This post goes out to a very dear woman who lived in the community that I grew up in, in southern Oregon. Lois was the mother of fellow class and team mates to my sisters and I. She was a hard working farm woman, but she looked and appeared like anything but a woman from the farm. In a small rural town, she had an air of sophistication and class.
Lois was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a free masons group for women. Their headquarters is in my neighborhood, and I think of her most times I pass by. When I caught site of a gorgeous cherry tree with setting sun on it, I thought I would take some photos and send out my well wishes to her family and friends, and into the world.
Of my interactions with her, from the time I was a little girl, I fondly recall her graduation gift to my sister and myself. She gave us each a nice three ring binder. While a very utilitarian gesture on one level, this choice in gift was noteworthy to me because it clearly meant that we were going on to achieve academically and beyond. My sister and I are among only several of our class of 16 to go on to get undergrad and then masters degrees. While Louis’ four children were all successful in school and beyond, her gift showed to me that she believed in us and where we would go in life.
While Lois passed on before many of my recent adventures in Africa, I’m most certain that she received updates of my globe trotting from my mother and that she was proud to see how far I had come, and I always grateful for her belief in me.