Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Fond Farewell...

This is my good friend, Liz Nelson.



My mentor, my co-worker, and my sometime co-conspirator, Elizabeth Nelson is retiring at the end of the year, after 31 years of assisting thousands of members at the Medina Library.

Many of you know her. Many of you have been helped by her. Many of you were befriended by her. Even if you didn’t know her by name, if you have visited the Medina Library you have been blessed by her presence. For Liz is one of those very special people who continually strive to make the world a better place. 

Words have failed me in trying to describe Liz. Here is a partial list of her many, many wonderful attributes:

  • Liz is consummate storyteller. To her, everything is a story. Books are stories. History is stories. Genealogy is stories. Related to that is the wonderful eulogies she does. Seriously. After one eulogy I left with the feeling "I am SO lucky I knew that person!" Perfection. I want her to do my eulogy.
  • Liz makes connections wherever she goes. Try going somewhere with Liz without her running into someone she knows. Because she knows everyone. James Garner,yes. Captain Kangaroo, yes. She and Michael Feldman bonded over Naugas. And if you don't know who Michael Feldman is, shame on you!*
It's a real thing. Yah. I don't get it either.
  • Liz is a wonderful tour guide. Try traveling through Akron with her. She knows the history and people of Akron like... well, like the back of her hand. She has lived in the Akron area almost all of her life. She and her husband Charlie are well known among the theater, music, and education crowds. She KNOWS and loves everything Akron.
  • Liz is a compassionate person. The world's indifference to suffering is physically painful to Liz. Hence she is always donating and helping with numerable charitable groups. 
  • I nicknamed her “Houdini” for her ability to find any arcane piece of information. Not because she is a magician, but because her deep knowledge of our collection and her incredible memory.
  • She is funny. Maybe not slapstick funny. But very funny.
  • She is spiritual. It goes along with being compassionate and kind. But goes deeper. Much deeper.

  • While this photo was taken for a department calendar,
    it definitely illustrates her spiritual side.

But most of all, Liz has been my friend. Just has she has befriended many of you, she befriended me. She has been a shoulder to cry on and a shoulder to lean on. She has seen me at my worst and celebrated the highs with me. She makes me be a better version of myself. And she laughs with me and sometimes she laughs at me. But more importantly, she makes me laugh at myself. And while we have vowed to stay in touch, I will deeply, deeply miss the near daily contact with her.

For Liz, I wish her happiness and peace. And the knowledge that she is appreciated and loved.

From one of her book club members:
Forever it seems you have been our mother, sister, friend, and confidential ear. You have taken us to new places and revisited the old with new vision. At Christmas you brought us hand crafted stars and there were simple paper hearts on Valentine's Day to mark that day. But there are legions of lovely people waiting to meet you on your life after MCDL. Be ready!


*Michael Feldman





16 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful piece, Kathy. Liz is such a special person and truly embodies what is so special about MCDL. It is our loss...

Sue

Anonymous said...

Super lovely post :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely, Kathy, just lovely.

Anonymous said...

That was so beautiful. I said I was going to cry even before I started reading it...and I did .

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting it into words...

Anonymous said...

Aweeee...... Very well done, Kathy!

Anonymous said...

This is BEAUTIFUL, Kathy.
Thank you for doing this.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute to a beautiful person! Happy Retirement Liz!

Anonymous said...

You summed Liz up perfectly. I did not realize that she is retiring. Please pass along my best to her. Liz and I shared a past in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Her grandparents and mine were from this small little town of 7,000, and it was amazing how many people we knew from that little town even though we didn't meet until I started working for MCDL in 1995. It's a small world and I hope we meet again.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful piece, Kathy. We all have fond memories of Liz and will miss her greatly.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute, Kathy! Please tell Liz to enjoy her retirement!

Anonymous said...

Liz is one of a kind and I will miss her terribly.

Anonymous said...

Trying to capture the essence of Liz is tres difficult , but you have come as close as anyone. She has been a friend, a co-worker, a mentor and more to me; one of a kind and I have been blessed by her influence. THank you for this lovely tributeđź“ť

Anonymous said...

I will miss seeing her! Please wish her well for me if I don't make it to the library before year's end!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute. You said what so many feel. I have several beloved memories of Liz. She will be sorely missed by not only me, but the thousands she has assisted over her career at the library. Congratulations and enjoy retirement.

Pat Morgan said...

I will miss the fun of finding Liz at the Reference Desk and the chance to share a laugh. If I had books in hand she was always curious as to what I was reading. I wish her a happy retirement, and per our conversation this week - housework will always be there. Take time for fun!
Pat Morgan