It's unreal thinking of Sister Vyrle has been dead and buried.
Death has taken a Giant.
Though small in size, Sister Vyrle was BIG in presence and somehow I've always had the impression that she could kick anything (even death's) behind.
I've had many good thoughts of her over the years and a few have stood out the most.
Winston has heard the story a hundred times of how when I turned 5, she worked at the Bank and gifted me with a Savings/Bank book of $5 - perhaps the most meaningful gift ever given to me because she was thinking ahead (of her time) and about my future.
Then, there was the day, when I was visiting up the street with the Knowldens (coincidentally) and someone came to tell me that Sister Vyrle was in town, visiting from LAMCO. I ran excitedly down Randall Street, non-stop, out of breath, right into her arms only to be rewarded with the most gorgeous smile AND the cutest red Swedish clogs. Those clogs, to me then, were worth more than a million dollars.
She really did have one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen and Winston agrees.
I loved watching her and Daddy in conversation because it was always animated and interesting. They were both strong-willed and opinionated and had to have the last word.
In between the discussion, she would flash that smile whenever she felt her point was well taken. Later, she would click away in her stylish heels as she lit up one of those cigarettes that always appeared extra-long because of the way she held it.
Years later, every time I pretended to light up a Saratoga Cigarette, I tried to look as "cool" as she did - with her nails always done-up beautifully and on point.
I recall one particular discussion over the reason she gave Daddy for wanting to quit her job at the time. She complained that her office window looked out at a wall and tried to explain how that affected her. She had no intention of staring at a blank wall everyday for years to come. ? Daddy thought it wasn't reason enough to leave a job and it was interesting hearing Sister Vyrle's unique rebuttal to every point he made. I still remember the laughter in my Mother's eyes (which she tried hard not to let spill from her lips) as she watched the back-and-forth between them.
Their conversations were always intriguing and more like watching a Webster dictionary contest/match of who had memorized the most difficult words and had the best vocabulary. They were so much alike and once a visitor who was so mesmerized by their use of words commented to my Mother that she could pay money to watch them all over again. LOL ?
Sister Vyrle was such a trendsetter. Her style of dress, her surroundings -the beautiful glass vases in her living room- the way she walked, drove, smoked, etc. were all distinctly hers - different, yet classy. She was very particular about everything in her life & world.
Once when my Daughter Jennifer was being bullied at school because some girls thought she walked like she was on the runway, I jokingly told her to tell them that she was Vyrle Richards' Niece. Sister Vyrle had mentioned years earlier that in England, when she was in school, they strutted with books on their heads. I always thought that she had certainly perfected the "runway" walk and could teach these Models a thing or two. No one could ever make walking in the highest heels look as simple as she did.
It's almost impossible to believe that she's gone. I miss not having had the opportunity to tell her those things.
I looked around at the funeral and saw how very blessed a life she lived because each Child, Grandchild & Great-Grand was a testament to that - as were the wonderful Siblings she left behind.
You Guys made her very proud.
She was given the send-off of the Queen that she was. The Service & the Repast was wonderfully put together. That Video at the Repast was the icing on the cake. Everything was perfect!
I'm sure she was there, looking around, and saying "Well Done! Your Thank You!"