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  • David Mathews

Cecile Joan Charrot

A friend died last week. We hadn't seen her for years, which might seem remiss on our part, but these things happen. She was still a friend. Joan, we always called her, but it turns out she was Cecile Joan.

There's something refreshing about learning a new fact about someone, even a slight thing like a given name. As you play with the novel information, it brings the person to mind. What did Joan think of Cecile? I reckon it's a perfect name for someone who drove a red sports car and ran a couple of dachshunds, but Joan must have had a different take on it.

And there was Gordon, Joan's husband. We were colleagues and, in no time at all, friends. Gordon died decades ago, but I miss him to this day, for his warmth and sense of fun and all-round encouragement. Damn it, why do we have to lose good people?

But we do. I find myself recognising the qualities of those we miss in others we now meet. Maybe you think that's just too sentimental. Well, tough.

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