My friend Mary died yesterday. A wonderful person. The best.
Mary’s husband is my dear friend Gus who I occasionally mention. They were married forever.
Mary had a pain in her stomach twenty seven days ago. A bad pain. She went into the hospital. Cancers in various parts of her body. Major surgery. She never made it out of the hospital.
Mary is the perfect of example of why people should not smoke. She was a stove pipe.
I first met Mary in the late 1970s. At a Christmas party. Someone spilled a whole glass of red wine on my new tan slacks. Within seconds, this young lady appeared who I did not know. She took me by the hand into a bathroom and shut the door. Looked at me and said, “Take off your pants.” “Are you crazy,” I responded. She replied, “Look, if you want to get the wine off your pants before it stains for sure, get them off and let me wash them in water.”
I took my pants off. There I was in my BVDs talking to a lovely lady who I had never met before.
The scenario probably best describes Mary. A take charge no bullshit person.
Our friendship developed as I became closer to her husband. Gus and I eventually became the best of friends and remain so to this day.
She and Gus built a lovely home in the woods. Magnificent! They raised two lovely children. Both attorneys today.
Mary and Gus met when they played in their high school band. I always thought it cute. Especially the pictures of the two of them together in their band uniforms.
From my perspective, Mary’s greatest attribute was her cooking. She was the premier Italian cook. Everything she made was absolutely delicious. Eating at her home was special.
It was not that Mary was simply a good cook, she was an Italian cook. Mary cooked old school. Whatever her mother taught her by way of cooking, she retained. She was the only one of her generation who had the talent to cook in the old fashioned Italian way.
Everything Mary cooked tasted good. I think it was because she was big on butter. Butter in everything!
Mary was a die hard Syracuse fan also. We would attend games at Carrier Dome together. Many the evening we sat eating in her kitchen watching Syracuse basketball on TV. Mary suffered for the team as I did. Her blood ran orange.
I love discussing politics. I avoided it with Mary. She was a solid Republican. No deviation from the party line.
People surprise friends occasionally. Mary and Gus joined our golf club. Mary was an instantaneous hit with the women. Mary could play golf. Well!
Turned out Mary had grown up on a farm in Frankfort. The farm was next to a golf course. Mary would frequently jump over the fence and play a few holes. I do not recall her ever playing as an adult till she joined the club. She distinguished herself on the golf course!
Mary and Gus loved Martha’s Vineyard. I spent several Septembers with them there. While Gus and I ran around the island, Mary cooked. Marvelous sea food! Others would join us and Mary would serve huge platters of steaming Maine lobsters. What could be better!
Mary worked in her husband’s law office till the time she went into the hospital. Initially to help Gus when he started his own practice many years ago. Then continued because of her love for the work. In reality, it was Mary’s office. Not Gus’s.
Mary can best be described as a good person. That simply. God did not make any one better.
I have cried three times for Mary. When Gus first told me she had cancer. Then when he told me she was not going to make it. Finally, when she did not make it. My eyes are filled as I write this tribute to her. I will probably shed a few more tears in the next couple of days. I loved Mary.