7:19 pm - Sun 4.25.2010
In 1979,, after an altercation with my foster-father - long story short, I was not in a good situation there - I "ran away from home".
Raiding the piggy bank of one of my foster-brothers, I spent the night in a hotel on the outskirts of town.
I had no idea what I was going to do next.
The next day, I went to my friend Ray Z's house, ostensibly to use his phone (To call The Dept. of Welfare in West Virginia), but really, for "a shoulder to cry on".
(I remember, at the time, having vague thoughts of going back to West Virginia, though God knows what I thought would be waiting for me there.)
Ray's mother, Margaret, who'd raised 13 kids - Yes, they were Catholic - and had cared for a chronically ill husband the entire time I'd known Ray, took pity on me, made some calls, and ended up taking me in.
As a result of Margaret's kindness and generosity-of-spirit, I was able to finish my final year of high school in Durand.
For years, I celebrated holidays with her and her family. And even when I drifted away from those family celebrations - and that was totally my issue, not the family's - Margaret and I stayed connected; we corresponded regularly over the next 30 years (And somehow, with 13 children, their spouses, their children, and eventually their children's children...she always remembered my birthday).
Margaret died Friday morning.
I don't know where I'd be without Margaret, but it's very hard to imagine that I would have graduated high school, and it's very possible I wouldn't be here today.
Margaret's passing reminds me that, however I feel about the course of my life, whatever has happened to me and whatever I've done with what's happened to me, I've had the good fortune to have exceptional people come into my life when I needed it most.
People like Margaret Z.
Thank you Margaret.
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