Sunday, January 17, 2016

Margaret and Her Magical Garden

I once new a Margaret, quirky, conservatively dressed yet she had that Emma Peel/Avenger thing going on. No, not the catsuits. Although, if anyone could have pulled it off, it would have been her.

One day I came to work, exhausted from caring for my Father and the 3 hours a night sleep, the 40 phone calls a day, I was sinking.  When I came around the corner; and immediately settled into my cubicle, pulling off my jacket and hanging it up. There it was right in front of my face, a lovely photo of a country home garden with an arbor was taped up onto my cubby. I just stared at it, it gave me a moment to sigh and exhale. Before I could even imagine who would have placed such a lovely picture for me to see, there she was. It was Margaret. This time her usually closed lips had opened and a bright and enchanting smile flashed my way.

Margaret had had a lot of shoulder problems, she was always stretching to try to fix it so the discomfort would go away. She mentioned her doctor had sent her for physiotherapy, and I watched her for days trying out this way to move her upper arms so her shoulder would not hurt.  Not too long after Margaret had placed that garden picture at my desk, she suddenly walked right up to me and said: "Can I ask you something?"..I shrugged and said "sure".  She looked me straight in the eye and out it came: "am I going to die?".  I was perplexed and shocked. It was such an odd question and I had no idea how to really respond other than, "of course not".  And we left it at that.  Two days later, I had to take a leave of absence. I was gone for almost 6 months. When I returned, I stared at the empty cubicle across from me. No signs of Margaret and then I asked a coworker where was she? Did she move? Did she go to another floor? No. In fact, she was there one day and then gone. No news, no reason, no one knows anything.  It was odd.  A few months later is when I found out. Margaret had breast cancer, that is why she had so much pain in her shoulder. It was aggressive. I attempted to reach out for the next 2 years, putting out feelers and mentioning to one mutual friend that I would do anything to help and to please let Margaret know. Even that friend said she had minimal knowledge and it seemed that Margaret no longer wanted contact with those people at work. I felt terrible. She was bold, she was unique and I always felt that her and I were both on the outside, but together.

Another year passed and then the message came. Margaret had passed away. I sat at my desk and cried.

Where ever you are, Margaret, may you always know that I adored you. You are one of those people that made my day pass quickly, you brought light in when it was dark. Thank you.

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