Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A woman called Fordie

Last Friday evening Susie and I drove to Sherborn , Mass, to help her youngest sister Mary and her new husband Jim celebrate their recent marriage.  The small party consisted of a few family and friends and was put together and put on by Fordie M., one of Mary’s friends and gardening clients.

I should say at the outset that the evening was warm but low humidity, which made sitting and eating outside a sheer pleasure. The food was abundant, refreshing and incredibly tasty, the conversation lively, the conviviality warm and intimate. It reminded me of summer camp, sitting around the campfire telling stories, poking fun at ourselves and sharing some of the grand times in our various and diverse past lives. Laughter was the rule of the evening.

But the most rewarding part of the evening, an evening directed toward the celebration of marriage, was meeting “Fordie.” A marathon runner of some distinction (Joan Benoit calls Fordie “her mentor”) Hester Ford, known as “Fordie” since childhood, is one of those remarkable human beings we meet so very rarely in life.  From the moment Susan and I arrived to the moment we left, she was the epitome of kindness, humility, and generosity all neatly framed by a face whose sole goal in life was to see how many times it could smile and laugh in any given hour.

I’m sure Fordie has her flaws and I have no clue whether we will ever meet her again – she seems determined to put away the New England chapter of her life and exchange it for the haunting groves of the Monterey Peninsula.

Well, I can only say thanks for a wonderful evening – and may the gods speed you on your journey, leaving you with a light heart and a carefree soul.

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