By Judy Reed
Hearts have been heavy at the Post since late last week, when we lost our friend and coworker Cindy Lewis. She died in her sleep last Thursday morning, December 17. We were told it was probably a heart attack. She was only 54.
This came as a real shock to her family, friends and coworkers because Cindy was so full of life. She was the type of person that brightened the room as soon as she entered. She was always smiling, often laughing, and was genuinely interested in those around her. She was kindhearted, compassionate, generous and selfless. She loved people—and she showed it in the way she treated them.
Some of you who are business owners knew Cindy through her contact with you about advertising in our paper. She was one of our salespeople, and took a real interest in not only keeping her customers happy, but in building relationships with advertisers.
When Lois Allen, our publisher, was involved in her accident last spring, Cindy often went out of her way to make sure Lois had what she needed. She also made sure several of Lois’s customers were taken care of, though she made no commission. She cared more that the paper survived that setback than she did about who got credit for sales.
Some readers may have known Cindy through interactions with her during her children’s sporting activities over the years, such as football and cheer. She was an avid supporter of her seven children, who are now grown. Family was the most important thing in her life; she talked about them often. Our hearts go out to her family; her fiancé John, her children, grandchildren, mother, and extended family. She was a stabilizing force in their lives and they will need much peace and comfort in the coming weeks, months and years.
Cindy’s death has left a gap here in our office, as well. We are not quite whole. We keep waiting to see her smiling face come through the door, or hear her voice on the phone.
Sometimes it’s the little things that get you. Yesterday, when I got to the office, I wondered briefly if I should unlock the back door for Cindy, since her key didn’t work last time. And then, with a little stab of pain, I remembered.
When deciding what to make for our Thursday staff lunch meeting this week, I wondered what I could substitute for onion in the recipe—because Cindy was allergic to onions. Sadly, that will no longer be an issue.
But I think what I will miss most is when she would come plop down in the chair in my office and talk—about anything, about everything—her family, the community, what was happening in the office. In the days and weeks before she died, we talked about what she was getting the kids for Christmas; the surprise she had for her mom and other family members about someone coming for the holidays and how hard it was to keep that secret; her grandchildren; my kids and grandchildren; and much more. It was nothing earthshaking; just the stuff that affects us everyday—the things that friends share. Because Cindy was more than a coworker; she was a friend. One that I and the rest of the staff at the Post will miss very much. But I do know that I will see her again someday, and that I am a better person for having known her.
For more information about Cindy, you can read her obituary here.