A gentle soul

I know what the word “gentle” means. I just looked it up anyway.
I wanted to be sure it fit Nancy Kashuba the way I always thought it did.
It does.
An online dictionary defines “gentle” as: having or showing a mild, kind or tender temperament or character; (a person) moderate in action, effect or degree, not harsh or severe.
Yep. That was Nancy.
Nancy Kashuba was my classmate from the time our family moved to Pittston when I was in 5th grade. She was pretty and graceful and smart, but always in an understated fashion. Some people, it is said, have a way of “owning” a room. It was hard to tell if Nancy was even in a room. That’s the way she liked it. Nancy was herself. You can’t say that about everyone.
I had only two long conversations with Nancy in my entire life and both came on the same day. I was manning a Salvation Army red kettle at Redner’s Supermarket one Christmas season when Nancy came in to do her shopping. She stopped and talked. And talked, And talked, And talked. I found it delightful.
When she came out with her full cart, she stopped again. And talked. And talked. And talked.
I found it even more delightful. I heard her voice more that day than I had in the eight years we had gone to school together.
That was the last time I saw her.
Nancy died Monday at Forest City Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Her obituary appeared in this morning’s paper. She was 71.
“Blessed are the meek,” Christ said, “for they shall inherit the earth.” Newer bibles change the word “meek” to “gentle.” Either way, Nancy is surely what Christ had in mind.

Ed Ackerman