|May. 31st, 2008 @ 07:17 pm In Memory of Carol S.|
|She was a Children's Librarian for what seemed like a long time when I started, 20 years ago. Her career at CML spanned 30 years. She seemed, at first, a little confused and "out of it" when I first met her. I remember her giving book reviews at the first meetings I went to, though, and with each new review, I liked her more. She had an interesting sense of humor, a depth of knowledge beyond what normal people possess (in a vast variety of topics), and when I sat next to her in meetings, I was nearly always entertained at least once by a wry comment that was completely and entirely on the mark.|
It was probably about 15 years ago, though, when I realized what an excellent storyteller she was. She "lit up" when telling a story, and she added joy and energy to a story that had to come from a noble heart.
I hadn't been to a Children's Services meeting in a while, over a year ago, when she came in a little late, looking really tired and bedraggled. Concerned, I made a point to talk to her during the break and discovered that she'd been suffering from Breast Cancer, and was still going through Chemotherapy treatments. I was shocked that I'd not heard this troubling news sooner, and I felt bad that I'd lost touch with her so long. I went home that night and cast on for a chemo cap for her, and was able to send it to her in interoffice mail in a few days. She told me by email that she loved it, and that, miraculously, it not only fit perfectly but also matched her outfit the day it arrived.
She showed great courage and dedication, working as much as possible, even during all of her treatments. With her Cancer and other complications, she finally had to stop working. She spent her last few months with her sister in Peoria, and she passed away a few months ago. Today was her Memorial Service. Apparently, she was a very wise woman with money, and she left enormous amounts to libraries - a bequeathal to each of the school libraries her branch served, and a large sum to the Columbus Library Foundation. I'm overwhelmed by her generosity, and the thriftiness that allowed it. It's humbling to see such selflessness.
I always knew she had hidden depth and amazingness that not everyone saw. I valued her contributions to our field, and her model of what it means to truly serve the children. She has left a legacy beyond herself with her money, but also with her memory and the example she was to us in her life.
I raise my glass to you, Carol. Brava. Traveling Mercies.