Saturday, May 06, 2006
On Tuesday an old friend died peacefully in her sleep. Florence Richardson was 100 years old, one month away from celebrating her 101st.
Florence lived a remarkable life filled with work and interesting experiences. In 1947 she supported her husbands entrepreneurial efforts, working side-by-side in a barn on their property. Today the company is internationally known Richardson Electronics.
I'll leave the known details of her life to be covered by the local, national and international news groups. My remembrance is a personal one.
We met at church, I was the mom struggling with the challenges of raising small children, and Florence was one of the elders. During the years I knew Florence she extended to me two extraordinary kindnesses. They were simple gestures, but in their nature revealed to me that she had never forgotten the challenges facing young moms. They were extraordinary in their simplicity - acts of kindness that had sticking power which not only helped me in the moment, but served as a model of how to truly care for others.
Her kindnesses were not done in a way that anyone but her or I would know about them. And they shall remain as she wished, quiet moments in which she reached out to me.
Florence moved in a world of movers and shakers, but I always sensed on some level she was still a simple "Missouri gal".
I'll miss that gal.