At least, that was always my impression of Nancy Pimentel, who went on to be Nancy Tracy in a 27 year second marriage.
This is a bit of a strange memorial to write, as I can’t precisely say that she was the awesome mother of a friend from school. She was actually the mother of my ninth grade crush. In more modern terms, you might even say that I was, for a time, her daughter’s stalker. Since I was 14 and had no clue, except that I was head over heels, I wouldn’t put it that negatively.
When I eventually got to know the poor girl in question, a few years later, I decided it wouldn’t have worked out. The cruel thing was that as soon as I provoked an interested response, after lurking around long enough, I fled in terrified confusion. I was nothing if not shy. No surprise I got married at 42, to someone met online, and hardly dated in the interim.
Her mother and sister, though… they didn’t scare me. I wasn’t crushing on them. To what extent I got to know Nancy, and from the impression I developed, she was every bit as wonderful as her obituary describes. She was mutual friends with a close friend of my sister-in-law’s, so I had some insight before we ever met. It’s even possible we had “met.” I had gone to a Tupperware party held by my sister-in-law’s friend, and it’s possible Nancy was there. Weird how that works.
Weirder, though, is that I’d been thinking of her recently. Out of the blue. No special reason. I don’t often think much about her or her daughters from most of a lifetime ago. Then she’s dead. It struck me harder than it ought to for someone I barely knew, so deep in the past. The parents of friends are starting to drop, as will mine, inevitably. Most of them I never met, though I sympathize. Perhaps that’s the difference.