It hit me to the point of tears this morning that my life – and the lives of so many others – may soon feel a void. I saw a Facebook post not long ago that Marty Myers is in a “frail” state, and my mother messaged me yesterday to confirm what I had read.
My first thought when I read those words was, “Bethel will soon have his best friend back,” which made me smile. But when I thought about what that means for the rest of us left here on earth, I just let the tears fall.
Many might think it morbid to pay tribute to a woman while she is still very much with us. But I wrote a column long ago about my thoughts on eulogies written after the fact. What good are they really? If anyone can handle a living tribute, it’s Marty. She knows the score of life. In fact, she knows the score of everything. I’d rather tell her now what an honor it is to know her than tell the massive crowd of people that is bound to honor her life once she decides to claim her place in Heaven.
I don’t profess to be best friends with Marty. She never made my list of “must visits” anytime I was in town. Although it was always a bonus to bump into her at United. I was blessed to spend almost a year in 2003 as her neighbor, but other than that, I cannot say we were buds or anything of the like.
I can say with all honesty though that Marty has been a mainstay in my life, as she has been in the lives of hundreds. Whether it was seeing her during my younger years while playing with Kimmy and Greg or at the bowling alley on Tuesday nights, she was always around.
I spent many mornings absorbing the chatter and wisdom of the local coffee drinkers, sitting in booths or around big tables in whatever café was open and had hot coffee flowing. Marty was always there, along with other faces from my childhood that I will never forget, like Erma Arnold’s and Gerry McMahan’s and Jack Custer’s and Bob Reitz’ and Pete Oakley’s and Eddie VanZandt’s and … my dad’s. The list goes on. What a cast of characters they were! My wisdom of life and liberty and the school of hard knocks was founded on this coffee club crew! Cherokee’s forefathers. Marty is definitely one of them.
I cannot begin to list the number of crews Marty ran with during her lifetime. Like I said, she was everywhere doing everything. The library. The laundromat. Committees. City meetings. Fundraisers. Ballgames. Annual events. She chipped in where she could and never made a grand production of any of her contributions. She just did them, selflessly and consistently. She is what I would call very even keel.
She never plays favorites with people. She speaks encouraging words to everyone. She is never too busy or in a hurry. She never judges – although she speaks her mind without hesitation. And she always, always, always knows the outcome of every Cherokee Chiefs ballgame. Yep, Marty knows the score.
In reading through some recent Facebook posts made to her by those on her friends list, I noted the words “special lady, one of a kind, spunkiness, classy, beautiful inside and out.” All so very true.
Her last post on Dec. 29 was, to no one’s surprise, a salute to the Dallas Cowboys, which never had a better public relations coordinator than Marty. She surely deserves her own Super Bowl trophy and a bigger-than-life, personalized gold placard affixed to the most prominent wall of AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys (and the Sooners, too) don’t know how good they have it with Marty on their team.
I think many of us don’t realize how good we have it, either, with Marty on our team. She is one of Cherokee’s finest, a first draft pick, a most valuable player. It’s time she has a cheering section of her own. Go! Fight! Win! Marty. Your team is behind you all the way.