroidery stitches and quilting. During her tenure of my leader, she invited me down to her house when I was off from school with impetigo. Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection, but she wasn't intimidated by it. While my friends were at class, I spent the afternoon with her, learning how to make rudimentary needlepoint stitches in my first canvas. The following day, I did the same. Eventually, with her encouragement, I obtained the Needlecraft badge.
But, beyond Girl Scouts, Mrs. MacPherson, as well as Dr. MacPherson, was always welcoming and accommodating. Christy and I spent more than our share of time at her house creating things. For example, Christy and I went through a period where we made candles. We melted wax and crayons in an old coffee can on the stove (and, I am sure, in retrospect, we made a grand mess that we didn't clean up well). Christy and I also made belts from needlepoint canvas and yarn. We also spent summer afternoons writing short stories, and while we were writing, her Dad would come in offering us huge bowls of Bing cherries. I now know we ate pounds of them, which must have cost a fortune, but they never begrudged me any. In fact, they encouraged it. What ideas we didn't come up with ourselves would come from Mrs. MacPherson herself. I still remember the year she helped Christy make a skirt out of assorted ties--ties that came from Goodwill, old ties from friends' fathers including a few from my own Dad, and more.
She wasn't just that way with me; she was this way for all of Christy's friends, with a few of us continuing to communicate with her despite us having moved away. She was the same with all of John's (Christy's brother) friends, too. Both of Christy's parents were very special people, and some of my fondest times were spent at their home. To me, I feel like the world has lost another bright light, and I am saddened, once again, as I mourn her loss.
Thanks, Mrs. MacPherson (I never got used to calling you Jo), for all the memories, for all of the good times; you will be greatly missed.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association