Sunday, March 11, 2018

Susan Cotten A Flower of the Heart

My phalaenopsis in early spring


Flowers of the Heart Twenty-Four March 11, 2018

For Susan Cotten

I still miss Susan. She lived next door to the
post office. She was nearly unflappable.
She listened, she teased us. She had grown
up in Moncure and knew all the old-timers,
but newcomers were welcome, too. She 
teased her husband about his chickens 
and at first refused to eat their eggs,
but she came around. She was a Republican
and teased me about being a Democrat.
We laughed. When I was told by a hospital
neurologist, after some tests, that I shouldn’t
drive, I thought I’d better set up a mailbox
here, but Susan said she’d bring me my
mail and she did. When I got a different
diagnosis and went back to driving, I could
visit Susan again. I wrote about her in our
electric co-op’s magazine and how she
lived by the Golden Rule, which is not
always a behavior guide to Christians. In 
my experience, it’s rare. Susan did all
the work a postmaster does, but she didn’t
have the title. She served us well and
beyond expectations for three years, and
then they advertised for her job, and Robin,
who qualified, became, not our postmaster,
but one step higher in postal rank than Susan. 
Robin struggled to make us happy. We missed
Susan so much. Susan was sad and wouldn’t
talk to anyone at first. She missed us, and 
we missed her. When she got a job in 
personnel at Walmart, she found a new 
niche where she could treat everyone as she 
would like to be treated. The Christmas
after she found her new job, she brought
me gifts: kitchen towels, pot-holders,
dishcloths. When I use them, I think of 
her. Another Christmas she brought me
a warm blanket to put over my legs in a 
cold house. Some friends stay even when 
you don’t see them often. When we do meet,
we exchange tight hugs. I still miss her.
A rare spirit, alive and loving, among us.

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