The loss of a friend hurts an entire community

All of us have experienced life’s peaks and valleys. We laugh. We cry. We get frustrated. We get excited. We celebrate. We mourn. The emotional rollercoaster that we all find ourselves riding from time to time can seem both excruciating and liberating, and it’s a part of what makes us human.

Coastal Point •  Submitted

Of course, it can feel solitary, as well. There are times for all of us when we are experiencing tough times in our personal lives and have to put on that public face for work or church or a social gathering, with the happy emotions on the surface while the turmoil bubbles below in our guts. On the flip side, there are those times when we are experiencing sheer joy, but have to put that on the shelf because we know that those around us might be facing challenges in our own lives.

Regardless, we frequently wear the mask of whom we wish to portray for any given social experience, and our emotions can often change as we interact with different people or settings. For instance, no matter what my mood is when I sit down at a poker table or what is racing through my mind, it usually gets cast aside and I find myself simply enjoying the moment.

The same is often the case here at the Coastal Point — I can come in with a lot weighing on my mind, but that usually gets replaced with thoughts of work-related issues or sheer laughter at something one of the goofy Pointees said or did. But this week has been a bit different.

Collectively, the mood at the office has been somber this week. On Friday, we learned of the passing of Mary Miranda, and many of us took a tough hit to the gut. For those of you who didn’t get the chance to know her, Mary was a longtime Realtor in the area who was involved with Contractors for a Cause, the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival, various animal groups and many other local efforts.

Those of you who did get the opportunity to meet Mary know that she was equally quick with a smile and a comeback, was often found wearing the colors of her Penn State Nittany Lions or Pittsburgh Steelers and spent an incredible amount of time hanging out with her husband of 37 years, Frank.

And it was that relationship that allowed many of us at the Point to get to know Mary over the years. Frank is one of our landlords, and has become a friend to many of us here. We laugh with Frank, we wave to Frank in the parking lot and, at this time, we mourn with Frank. He and his partner, Mark Hardt, have become members of the Point family over the years, and judging from my interactions with the two of them on many mornings at Kool Bean, they are part of that cafe’s family, as well.

Make no mistake about it. I will personally miss Mary. I will miss seeing her at local events and sharing words, and I will even miss her picking on me when the Steelers inevitably beat the Ravens in a big game with a fluke play or silly turnover that turns the game. There were a few times over the past eight years or so that I’ve seen Mary in the parking lot the day after one of those games and tried to scurry away before she could get in a good dig at my expense, but to no avail. She always knew I was there, and would turn her head to me in a split second with a comment at the ready. Now I will long for those exchanges.

We’re all a bit sad around here at her loss, but also a bit better for having known her. She was smart and funny, affectionate and strong. She was driven in her career and her charitable efforts, but also enjoyed going to the theater and the beauty of the written word. She will not be forgotten by anybody who had the chance to know her, and I’m hoping she will be remembered by some who didn’t after reading this.

The community lost a true gem with the passing of Mary Miranda, and my friend Frank lost his life partner. We mourn her loss, and will celebrate her life through her memory.

Rest in peace, Mary. You won’t be forgotten.