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Sunday, January 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Say yes when a young person calls

Sarah Ward
Sarah Ward

Two weeks ago, a University of Washington student, Sarah Ward, emailed me with this request: I am taking an interviewing class this quarter in which I need to have an informational interview with someone, that I do not know, in my field of choice.

I didn't know Sarah but I remembered the words of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen who said to me years ago : When a young person comes calling always make room in your schedule.

So it was an automatic yes to Sarah. On her second email, she revealed this: Her mother, Geneva Ward, had just died. Her mother's hope was that Sarah would finish the class she had postponed to be with her  in her last days at Hospice House in Spokane.

And, in all ways Spokane, I knew Sarah's mother when we were younger. Geneva went to Holy Names Academy at the same time I was attending Spokane's other all-girls high school, Marycliff.

So I'm so happy I said yes even before I knew this.

And Sarah's here with me today, asking about journalism and writing. I know why her mom was so proud of her. She's smart and beautiful and she didn't hesitate, at 26, to put her Seattle life on hold while being with her mother in the sacred days at Hospice House.

Here's a photo of Sarah with her mom at UW's graduation June 11.

(Photo courtesy of Sarah Ward)

Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.