Jul 31, 2014

Remembering Britt Schaeffer


Today I went to the aerobics class in the pool at the Marcus Gym at 9am.  The class is everyday Monday through Friday, I knew there would be a group of established attendees and I would be the new kid on the block. And indeed that is just what happened There were 14 ladies, the teacher was a tall man with a slight English accent. He told me his name, I forgot. We were all supervised by Faith, the lifeguard on duty.

I waited a few extra extra days before going back in the pool, I wanted to be sure I was 150 gazillion % better so I did not risk getting sick again. And it was wonderful to be back in one of my favorite places, water !   I swam a few laps before the class started, the pool was empty, the water surface like glass. I love to swim underwater and when there is no movement in the pool the experience below is so different. It's like being in a gigantic bubble, a peaceful place, a mother's womb. For the few seconds that I can hold my breath, I am thrilled at having that brief experience all to myself, gliding through the water, listing to my lungs manage the oxygen.  

I am not sure why, when I was driving to the gym, I thought of Britt Schaeffer. She is a friend I met at work, she started at Cox in 2007 or 2008 when I worked in the App Dev group at the Mansell Building. Britt was the kind of person we all know that lights up the world !  

Britt was kind, caring, FUNNY, flirtatious with LIFE, she loved dogs and supported a rescue organization for Boston Terriers.  She wore watches with big faces and drove a beautiful coupe Mercedes. She dressed well, fancy, fashionable and always a bit sexy.  She died unexpectedly last year in July.

I learned of her death via Facebook. It such an odd memory, logging onto FB early one morning and reading the update from her sister that Britt was in ICU from a stroke she'd had the night before.  Everyone that knew Britt was shocked, sad, someone on our team at work even had lunch scheduled with her on their calendar for the week after she passed.  We were all deeply impacted by the sudden loss of someone that we all knew so well and saw often at the office. 

At the pool today some of the ladies were telling stories as we waited for the class to start, laughter was echoing in the big enclosed room and my mind continued to be focused on the memory of Britt. She was always able to create light and fun and energy in most any situation.  I looked up her Facebook page today and there are posts from many of her friends over the last two weeks everyone remembering and missing Britt.

I was taken by the entry she posted on June 24th, 2013, 3 weeks shy of the day she died. She was a caretaker of friendships indeed, she was engaged in life and certainly this is what drew many to her.  She also didn't take any crap for anyone, with Britt you knew exactly where you stood.  

Britt you are loved and certainly missed !  Thanks for all the friendships you nurtured and cared for.