Around 10 this morning, I walked up to reception and heard that "something" had happened to one of the people who worked in the production area. Rumors buzzed all over the plant, but no one knew anything until the FHP officer came to the building. Then the announcement was made.
Diane died in a car accident last night. The highway patrol couldn't reach her daughter, so they contacted Tokyo for information.
I didn't know Diane well. She worked at Tokyo as long as I had. She always said hi when I walked passed. We would occasionally talk, or she'd show me pictures of her grandchild. We would see her at Walmart (this is still a small town and you see everyone at Walmart sooner or later) and she wen to the same doctor we did. She was a little odd. A tiny little black woman (she was maybe 4" 8) who wore socks and sneakers with skirted suits, she was emotionally reactive and sensitive, but very strong underneath all that. You learn these things being around someone for 13 years.
That was one reason I'd never really said to her that I was leaving. She'd been sad, even a little upset, to see The Husband go. It isn't like people don't know we are going, but I don't talk about it to all and sundry. Mostly it's because we really won't be gone -- we'll both be back as part of our agreement with Bosszilla to work remotely. I just don't want a fuss, because I won't be really gone. So I never mentioned it to Diana as the days went by and she'd ask about The Husband. Of course she knew I would leave, too, but I never said when. It's silly, but I thought it would upset her, whereas she was used to not seeing me for stretches of time if my schedule didn't bring me in or if I didn't walk passed her station.
I cleaned out my desk today and contemplated. I thought back to the last time I'd walked passed Diane's work station to hear her say "Hi, Sherri!" and to call back "Hi, Diane!", and realized that now I wouldn't have to tell her I was leaving Tokyo.