In Memoriam
Phyllis Woods McCarthy

It was Phyllis's last year and my first year spent at Pebble Beach Villas, and we spent it together. We were strangers in the fall and close friends by spring. We shopped, socialized, drank champagne, and talked about our families and our lives. When I had a problem, I went directly to Phyllis to discuss it with her. When she had a problem, she called me. Five times a day, at the very least, I popped in without knocking, something odd for me because I'd never appeared anywhere uninvited. But I always knew she was glad to see me.

I got to know three of her daughters, Paula, Rosemary, and Phyllis; one son, Robert, and his wife Edena; and two granddaughters, Christine and Kelly. I liked them all and could see some of Phyllis's wisdom, strength, and sense of humor in each of them.

I have so many wonderful memories of this year with Phyllis: Excursions to Publix or Albertson's, depending where the bargains were (Phyllis taught me to shop wisely). Attending special events, like the church Christmas concert with a choir and orchestra that brought us to tears. The Pebble Beach Villas galas that Phyllis enjoyed so much--the Christmas sing-a-long, the Valentine's Day Brunch, The St. Patrick's Day party, and the Hoe Down. Also, the annual luncheon at the Yacht Club and lunch at Anita and Byrn's following the Christmas concert. And, her grandson's wedding. We timed our champagne toast so that we raised our glasses at the same time the bride and groom would be walking down the aisle. I made her laugh every Sunday when I'd come home from church and tell her I'd put her name on the petitions list so the whole Holy Cross congregation was praying for her.

The last time I saw Phyllis was the night before I left Vero Beach. We had a little champagne/ginger ale and hors d'oeuvre party with her devoted friend Sylvia, Eleanor, my daughter Lori and my granddaughter Lindsey. I felt so sad. I knew I would never have another neighbor like Phyllis. She liked this line from A Streetcar Named Desire: "I've always depended on the kindness of strangers." It is now one of my favorite quotes. The kindness of this "stranger" I will never forget.

With Granddaughter Christine

A Toast!


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