Dec 22, 2015

In Memory of Lil Szczukowski

Christmas Lists

There is a list of friends I know, all written in a book
And every year at Christmas time, I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize that these names are part
Not of the book they are written in, but of my very heart.

For each name stands for someone who has touched my life sometime,
And in that meeting they’ve become etched forever in my mind.

I really feel that I’m composed of each and every name
And while you may not be aware of feeling quite the same
My life is so much better than it was before you came.

For once you’ve know someone, the years cannot erase
The memory of a pleasant word, or a friendly face.

So never think of my Christmas cards are just a mere routine
Of names upon a list, to be forgotten in between

For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you
It is because you’re on the list that I’m indebted to.

And whether I’ve known you for many years or even just a few
In some ways you’ve had a part in shaping things I do.

So every year when Christmas comes, I realize anew
The biggest gift that God can give is knowing friends like you.

~ Author unknown

Lil was a dear friend of my Mom's. 

Lil and her husband Mike lived in the Panama Canal Zone when my parents first moved there in 1957.  Mike was a doctor from the US working at Gorgas Hospital, the same hospital my DAD worked at when he initially returned to Panama after finishing his surgical internship at the Mayo Clinic. Ana and Roger were infants, both born in Rochester, Minnesota.  

Lil and Mike always remembered my Mom after she died, Lil always, always sent holiday cards to my DAD and then to me after my DAD died.  I had the great fortune of seeing Lil and Mike a few times in the years after my Dad's passing, 2003. I visited them at their home away from home in Cancun, Mexico and also at their home in Chattanooga, TN.  

Lil had the bluest of blue eyes ! 

Her children, Lisa, Lori and Myron sent a holiday letter this year sharing the news of Lil's passing in March.  Included in the letter was this poem that Lil had shared in years past.