A good portion of this circle of friends did not know Emilie. She was, as I said, a truly "golden girl" - not because she married an Asplundh, since Emilie's love, support and inspiration went a long way toward helping those brothers forge the success they did; not because she had wealth, because all it did was add just an bit more flair to an already enriched life; not because of the accolades, because to her being of service was honor in itself.
How many of you know that Emilie was a "Grey Lady" at Abington Hospital, one of those marvelous volunteers who did so much to brighten patients' lives?
We Lockharts have our very own "grey lady," who (if legend is to be believed, and it is always more fun to believe than not) was trained by Emilie herself. That is BENITA, a wonderful grey hippopotamus hand puppet. Mim gave her to me over twenty years ago. Ever since my partial mastectomy, back in 1980, Benita accompanies me on every hospital stay. Recently, she came with me for extensive pre-admin testing.
Whenever someone asks about her, I explain, "She's a 'grey lady' and is here to give me comfort." The nurses take it all in stride.
Full circle brings it back to Emilie and the good she did for all those years. I suppose that if Elsa had been able to attend Emilie's memorial yesterday, Benita would have insisted on going too. Like Emilie, she looks just soft and pretty, but don't be fooled!
Am heading up the wooden hill. Love to all – KRL