About 22 years ago, I started a job as a caseworker for abused children. One of the secretaries that also worked for that department was named Marion. She was an older woman who lived alone, had bright blue sparkly eyes and loved her cat. I adored Marion. She was quick witted, had one of the best smirks I had ever seen and told some amazing stories. Marion would pack her lunch every day and eat in the office break room. The majority of the time, a portion of her meal would be wrapped up in a used bread bag. Being the young know-it-all that I was, I would tease Marion about the bread bag. “Marion, zippy bags don’t cost that much, why don’t you break out that piggy bank and buy a few?”
She would glance at me, shoot me one of those awesome smirks and say “Honey, I can easily afford to buy zippy bags. I CHOOSE not to”. And then I’d watch her peel an orange, using the same paring knife every day and sit back, listening to her opinion of either world news or office drama. She was a very insightful woman. She always smelled like lavender and oranges. I imagined her dresser drawers were adorned with lavender sachets and assumed the hint of citrus came from her daily orange.
I haven’t seen Marion in at least ten years now. I sometimes wonder what ever became of her. But most of all, whenever I neatly fold one of my bread bags and put it away for reuse, I remember her fondly and can see her sparkly blue eyes in my mind. Thank you Ms. Marion…for everything. What a wise woman you are.