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Irina

Ira

Four years ago my friend Ira Yarmolenko died. I haven't written about her as much lately, certainly not as much as I did in the year following her death. 

I've been thinking about her in the last couple of days. Friday I went into the coffee shop and there was a large bouquet of flowers on the counter. It was right next to Ira's picture and memorial book, but I didn't give that much weight when I saw them. I thought they were for one of the ladies currently working there. 

I asked the barista who the flowers were for and she told me they were for Ira. Of course. Friday was Ira's birthday, and some kind soul wanted to commemorate her birthday. (That's probably healthier than remembering the anniversary of her death.) She said the man who brought them in  also gave the barista on duty $100 and told her to give people free coffee until it ran out. Then he  gave her a $40 tip.

I was curious as to who this generous man was. The barista said he was in his 30's and looked native american. That didn't sound like anyone I knew, but Ira's circle of friends was a lot larger than our group of mutual friends. I looked at the card on the flowers. It was just a happy birthday card with the words "We love you" written on it. There was no signature.

I felt a little bad that I have never made a grand gesture like that on her behalf. But I'm glad somebody did. I'm sure somewhere Ira is very very pleased that a barista got a $40 tip because of her.

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