Road Ends

Posted on March 14, 2012

18


Today the door stands open.  Miss Sadie and the Cowboy are basking in a patch of sun out on the deck.  The shades are pulled up, the window quilts tucked to one side.  It is a fine thing to look out on the shining afternoon.  It seems impossible that such a day could hold any sadness, and yet it does.  I suppose all days carry their full measure of whatever life holds.  We travel our roads to their ends, and then we find out what comes next.  We leave a legacy in the memories of the people who kept us company for some part of our journey.  This is in celebration of three lives well-lived, and now completed.

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  • In celebration of the life of Helmy El-Sherif, a brilliant man with a gift for friendship, an abiding love of family, and an irrepressible enthusiasm for his adopted country.  You met Helmy perched on a camel in a postcard from Egypt, and at Pier 44, reflecting on his arrival in the U.S. 50 years before.
  • In celebration of the life of June King, a talented mother who passed on a robust sense of humor to her children.  You met her son Jim and his wife Rose—Jim showed us apricots in bloom and Rose canned those apricots with us.  You met John and his wife Betsy—they’ve talked with us about the challenges and rewards of cherry farming and filled our hands to overflowing with raspberries.  Together the four of them run King Orchards, and what with one thing and another, you have visited them a lot, in every season.  You met June’s daughter, Judy King, a retired teacher who organizes food drives across the County, assembling an army of volunteers from the Antrim Democratic Party every year, several times a year, year after year, with unfailing good cheer.
  • In celebration of the life of Bernice Biggs, a woman of strong principles, great kindness, and the San Franciscan’s love of excellent treats.  You met her son, my brother-out-law Chef Franklin, whose column on Nutella beguiled you.

You just never know how—or where—you will be remembered with warmth.

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