Today, Rebecca Nappi writes words of good-bye as she leaves the Spokesman-Review. I will miss my friend on these pages.
We met in college 40 years ago - 40 years! As college freshmen, we were clueless about almost everything as we innocently explored the world, in a Gonzaga dorm and later through the streets of Florence. We have seen each other through good times and bad – that meant boyfriends and weird hairstyles and what will happen next?! in the college years and soon it meant post-graduation plans. When classmates would ask each of us our plans, I could recite her spiel “graduate school at Columbia, the one in Missouri.” And she could explain mine: “going to work at a Catholic Church as the education director.” After 1977, we bridged the miles with letters and sometimes phone calls. We hold memories and a few secrets from those years, years before husbands and life choices and the drama of adulthood.
The 40 years between friends offers gifts of mutual acceptance and a shared history we never need to explain. Inside jokes (praayyeerr!) and the occasional reminiscing of who we once were – the young women who still live beneath the aging faces - nurture a connection not found with others who never knew the Becky and Cathy of decades ago. We know the blessing of long-term friendship and cherish its gifts.
Becky, through the years you have been a faithful friend, a sturdy shelter – not only to me, but to the community. I am certain you will never know the impact of your work on readers’ lives. You are a truth-teller. You venture into the corners of life and shine light – with words, compassion and great insight. Your legacy remains. As you transition to your encore career, we will miss you on these pages, but your readers and friends send you forth with great gratitude and affection. May your gifts continue to bless, educate and inspire others.
(S-R archive photo)