I'm going to miss Cindy. She's on her way home to Ithaca, NY after spending three weeks in England and France.
I first met Cindy Gration in Paris in 1976. She came here to study French during her junior year abroad. I was a new mother looking for a part-time babysitter. Cindy answered my ad and in addition to her spending a few hours a week with my son Philippe, she and I became fast friends.
Cindy returned to upstate New York, graduated from college, and then enrolled in the Denver Publishing Institute. When she arrived in Denver she called my mother and was surprised to learn that I had just returned to Denver. Following the publishing seminar, Cindy returned to Ithaca, NY where she began her career at Cornell University Press. Cindy later met Bob Geyer and they were married in 1988.
Charlie and I joined Cindy and Bob on several vacation trips over the years. We went to Mexico twice, and also visited Yellowstone, Glacier, Bryce and Zion National Parks. Cindy and Bob had a daughter, Julie, born in 1992. Sadly, Bob died of stomach cancer in August, 2001. Julie was only 9 years old and Cindy's life has been devoted to raising Julie since then.
On September 11th, Charlie and I had our bags packed to fly to NY for Bob's memorial service. We were scheduled on a flight from Denver to LaGuardia at noon. We were having breakfast when we learned of the attacks on the World Trade Towers. As the morning's events unfolded, we realized that we would not be leaving Colorado, and we missed Bob's memorial service.
Ten years later, Cindy's daughter is now in her first year of college in North Carolina. I convinced Cindy to leave her empty nest for a few weeks to come and revisit our old haunts in Paris. My studio apartment provided plenty of space for us to catch up and renew our friendship.