The above pictures were taken when Gloria and I visited Prency in Wyoming almost seven years ago.
I deem myself lucky to have had the chance of seeing her in her beloved Jackson, Wyoming. How I wish I had a digital camera back then.
These are some (there are many more) of the things that will always remind me of my Tocaya, (namesake):
We're given the same first name which was quite unique at that time -I thought I was the only one who was named such - until I met her. She got hers because she was born among Princessess and I got mine because my godfather-to-be convinced my dad that since I was born at the foothills of Bundok Princesa (Princess Mountain), that name would fit me to a T.
She introduced me to Girl Scouting. She showed me what it meant to be an effective and dedicated leader. Once a week she would hail a calesa, picked me up from my place, and we would go to an elementary school to train young kids the rudiments of girl scouting. I am sure her sash of badges are still among her treasures.
She had always been a picture of self-confidence. She was the first one to stand up so we could organize, and eventually lead, our freshmen group. In fact, she's an officer in almost every club or organization there was.
And, how many of us can drive from Chicago to California and on to Wyoming ALONE? Hard to believe but she did. And again, that was just one route of the many trips that she made. I admired her spirit even more after Gloria and I had our Western States road trip.
Talking about spirit. Hers was the most positive of all. Who would have thought she would leave this world this soon. This is one of the last e-mails she sent, written in that style that I've always admired almost to the point of envy:
I have been staying here in Idaho Falls, at Liberty Square Retirement Community for a week now for radiation treatments every week day. FOUR MORE DAYS of radiation then I go home to Star Valley Ranch Monday evening, then it's for IV (Intravenous)chemo at the Cancer Center in Jackson on Tuesday, the 5th. CHEMO IS EVERY 3 WEEKS in Jackson. My stay here at Liberty Square has been like VACATION at a posh resort that I have decided to become a resident here by June 1st!!! I've already reserved a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment (all utilities, meals prepared by 2 professional chefs and served in a 'fine dining' atmosphere, cleaning once a week, life-alert necklace etc. included except phone) on the ground floor close to the elevator and side exit. My living room faces a wonderfully landscaped courtyard! Best of all this is the only retirement facility in this city that provides underground parking! I've listed all my properties for sale. THE HARDEST to let go is my dream retirement cottage in Thermopolis. I had visions of living there by myself independently, reading books, flower gardening, having garden parties and meetings for the Christian ministry. Cancer changed all that so I have to be practical and live in the present now that my future is more unp redictable! Amazingly I'm feeling very well, considering. The new tumors impinging on the nerves in my shoulders, near the spine and under my armpit appear to be shrinking so maybe they'll come loose enough to be taken out. THEY ARE NOT YET SURE that the tumors will be operable by then. I have a tremendous appetite so I've stopped losing weight but I need to keep it up and gain at least 10 lbs. I think I've made the right decision and am so relieved. I'm so happy that my daughter is so supportive of it. I'll write you my new address in June! Love, Princess
I miss you, my friend.