January 19, 2014:
Today a good friend died.
I’m still reeling from the fact that this vibrant, energetic, and athletic woman–who seemed to have recovered from breast cancer a few years back–was stricken again, this time in the lungs. It was a few months ago, I’m not even sure when.
I’ve spoken to Bert, her dear husband, a few times. And am still processing. Rochelle and I were very different. She was easy to like and avoided conflict. She easily found things to talk about with other people. She had loved to travel, even by herself, as a young woman, and was very athletic. Even when she was undergoing chemo the first time, she was able to and motivated to play tennis. She didn’t particularly like musicals, though I “got her to change” with an excellent production of “The Man of La Mancha” at Theatre Harrisburg, its last in the old house. We went to theater often together, and met countess times for coffee or ice cream. She made light of things that were serious to me. She wasn’t formally religious observant when she married Bert, and never took it quite as seriously as he did. Nor was she as much of an intellectual. They too had their differences. But they worked well together and loved each other, and Bert misses her very much. So do I. We were close despite the differences. I could talk to her about most things, and I’d like to think the converse was true for her. She was a moral person who respected other people’s privacy and confidences. She was a loving mother and grandmother. We talked a lot about the challenges of kids. It is a great loss to have lost Rochelle.