What a difference one woman made

ovarian cancer symbolEarlier this week, I said goodbye to my friend, Terry.  I was in Terry’s book group. Not my book group as I am the newbie, with most of the group being together for over 17 years.  I’ve probably been a member of the group for 10-12 years.  It is a wonderful group of ladies that I really enjoy and Terry’s passing leaves a tremendous void.  Terry battled ovarian cancer for six years. And it was a battle.  She was incredible in her fight, her strength, her grace and her courage.

I have learned more about Terry since her passing. Her obituary and her husband’s tribute at her funeral on Monday shed light on a woman who made an incredible mark on this world. And for those of you that never met her, she has impacted your lives too.

Terry has multiple patents to her name. She never shared that as we sat around, sipped on wine and snacked on cheese and crackers, or figs at her home to tie in with the book. We all knew she was incredibly intelligent with a fabulous sense of humor and matter of fact way of critiquing authors and characters. She was humble to say the least.

As a mechanical engineer, Terry has literally affected lives world-wide. Her patents include mechanics enabling the mass production of automobile air bags. Another Terry patent enables us to turn our phones one way or another for the display to shift.  The initial Wii system included Terry’s patented sensor work to detect motion.

Unlike many book groups, we read the books.  We discuss them and enjoy the various perspectives that each of us brings to the conversation. At the wake and funeral we were collectively referred to as the “book ladies” as we came together to remember our dear friend who we will miss very much. I am in awe of Terry and what she accomplished as an engineer. I know she had no regrets in swapping her engineering career for her favorite career of being a mother to her two sons.

I would not have known Terry had it not been for book group. Her two sons are older than my kids. Thank goodness for book group to have met such a wonderful person. Thank you Terry for your friendship and thank you for all you did in a life taken too soon. There will be a place set for you at our annual book group Christmas dinner and we will toast you, our dear and talented friend. There is no doubt the impact you made while on this Earth.  Rest in peace.

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2 Responses to “What a difference one woman made”

  1. DIANE CASEY Says:

    A wonderful tribute Mary. It is an honor to be part of a book group with such compassionate and intelligent women. Terry will always be in our hearts.

  2. Jackie Hannay Says:

    Iteration was my niece and I agree that she touched so many lives. I was unaware of her patents although I knew she was a very talented, awesome person. What a beautiful tribute to her. She touched all that knew her.

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