It’s funny how time seems to pass so quickly that you don’t notice.  Sometimes things that you wanted to do pass you by and you can’t do them any more.

When I was in my twenties, I worked with a rather remarkable little woman.  She was about my mother’s age and life had not treated her kindly. Angela had emigrated from Germany when she was not much younger than I was, following the death of her parents. She had a light but noticable German accent and similar to me, she had a difficult marriage to a very difficult man. They had two children together, a son and a daughter, who were both around my age.  When her youngest was still in a stroller, she was struck in the street by a car while crossing the street with him.  Thankfully the stroller was thrown clear, but she suffered (like me) through multiple surgeries and ended up with a quite noticable limp as one of her legs ended up being over an inch shorter than the other. And while she was going through this, her husband disappeared to whereabouts unknown, leaving her with two children to support, and very little income to do it on.

Thankfully, after several years, she did receive a small financial settlement that allowed her to purchase her own small apartment.  By this time, her children had grown enough that they’d moved out – and, again thankfully, seemed to adjust to living in the outside world despite the amount of tragedy they’d seen in their short lives.  Her daughter married a lovely man and while I was working with her mom, had three beautiful children.  Her son became a short order cook, and she would often drag me to lunch at the restaurant he worked at so she could brag about his cooking skills.

She got mixed up with a difficult guy – and then a great one. A musician who treated her like a queen. They got married.  I was there with the Goblin King (interesting side story…unrelated – remind me later) but in her fifties seemed finally very happy.

I changed jobs.  Goblin King and I broke up.  I moved.  My life changed. Angela sent me a few emails – I didn’t always respond. I ended up working down the street from her – and would run into her occasionally. Her usual bubbly self. A final email a few Christmases ago.  Again, I planned on getting back to her but didn’t. 

I lost track of her – when one day I found a notice in the paper. A party in memoriam – of Angelica.  Angela.  She passed of cancer over a year prior.  And I didn’t even know.  I was too wrapped up in my own life to drop her a line.  

Time is precious.  I imagine she came to a point in her life where she figured out who her real friends were – and clearly, I was just on the outskirts.  I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye – because I didn’t take it.  But I will keep my memories.  And say goodbye in my own way.

Image Credit (edited): panuruangjan /

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