LP in California, whom I knew mostly through her brother some 50 years ago, wrote to tell me that BA had died of pancreatic cancer in Oregon. They'd been good friends and my mother's elementary school students many years ago. I didn't know BA except by name and the pride my mother had taken in the two of them. They'd stayed in contact with their old teacher and I guess I'm the only remaining contact point with those days and with Mrs. K, who died almost a decade ago.
When I was between marriages, Mary (Mrs. K) tried to hook me up with LP. It was a strange, surreal afternoon ... sitting on lawn chairs, under a tree at the house in Jamesville, drinking lemonade with my mother, my daughter and LP. We've written back and forth, now and then, since that afternoon.
When we are young we make friends and acquaintances faster than we loose them. But nature loves balance. There comes a time when we loose friends faster than we can make them.
I honestly don't know why LP thought I should know ... or even wanted to know that BA had died. I received the note from LP more than a week ago and I don't know how to answer it. She included a picture of my mother's class that she shared with BA.
Somehow "I'm sorry for your loss." seems so detached and impersonal.