Of Gretchen, Gardening, and Coincidence
Tuesday night Greg and I were at the West Chester Library. We were instructing one of my Let’s Get Dirty! organic gardening classes, this one funded through a State DEP grant our organization C3A had received last year. This was a continuation of a gardening series we had begun at the Library last fall. As we attempted to park, it was obvious a service was happening at the Dellavechia Funeral home across the street. The parking director said we’d have to move further down the street, because a lot of people were expected. We set up, and then sat waiting for people to arrive in the meeting room, whose large picture window gave us a clear view across the street as many mourners arrived for the service. “Someone well known,” I thought. We both admired the beautiful architecture of the building, similar in style to the Library. And Greg—Mr. Intuition who’d been reading remembrances in the DLN all week- had a vibe that the service was for Gretchen Metz. Who had attended a Let’s Get Dirty! class a few years ago. Who had sat next to Greg for class, where he got a chance to chat with her and get to know her a little on the common ground of gardening rather than as a reporter. Who seemed ill but we couldn’t know why. Who enjoyed the class and hurried away with a smile. Who I had met years before as Greg and I made our way through networking jungles promoting C3A events (she gave us some nice coverage too). So now here we sat, wondering, remembering, talking gardening and growing and thinking of this accomplished woman who for all we knew could be hovering nearby picking up some last minute tips!
The next day we found out that indeed it was the service for her, as well as that Tuesday had been National Agriculture Day, and were doubly moved because she was known to be a big fan of farming and gardening. So we felt confirmed that her spirit had been with us the night before. We couldn’t attend, yet from across the street we could remember and celebrate the life of a great and beloved Chester County institution who used her life to enliven and enlighten us all.