There is a line in a song from Wicked that describes Roxie perfectly: “Because I knew you, my life has been changed for the better.”
Roxie has been a crossing guard for 51 years. 41 of those years, she has guarded the crossing for our parish school and the neighborhood public school. This year they have given her the award for the Crossing Guard of the Year.
I would not have been aware of the award EXCEPT the actions of our NEW governor and NEW mayor have me intrigued. Normally we receive a newspaper every weekday morning. We skip the weekend just in case we are out of town. Because of the summer, I placed the paper on a vacation hold until October. But since we have a subscription, the paper is available on line.
I accessed the paper on Friday morning. Flipping through it page by page I was happy seeing Roxie stare back at me on page 4. She is retiring in June. She will be MISSED by the neighborhood.
Roxie was at her corner, crossing children when our kids went to school. She was at her corner crossing people when my father went to morning mass. They became good friends. When my fathers memory declined, she joined our team keeping an eye on him. She often pointed him in the right direction when he was confused. If my Dad went to an early mass at the Irish church, he went out of his way to tell her on his way back home.
Roxie was aware of a woman’s interest in my father. He sometimes joined her for coffee and listened to her problems. I don’t know if my father ever gave her money. When Dad went to day care, she asked if she could visit him there. I told her that wasn’t possible but offered to take my father to meet her for coffee. She didn’t take me up on that and dropped out of his life. Roxie gave me details that my father never would have.
After my Dad’s passing, I went to church every Friday for a couple of years. Mornings I stopped to chat with her before going to church.
Not only will the children miss her, but many other people in the neighborhood will miss her friendly face on the corner: “Because we knew you, our life has been changed for good.”