The daily interface with the public in a public library allows me to meet colorful individuals (as I’ve noted before). Many patrons make the library a frequent stop weekly or for some daily and relationships form. One woman, Marsha, came in every day to use the computers for her alloted two hours. I enjoyed watching her learn to master the computer as I answered her questions from time to time. She would also give me feedback on things I changed on the computers or the general status of Yahoo Mail which sometimes would be slow and generate lots of complaints. She preferred to sit at computer number one and I would refer to it as Marsha’s computer. I tried to make sure it wasn’t down for maintenance in the morning when she usually came. Sometimes cranky patrons would complain about the computers or more often resist my way of helping them which was to talk them through how to use the computer and to not do it for them. Afterwards, Marsha would walk up to my desk before leaving and give me encouragement or share some gossip about that person.
From time to time, she would miss a day or two due to illness, but she would show up again and give us brief details of her absence. A few weeks back she didn’t show up and I assumed it was likely the same cause. A week went by and I wondered what was going on with her. Then, another patron told us that Marsha had passed away. The doctors discovered She had systemic cancer and she died within that same week. She will be missed.