If you read Visiting Tom, you know the book was not just about Tom. It was also about his wife Arlene, and their long lives together. Arlene always said she wanted to live to see her 60th wedding anniversary, and she did.

Arlene died yesterday. Out of respect to the family I am going to simply say this: If you lived around here, every now and then your phone would ring, and it would be Arlene. She’d ask how you were doing, or maybe inquire after a family member who had been ill. She didn’t call to gossip, she didn’t call to talk about herself (and if you asked about her health, she’d give you verbal wave of the hand and move on), she just called to check that her neighbors were OK.

We’ll miss those calls.

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