Recieved news late last night that an old friend of mine has passed away. I found it hard to believe…She was only 58, and I hadn’t heard that she had been sick.
Her obituary this afternoon made me realize that it was true. My old library friend, Audrey Ashworth, has passed away due to a brief battle with Cancer. I had always thought that I’d see her again…In fact, I had looked forward to talking to her soon when I brought some materials in to donate to our Church Library. She had recently (within the past few years) become the Church Librarian. This was a job she had always wanted…It was a goal she had achieved. Now she’s gone…Gone home to be with Our Lord. And I know…I will see her again.
(pardon me, I’m crying as I write this.)
I met Audrey years ago, through a religious gathering here in Pittsburgh. She was a tall, slim attractive lady with a British accent. Her little boy was accompanying her, a polite and sweet young man. We got to be friends with Audrey right away. As fate would have it, she was also a patron of the library I’d worked at, during that time. She’d come in often, and we’d talk…she was studying to be a librarian (getting her Masters in Library Arts, I belive). And, we’d talk about books…and I would help her find what she needed…
A few years later, I remember her applying to that library. Actually, she was trying to get her foot in the door…and I was trying to get mine back in. (I had quit when I got married…but when my ex-husband and I moved back to Cheswick, I tried to reapply.)
I hadn’t seen Audrey in quite a few years, but had always hoped to run into her at church, or at our old library. She was a demure, classy lady and mother of two young men–now grown. A loving wife to her husband Graham. Audrey also read scriptures for our Christmas Eve and Easter services at our Church–and as I said, was finally hired as our Church Librarian. She achieved her dream and became a librarian at Shadyside Acacemy Middle School, and as I understand it has done wonders to develop the library into a “state of the art” facility for its students.
I remember one day, years ago…I saw Audrey from afar, in our busy church with the congregation all abuzz with chit-chat. I called out to her…But she didn’t look over at me. “Oh, she didn’t hear you.” My mother said.
That’s how I feel today, that I’m waving to her from afar…calling out to her. But, she cannot hear me, or see me. She’s in Heaven now. She cannot respond.
The people in our lives leave a lasting impression on us. Good people leave something wtih you…something in your heart. An imprint of their kindness, their courage, their strength. And, sometimes we learn from them.
I learned from Audrey that hard work, and determination pays off. That you should hold onto your dreams no matter what, and work hard to achieve them. And, you will. To always be kind, and reach out to others in friendship. That beauty and grace are more than just skin deep–some people are truly beautiful in their soul. Audrey was.
RIP my dear friend, Audrey.
I’ll miss you…until we see each other again.
I’ll be donating a copy of both issues of Full Armor Magazine to our Church library in memory of Audrey, and I’ll be donating a copy of the Paperback edition of Wishful Thinking to the Laurie Ann West Memorial Library in O’Hara Township, Pa.