May 1, 2008

The Wendy Benton Way Day -Award

"A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart."

This year's recipient of the award is Mary Daly. I feel I need to explain the delay in continuing the yearly presentation of the award. I received the award in May, 2005 and put the basket and the letter in a "safe place". Unfortunately it was so safe I couldn't find it. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to contact the person who gave it to me, I didn't know what to do. Then, on February 17, 2008, while cleaning up after some remodeling, I found the items tucked away on the top shelf of a closet that we never use. I immediately called Diane Stevens, whose name was on the letter), to apologize. We had a delightful conversation. Sadly, I was informed that Wendy had passed away, but the May baskets are still going strong. So, that being said, I consider it an honor to pass this basket on to a good friend of mine, Mary Daly.

Mary has suffered many losses in the almost 30 years we have been friends and co-workers. She has suffered a miscarriage, lost a child at birth, lost her mother, gone through a divorce and battled breast cancer. Through it all she raised two great children on her own. Though she has experienced great adversity, she has continued to think of, and reach out to, others. Whether is was bringing food to a sick friend, volunteering at the schools, being a den mother or just remembering your birthday, she was there. She also helps many patients and their families as she tenderly cares for them in the Intensive Care Unit at Meriter Hospital.

I could not think of anyone who exemplifies the meaning of friendship more than you, Mary (although you could return your phone messages!). Please accept this basket of heartfelt wishes and love.

Your friend,