My wife Nancy and I have been in a wonderful book club for nearly 20 years. There are about 15 or so of us, from all walks of life, and we meet the third Monday of each month. It’s something I look forward to month in, and month out. Vicki joined our book club, by my reckoning, about six or seven years ago. Her arrival was complete and utter serendipity. Melany, a charter member, was on a business trip when Vicki ended up in the seat beside her for the flight back to Toronto. They started talking about books and exploring an ever-growing patch of common ground, and by the time the plane landed, Vicki had learned the secret handshake and was welcomed into the fold. She brought the wonderful Vince, her husband, along with her. She was a lovely, warm, and intelligent woman who slipped into our midst like a friend we’d all known for years. After a courageous battle with cancer, we lost Vicki this past August.
Soon after, Peter and Manjusha, longtime members of the book club, sprang into action to find a fitting way for us to honour what Vicki had meant to our humble monthly gathering of book lovers. They hit upon the perfect idea. Money was raised and other arrangements made, and on January 31, 2012, there was a grand opening. In Dhaberi, a small farming village in central India, a children’s library opened its doors for business. Vicki’s Library. The funds donated purchased 500 children’s books and will pay a librarian for two hours a day, to work with the children and check out their books. Our book club has pledged to keep the library open. I cannot think of a better way to honour a good friend who loved books and reading as much as Vicki did.
Here’s a shot of the new library just before the doors officially opened. On the white banner above the children you can make out Vicki’s image. We all miss Vicki dearly, but we know she’d be thrilled with how we chose to remember her.