Today I'm in Mexia, Texas, my hometown, attending a memorial service for Mary Clark Mortimer. Mary and I started out in first grade at W. M. White Elementary School, and we went through all twelve grades together. In some classes, thanks to alphabetical order, we sat next to each other.
In 7th and 8th grades we often walked home from school together since she lived on the way to my house. I had quite a crush on her in those days. She didn't reciprocate, but that was okay. I still got to walk her home.
Judy and I went to her wedding, and we've seen her and Robert, her husband, many times in the years since, primarily at class reunions and informal get-togethers that have been annual affairs for more than 15 years now.
I can't believe Mary's gone. I'm supposed to say a few words at the service. I'm not sure I can.