When she first moved from her senior complex into the independent living part of an assisted living center I had the privilege of becoming part of the Beryl brigade picking her up once a month to bring her to church and take her home afterwards. Although it was no more than 10 minutes each way I loved hearing Miss Beryl's stories about what ever it was she decided to share each time, often it was about Ohio since we'd both grown up there.
Here are just a few of the stories that were shared:
- In the mid-80s Miss Beryl got a computer and asked our friend Mr. Don if he thought her processor was fast enough to run this new chess game. Mr. Don told her he just wasn't sure. Miss Beryl told him she'd find out then, and let him know.
- Miss Beryl really like Mr. Don, so much that she told all of her friends when she introduced them to him that if they ever needed anything, just to call him. She did call him and he said he never hesitated to go immediately and do for her whatever it was that she wanted, the way that she wanted, no matter what.
- Our former minister relayed a story about a Sunday after a blizzard. He had walked to the church and there were 6 other people present, one of them being Miss Beryl. She told him she used two canes that morning instead of just one. After the service he walked her home. She told him that she loved the snow, it was so beautiful and as a child she'd made snow angels. At 90 years old she got down on the ground and made another one right in front of the church.
- Many people relayed stories from visiting her in the last 6 months, Miss Beryl was very hard of hearing and slept much of the time and it was difficult to wake her. So she made a giant sign and hung it by her head--WAKE ME UP, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU and they did, lest she find out they were there and she hadn't seen them, word would get back to them that they best go back to visit and wake her up this time.
When I grow up I only hope I can be a small portion of the woman that Miss Beryl was. I know that today she is dancing with the angels and making sure we are all awake and experiencing our lives the way she did hers.