Eulogy for the living

8-20 Page 4A.inddI made the terrible mistake of watching “The Fault in Our Stars” last weekend. It’s an epic film if you want something that reminds you of the amazing and powerful love story your life is lacking.
Sorry to be so cynical, but sometimes I have to let that voice out of my head or, I fear, my brain might implode.
Truth be told, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and based on the entire roll of toilet paper I went through at the end, the storyline tugged at every heartstring in my body.
Beyond being the epitome of a hopeless romantic’s dream, “The Fault in Our Stars” also offers a superb message about how we should treat the people in our lives who matter most — one that echoes loudly one of my favorite quotes from “The Great Gatsby” — “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”
Without giving too much away, the main characters in the film enlist one another to write eulogies for their respective funerals, and they read them while the person about whom it is written is still alive to hear it. Funerals are, after all, for the living more than they are for the loved one who is dead.
All of this gave me the idea not to write a eulogy for our circulation manager, Vonda (because she isn’t dying), but to take a moment to sincerely appreciate the person she is while she is very much alive and able to read it.
None of us should wait until someone is gone from our lives before telling them how incredible they are while they are actually here.
I’m not certain how many years of her professional life Vonda has dedicated to the Courier, but she was already helping to keep this ship steady on its course before I started my short-lived reporting career more than four years ago. Quiet and unassuming, she is the type of person who works diligently behind the scenes, never seeking out recognition or accolades for the job she does, despite the fact she deserves them in abundance. Vonda is organized and does a great many things well to keep our circulation running efficiently.
More than being a dedicated employee, what makes Vonda amazing is that she is one of the most genuinely kind-hearted human beings anyone would be fortunate to know. A rarity in this day and age, she never utters an unkind word about anyone and goes out of her way to help when asked. Vonda is simply one of those people who doesn’t have an unpleasant bone in her body.
When she isn’t working at the Courier, she cares for her aging parents and performs a multitude of other services and favors for friends and acquaintances alike. I enjoy running into Vonda and her sweet mother at Hobby Lobby and Walmart. When we chat and catch up, she always asks about my daughters and my mother with sincere interest in how we are and have been doing

In all the years I’ve known her through the Courier, Vonda has never faltered in her thoughtfulness. She hasn’t let one year pass without bringing me a birthday card or sending me home with paper turkey centerpieces for my daughters to decorate our family’s Thanksgiving table.
While she deserves more recognition than a couple hundred words in this column, I want Vonda to know how much she is appreciated and loved; how much her friendship is valued and what an amazing woman she is, because Vonda infuses pure benevolence into every conversation she has; goodwill into every interaction she has with another person; honest, hard work and dedication into every task she assumes.
I’m certain I speak for everyone at the Courier in wishing Vonda every future happiness and blessing imaginable as she embarks on a new chapter in her life.