I last saw Debbie Romero at our 40th high school reunion in 2013.
She was a bright star in our class. I met her at girl scout camp. She played the flute. We were friends, and she was smart – Debbie was so smart.
After we graduated from LAHS, Debbie got a scholarship to Smith College. That pretty well tells you just how incredible smart she was. At the reunion she told me she was a lawyer on the board of directors of Smith.
I lived in Amherst and worked as a janitor at UMass the first year Debbie attended Smith. We got together a few times. She showed me around the school.What I remember most, was her telling me of a woman who left an apple legacy for the students at Smith. What that meant was every student was to get an apple a day if they attended the school.
For me — that was the coolest legacy. What a fine thing to leave for others.
I heard the news of Debbie’s death yesterday. Fucking cancer.
I didn’t realize it until yesterday, but I still think of Debbie and that legacy when I eat apples, and I eat them most days.