24 May, 2008
My dear friend and my boss, Judith Gardner, died this Thursday afternoon.
Judy was a great woman. She was smart--one of the few remaining writing program directors with "only" a Master's degree. I know that the university had to ignore its own policies to retain Judy, but it is to their great credit that they did.
She was the most committed worker I knew. She worked up until two weeks before her death. Through surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and all of the assorted madness, Judy was there. Heck, I call in for a bad headache! But she didn't judge me or others for being weaker than she.
Judy was kind and loving and committed to her friends, her coworkers, and all of our students. Every single teacher in the writing department (I think there are 63 of us) considers Judy a mentor and a friend. How did she manage that? And Judy's last words to me, though neither of us knew they'd be her last, were, "I love you, kiddo."
I love you, too, Judy. And I'll miss you, awfully.