Some years ago, I became acquainted with a fellow cyclist. Today, I cannot recall the circumstances. But she and I enjoyed a friendship based on conversational rides, fun and funny life stories, and our enthusiasm for cycling. Have mercy, I cannot count the times I would hear our dog bark her one bark: "There's a friend at the gate."
It was Margaret. Margaret with Gail, or Karen, or Nancy, or Bill, or Toby, or Wendy, or Chris, or all the other cycling friends that counted Margaret in their posse.
I hear Margaret's voice - it's distinctive, and it is very supportive - whatever the conversation, Margaret's voice is in my mind. She shared her grandkid stories. Certainly, she shared her Beth stories. She shared her career stories as an educator. I hear her laugh, and thanks be to God, I see her smile.
Many have observed that Margret was a pillar of our cycling community. She was a positive, encouraging friend to so many. I initially titled this post My Friend Margaret. Note that I changed it to Our Friend Margaret. Her passing is our loss, not my loss.
*** Margaret's natural passing was swift, and for that, perhaps we are grateful.