A recent flood in northeast Ohio resulted in one death---a woman in Norwalk who was work-bound in the early morning darkness when her VW Beetle convertible was swept off the road into a fast-moving stream. She had called 911 from her cell phone, and rescuers arrived quickly but not quickly enough.
Her neighbors would miss her; and so would her family and friends and her Cancer Society colleagues and patients. But in reality, as tragic a story as this was to hear and read, this woman was a stranger to most of us. Before her death, we had never known her name or any details of her life.
And then this photo appeared, and it was widespread in the news. It shared with us a slice of a good woman's life, presenting her before us from a happy time---an everyday scene of a woman and her dogs, off for a joyful ride in the countryside before our long, brutal winter had erased our beautiful Ohio autumn.
So poignant was this casual portrait, it seemed to bring her to life; I impulsively saved it to my g-mail file. Somehow---completely unplanned---it ended up in my screen-saver gallery, and now this haunting image appears before me every day among my own favorite personal photos.
I will not delete it; somehow this woman is no longer a stranger to me. Her name was Lisa.
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