Editor’s Note: This was an essay written 12 years ago by Cindy Goodwin when she was a senior at Rifle High School. The essay is about Suzy Puff, who died recently due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Goodwin wrote the essay because of Puff’s influence on her as a teen. The essay previously appeared in the Glenwood Post 12 years ago.Hidden in the mediocrity of a small town, there lives a beautiful woman with long brown hair tied up in a bun and thick glasses covering her intelligent brown eyes. She wears homemade dresses and Birkenstock sandals, giving many the illusion of being simply an ordinary face in the crowd. But she is, in fact, the most extraordinarily beautiful woman this valley has ever had the great fortune to encounter.She has a thirst for knowledge and seeks to know the souls of all those she meets. She has a remarkable memory of every name and face. She observes people and the world and takes lessons from life, thus continuously learning. Her laugh carries joy to anyone who hears it, and her sense of humor spreads happiness like a disease. Humbleness and meekness are two of her greatest qualities, for she never boasts or brags of her many talents; instead she encourages others no matter how little their achievement. Idleness is something she knows not of, for her willingness to help people is never-ending. She makes crafts with her own hands and gives them to many from her heart. Rarely do you leave her house empty-handed, because she always has something to give. She donates many long hours to help friends or anyone in need, and still makes time to pour her love upon her family. Many people of this area can attest to her helpfulness, especially during tax season, when she has saved countless people at the last second. In her job at the local general store, she is a tribute to many youth of the town. When they are restless and doomed to make trouble, she sends them to do small jobs around the store, paying them money from her own pocket.To many people, such as myself, she serves as a counselor, always available with an open ear, an open heart and lots of sound advice from her many experiences. She would protect those she loves from anyone or anything at any cost, and she has a subtle wit, rarely noticed. Another talent she sustains is her outstanding musicianship. She stimulates the auditory senses with her heartfelt guitar playing and singing. When nothing seems to calm the unrestful spirit, an evening of song touches the pain of the soul and heals the hurt of existence.Perhaps the most amazing testament of her character is her background. She grew up in a small shack and had very little throughout her youth. She had a less-than-favorable childhood, yet despite it all, she never gave up or quit the struggle to survive. She took her numerous trials and problems and discovered the secrets of life through them.As I look into her eyes which are the key to the soul, I see the most beautiful, spiritually mature person this world has ever seen. And luckily for us, she beams with positive energy, and we need only to encounter her and we will feel her passion for life and hopefully are able to catch some of it for our own lives.I am forever indebted to her for all the love and inspiration she has given me and the innumerable things she has taught me, both directly and indirectly. I have never met a more competent, loving, helpful, talented, supportive, giving, and beautiful human being. I love and will miss her greatly, but will never forget, because I carry pieces of her with me forever in my heart and soul.
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Do you remember what you felt during your high school graduation? Hope? Uncertainty? Fear? Relief? Excitement?