The day after I came out to Texas, I was sent to Magnolia to work in a center. My manager was a woman named Winifred Foley. She preferred to be called “Wini”. She was a very sweet lady. I sat next to her for a few weeks and she loved to talk to me so, as you can imagine, I came to know her rather quickly. She had a great sense of humor. When we moved to the center in Houston, she sat across the room from us so we didn’t talk much but I would occasionally go over to chat with her.
One Thursday morning we came in and found she had mistakenly taken 3 times the dosage of her blood pressure meds. (Pharmacy mix-up) She had put in a call to her doctor but heard nothing so Judy took her to the hospital. The doctor said the meds bottomed out her blood pressure, then after it started wearing off, it skyrocketed. She ended up in ICU. Her blood pressure was extremely high and kept fluctuation but never lowered or stabilized. She was in ICU for a week before they were able to move her to a regular room.
That Friday Judy and I visited her. She was swollen and bruised. She had taken a fall and also suffered a heart attack while in ICU. After the visit we headed over to collect her things and check her out of her hotel. The following day we took her rental car to Ellington so someone could shuttle it back to Austin.
Two days later she was released from the hospital and we picked her up and took her to the airport for her flight home. Before going to her room we decided to get her something from the gift shop. Just a small “We’re thinking about you” gift doll. When we got to her room we collected her things and headed out. Her poor feet were swollen to two or three times the size of her shoes so they squeezed some socks on her feet so they’d (at least) be covered. Off to the airport.
The airline gave Judy and I security passes so we could go with her to the gate so, after she bought a book and some Twizzlers for the trip, we headed for the gate. (The only other thing she insisted on taking with her was the doll we had gotten her.) At the gate I noticed her ticket had her mid to back of the plane so I asked the gate agent to switch her seat. No problemo. When the plane was ready to board we said our “see ya laters” and the gate agent took her down to the plane.
We spoke to Miss Wini a few weeks after she got home and she was doing much better. She said she was looking forward to Judy and I coming to visit whenever we both were released from work. The last time Judy spoke with her was in mid February. Still sounded good. But…
During a quick “gathering” at work on March 19th Judy and I were reminiscing about Miss Wini and had the wind knocked out of us when someone said that Miss Wini had passed away in the early morning hours of February 28th. Apparently she died due to kidney failure. Shocker! But it doesn’t stop there…
The day after we found out, Judy and I were having lunch and had been talking about Miss Wini. Judy’s cell phone rang and after checking to see who was calling, she looked up at me with a strange look on her face. Then she turned her cell phone around so I could see who was calling. The name on the screen… “Miss Wini”. The call was actually from Judy’s son-in-law who was working in her motorcycle shop in Houston. I was a bit skeptical of the whole thing until it happened again. Then Judy showed me that the shop number in her cell phone actually said SHOP. She also told me that it didn’t happen every time she got a call from her son-in-law. Only those two times when we were both together. Too much of a coincidence. I think someone is trying to tell us something!
When I came back home from Texas I flew to my mother’s house and we drove up to mine. I was taken aback when I opened my refrigerator to find a package from Miss Wini. (Mom said it came at Christmas.) Not sure what to make of it all. I do know I’m happy to have met Miss Wini, even for that short time. Thank you Miss Wini and may you RIP. ~