Write Again . . . And who was Naomi?

Published 3:08 pm Monday, May 15, 2017

“Children, just remember that the first one-hundred years are the hardest.”

That sage advice was just a dollop of the wisdom that Naomi would share with friends and colleagues from time to time.

And who was Naomi, and how did I know her? Well, we were colleagues in the Dare County school system, and for my last years, we both worked out of the central office. The “head shed.”

We were more than colleagues, though. More importantly, we were friends. There were many, many of us, both within and without the school community, who liked, and respected, and counted her as a friend. The feelings for her family were the same. There was Chuck, her husband. He was a rock, a very good man. And their three children, Frank, Buffy and Rad. They exemplified the many good qualities of their parents.

Naomi also would say, whenever there might be a difference of opinion — among any of us, or others — that “We may not see eye to eye, but we can see heart to heart.”

She was an educated woman, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her family’s heritage was tied to the area; they were longtime residents, natives, property owners, of Dare County, of Roanoke Island. This “goodliest land under the cope of heaven” was her roots.

There is a lot of “pride of place” in Dare County. Ocean, sounds, fishing, Wright Brothers National Memorial (where I worked several summers), the Elizabeth II (where I worked one summer) State Historic site, surfing, hang gliding, the NC Aquarium, Bodie Island Lighthouse, Nags Head Woods (nature preserve), the Elizabethan Gardens, The Lost Colony symphonic drama in the Waterside Theatre at Fort Raleigh. Good stuff all. Something for just about everyone, visitors and residents alike.

The years our little family spent on the Outer Banks were special. Perhaps the best of all was in having many good friends, some we will never forget. For our girls, it will always be in their memories, for it was their growing up place.

Naomi died several years ago. She was beset with “the long goodbye” scourge. Dementia. Perhaps Alzheimer’s.

Those of us who were fortunate to call her friend will not let her final years diminish the good memories we have of our time with her.

Such people enrich our own journey.

APROPOS — “Try to mean to others what those good people in your life meant to you.”

— R. Maxwell