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Passage Of Time

We lost a friend this week. "K" was not a friend we saw often. Neither was she at the other end of the phone frequently. But K was dear.

She was ever present with a smile and an infinite supply of optimism and encouragement. When we were with her, moments that had passed without contact did not enter the narrative. It was the present that mattered, not what we had missed.

K was an accomplished academic. I admired her and her generation for lighting the path for my generation. She was ahead of me in the arc of life and when I was swamped with multiple responsibilities, she needed no explanation.

I loved it when she called out of the blue to ask: We are near your home, could we stop by for a few minutes?

In person or on zoom, the difference in years and the gap in time faded quickly. She wanted to know about us and the kids and genuinely enjoyed our long-winded replies. My admiration for her will remain rooted in the fact that she spoke of her superstar children only when prodded and then she beamed with glorious pride.

K was utterly devoted to her friends. We were the only ones who mattered when we were with her. It was never about her or how much she knew or what lessons we needed to learn. It was about us and what we needed. Through the twists and turns of life, we are lucky if we run into a handful who are as selfless with their friendship like K was.

As we bid her adieu, I pray she will continue to guide us at the forks of life. Whatever we may achieve from our association with her, I know we will not come remotely close to the elegance that followed her everywhere she went.

With the passage of time I am beginning to understand the unexpected ways in which selflessness manifests itself. Losing K is yet another reminder that the circle we admire for this continues to dwindle and that we need to take the mantle from them to carry on the tradition they have blessed us with. K, may you have abundant peace.

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