Sheryl (Tarbell) Mathews (1944 – 2013)

Sheryl passed away yesterday. We were high school classmates and she is one of only three girls who ever asked me out on a date for something other than a Sadie Hawkins Day dance. It was a hay ride with a bunch of other kids, so maybe it wasn’t technically a date, but I’m going to count it as one. There were other dates after that but the hayride is stuck in long term memory.

We were both freshman and I was scared to death of girls. It’s surprising that I agreed to go. But I did, and had a great time. Years later, at one of our high school reunions, we talked about that hayride and I learned that she, too, was scared. We laughed and talked about the different paths our lives took through high school and beyond.

Sheryl had severe medical problems the last few years and it was hard to watch her decline, but always good to see her. We remained friends over the years and I’m happy for that.

Whenever I think of Sheryl, or hear her name, my mind takes me back to that hay wagon when we were both 14, and it was so good to be alive.

And I smile.

That’s the way I’ll remember Sheryl.

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