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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Make a wish.

On July 13th, I received an invitation from a dear friend of mine.  Her name is Eve Mary Verde.  We worked together at the phone company for many years.  She is part of a group of former phone company people that I like to call the boat people.  Eve Mary also worked at the U until not too long ago.  Also at the U are boat people, Judy Yeates, Linda Lane, Terry Cirillo, Anita Sjoblom, and Denise (Elwood back at the phone company).

Eve Mary is now the Development Director for Hogle Zoo.  She has had a long association with the Zoo since long before she took this position.  She is understandably very proud of the Zoo, with it's beautiful new displays for which she played an important fund raising role.

Eve Mary invited us all to a special and personal VIP tour of the Zoo.  Those who were able to accept the invitation for July 26th included Judy, Linda and her sister Pam, and me and my wife Gerri'.

Linda's sister, Pam was recently diagnosed with a nasty case of colon cancer.  On the 26th, it had only been a few days since she had been through a difficult surgery.  She is now going through chemotherapy.  She just happens to work at the Huntsman Cancer Center, where she is receiving the best treatment that is available anywhere and helping other cancer patients.

We met at the Zoo's gate where Eve Mary had a 6 passenger electric vehicle (like a big golf cart) waiting for us.  She treated us to dinner at the "Beastro," the Zoo's new dining area.  And then she guided us through the whole Zoo with a special introduction to the new Rocky Shores exhibit, where visitors enjoy beautiful views and close up encounters with penguins, seals, sea lions, and . . . BEARS!   Visitors literally come face to face with a polar bear and can watch grizzly bear siblings making mischief.

We saw the whole Zoo, effortlessly, and enjoyed Eve Mary's commentary based on her close association with everything that happens at the Zoo.  We even took a ride on the carousel!  This was a great experience for all of us, but probably most special for Pam and me.  Neither one of us could have trekked easily over the entire landscape of the Zoo.

As we were leaving and saying our "see you laters," Pam and I took a few steps away from the others. I asked Pam, "Do you feel like a make-a-wish kid?"  She smiled with me, knowing exactly what I meant.

Thank you Eve Mary Verde for your kind and generous heart.  Eve Mary has been through her own bout with cancer and has recently lost a very close family member to cancer.  Anita Sjoblom, another of our boat people, had the fight of her life with breast cancer, just a few years ago.  When she didn't know whether or not she could or should pursue a really long and difficult course of chemo, Eve Mary put her arm around Anita and took her to a support group that helped her have the strength to go through chemo.

Nobody cares and shares the worry, pain, and misfortune of others like Eve Mary.  There is only one Eve Mary.  It's very hard to imagine our world without her in it.

We all love you, Eve Mary.

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