It was an astonishingly ugly shirt. “It cost one dollar at a thrift shop,” Adrienne told me excitedly and with a big smile on her face. She held it up with both hands so that all I could see of her face were two dancing eyes peeking above it. The shirt was bright red and had multi-colored, Christmas lights dancing all around it. Green, yellow, and blue bulbs with an occasional splash of holly in between, spinning round the fabric from top to bottom. Truly ghastly.
Adrienne had run out to buy this shirt for me so I could wear it to our company lunch. Everyone in the Atlanta office would be wearing holiday clothes to pose for a photo. I had just flown in from St. Louis so she knew I hadn’t anything Christmassy to wear. She did this so I could fit in and join in the fun. It was such a sweet and unexpected gesture!
That was Adrienne. Thoughtful and disarmingly enthusiastic. You always knew when Adrienne came into the room. She made an effort to say hello, to see how you were doing, and to connect in some small way. And, her laugh made you laugh, every time.
Adrienne passed away on February 2, 2013. One year ago. It was a shock…devastating to her son, her family and friends, and all her colleagues. She touched so many people in the world around her. She purposefully made an effort to reach out…to help anyone who needed it. Gone too soon.
Today, with the snow and ice storm in Atlanta having shut the city down, I think of all the things she would have done to help people if she were here. A joke to make us all forget our troubles. An infectious laugh to get our minds off ourselves. A hot meal to help out a friend. And, that infectious laugh…You are missed, dear Adrienne. But, you are not forgotten.