Have you ever noticed that you sometimes notice people more when they are gone?
There is this woman (well, I should say there was this woman) who I see every morning on the way to the school bus stop. She is always there, at her door with a smile and a few pleasant words to share as we walk past.
It doesn’t matter what the weather she was planted there looking out for the bus that came to collect her daughter. Her clothes and makeup were immaculate. I’m sure she’d been up for hours just applying the deep ruby red lipstick with absolute precision and the matching red belt or scarf around her otherwise black attire.
We talked through the seasons; the sun, the rain, the wind and the snow. Always a smile and a friendly wave.
Then, she was gone. At first I thought she was on holiday but then a few days later I saw people doing alterations on her house (no longer hers I guess) and I knew that she was gone for good. The windows and doors were replaced and the workers moved in and out without ceremony; they had reclaimed the space as theirs.
I will no longer look for her in the mornings but I’ll always remember her. For nearly two years we have shared greetings and short chats. Now she is gone.
I know I’ll miss this mysterious woman her daily friendly smile. I wish I knew her name.