I got the sad new yesterday that one of our Kansas Authors Club members passed away. Trudy McFarland was a regular at KAC events and she was one of those in Topeka who made me feel welcomed and wanted when we moved. Knowing people through the authors club helped me tremendously in our transition from western Kansas to Topeka, and though I'd only met them at once-a-year conventions around Kansas, it was nice to have a place to go where there were familiar faces. Trudy was one of those familiar faces and she made me feel like a friend.
I talked about Trudy's book, Diary of a German War Bride, here on my blog a few years ago. I am happy to report that I did get that hug, and a repeat every time I saw her thereafter. She was a fabulous woman and an inspiration to me as a writer.
I still have an envelope sitting here on my desk from Trudy. She sent me copies of her winning entries from the KAC 2009 writing contest. She had hoped to share them with our membership, though she told me at the time that she sent them that she would not be here to see them shared. I look forward to including her work in an upcoming newsletter for KAC.
Looking at photos from our last convention, I am reminded that Trudy would not have wanted me to waste time being sad. She was a person who lived a full life. She seemed to me to be a person who was always celebrating. I never saw her without her smile and I never spent time with her that I didn't want to smile, as well. Trudy shared herself in stories both fact and fiction. She will be missed.