When I was pregnant with number three, I went to work as a technical writer for a small defense contractor. It was a good job with good benefits and security. My sweetie went to work full time for the company he was working for so we finally were pulling in a decent income. Unfortunately, we had gotten ourselves under a pile of debt with school and cars and other stupid purchases that we shouldn’t have made. That meant we were both going to have to work for a good long time. I was 24 years old. Life was good but hard.
When ends didn’t meet, I took on a part time teaching job. When they still didn’t meet, we started selling Tupperware on the side. Life became entirely too crazy then! I was gone nearly every night of the week except Sundays. I hardly ever saw my kids or my husband. I had some friends from work who were very supportive. One of those friends was a girl named Nancy. I guess I shouldn’t call her a girl, she was five years older than me, but she didn’t act like it. She was a single mom with a son just a few years older than Bossy. Even though she had a rather sad life, you would never have known it. She was always happy and helpful. She was the Document Control Librarian so we got to spend a lot of time together. She never thought a task was beneath her.
She made countless copies for me and burned thousands of holes so that we could duplicate our vast library of government documents. We both liked the same radio station and kept it running constantly in our offices. One day they announced a birthday contest. If the day pulled out happened to be your birthday and you called in you could win $500.00! Nancy was just sure that one of our birthdays would be called out so we made a pact. If either one of us heard the other person’s birthday, we would quick call the station and then holler out to the other person and put them on the line.
So I was working along one day when suddenly Nancy’s birthday was announced. I picked up the phone, hollered her name, and was surprised when the call rang through. My fingers started shaking, this was it! "Nancy!" I yelled. Her office was just around the corner from mine, but her dark head never appeared at the door. The DJ answered with the station’s call letters. "My birthday is January 30th!" I blurted, then covered the receiver with my hand. "Nancy!" I called again urgently. She never came. I guess the DJ didn’t believe me or maybe it was standard protocol, but he asked me what year I was born, when I graduated high school…a whole list of questions that I couldn’t answer. When he finally determined that I was not giving him the truth, he hung up.
I jumped out of my chair and burst into Nancy’s office. "Didn’t you hear me?" I stormed. "You could have just won the $500.00!" She was so calm. "Let’s call them back and explain everything," she suggested. I paced back and forth while she made the call. When she finally replaced the phone in the receiver, she had a smile on her face. "Did they say you could get the money?" I demanded. "No," she replied, "but they were nice, oh, and they are not going to call the police." That was Nancy. Nancy passed away from colon cancer on St. Patrick’s Day. I heard she was happy and smiling right to the end. She was 51 years old. Rest in Peace my friend.
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