I worked with Sandy in the 80s in NYC at New York Newsday
Created by acujulie on 28/06/2012
The internet's made it easier to find people we used to know, and one night I googled Sandy Widener, with whom I'd worked at New York Newsday in the mid-80s in Manhattan, just to see what she's up to. Needless to say, I was shocked to learn she was gone from our midst in a terrible accident that left one young daughter from a family of four. Honestly, I can't think of anything worse in peacetime.
Sandy was tiny, looked much younger than she was, and was courageous, focused, and unstoppable when I knew her. She was usually out of the office covering a cops story, or back in the office writing it up, getting ready for the next one. Once while thinking about the revolving door aspect of that job and how it can suck the youth and life force out of you, I asked her what she really wanted to do with her life, what she wanted her life to look like. Her eyes narrowed like lasers as she stared through me and said something about spending the rest of her life with John Parr, the man she loved, breaking down institutions and taking on corruption. She was so dead serious using rhetoric that was familiar to me from college, but which I hadn't heard from anyone at NYN, and I thought she was kidding. But she wasn't.
It was so long ago I don't remember details except that she was pregnant when she left NYC with John, to relocate to Colorado. As I said, years later, I wondered about her and finally had an easy way to find out. I can't describe my shock, but it was something like losing my breath and going back in time and bouncing back to the present all at the same time, with an image of a family out on a December holiday trip on an icy night. Another deep December loss. I've had several, myself, so I'm familiar with this.
I really hope you're okay, Katy, and that your dog survived and kept you company for a long time afterwards. I can't even imagine...
Katy, when you check this site as you may from time to time, I hope you get some strength and solace from reading our stories. Memories can dissipate from trauma and if yours do, you can borrow ours. Wishing you well...