Remember Sarah Bishop
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Gina Fleck

How does someone turn from an acquaintance to a friend? Sarah and I would sit across from each other, gripping mugs of tea or coffee—fully intending to study. Somehow, hours of conversation later, we'd find we hadn't accomplished what we meant to. But no one could say it was a waste of time. We were shedding our acquaintance and trying on a new friendship. One that fit so comfortably, so quickly, that it hardly seemed new at all. It fit. And that's all there was to it.

I remember crossing Ankeny field—nervous to tell my roommate I was bringing a puppy into our household. Feeling guilty that I hadn't asked before making such a change to our routine. When I told her about the new addition, she tossed her notebooks in the air, and in a whirl of papers she grabbed my hands, and we dance-hopped in circles. She was more excited than I was!

She became Colin's other "mom" and a short time later we brought another lost soul into our tiny apartment. Quinn could fit in the palm of one hand. And we watched as our little one went from near-death to near-crazy with kitten energy. I hear Quinn may still be prone to lapses in sanity, but after endless nights in an abandoned house, trapped by the neck in a rusted-out stove, Sarah always seemed willing to forgive all Quinn's quirks.

I didn't keep in touch with Sarah much over the years. There was always tomorrow. And besides, when part of who you are, everyday, comes from having known someone—well, then it's as easy to take for granted as air and sunshine. Sometimes sparse, but always, inevitably, there.

My heart goes out to all of you who have been struck by Sarah's absence. She loved so many people and had a way of weaving them together so that one hardly noticed her work. But that's not quite right, All of you noticed. And that's why you're here. I guess her work will never be done.

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