Nobody runs a meeting or a retreat like Linda. She is efficient, enthusiastic, encouraging, and organized. She is direct and honest, but also funny and nice. She never talks too much. She gets things done. A few years back, when there were rumors that our current chair might become a dean, we wondered who his replacement might be. “Linda would be great,” was a common sentiment. One problem was that Linda was close to retirement. In fact, she will be leaving us this year. Who will run our retreats? Who will come around on Fat Tuesday handing out beads? With whom will I talk about baseball?
Linda and I are proof that people of all backgrounds, races, genders, nationalities, etc. can get along. She is a Cubs fan, while I root for the White Sox. Before I met Linda, I hated the Cubs. I made fun of the Cubs. Constantly. I’d go into gift stores in Chicago where Cubby teddy bears were sitting next to Cubby coffee mugs, and I’d stuff the little bears head first into the mugs. But Linda is not a baseball hater. She cheers for the Cubs, but sometimes also for the Cardinals (yes, I KNOW—in some circles this is heresy.) And she likes the White Sox. I think she saves her hate for more important targets, like bigots. Because of Linda, I’ve become a more reasonable fan.
Linda and I both understand the importance of mid-February—pitchers and catchers report to work. This means that spring is near. Somewhere, in Arizona or Florida, it is already spring! And with spring comes Opening Day and with Opening Day comes hope and the promise of a new beginning.