There is an old adage that says you don’t appreciate something until you lose it. While that doesn’t exactly fit the way I feel about the passing of Mary Jane Eubank, it does come close.
Nearly every work day and sometimes on Saturdays my phone would ring, usually at deadline, the time we send the newspaper back to our printer. It would be Mary Jane calling to tell me, not ask me, about what was happening in the world of sports - everthing from pee-wee to professional.
At every Waxahachie sporting event that I covered Mary Jane would be there, making a beeline straight to me - making sure I had the skinny on everything and everyone.
It seems we all have amusing Mary Jane stories. I remember riding the Booster Club bus to Austin for the Lady Indian semi-final when WHS won state in basketball a couple of years back.
As soon as I boarded the first thing I heard was “Where are you sitting?” It was Mary Jane. And all the way to the University of Texas she talked and talked. She discussed the girl’s team, the football team, every player in North Texas that ever played professional sports. She told me of all the new businesses we were going to have in Waxahachie, especially any restaurants coming our way.
I finally asked her if she ever wound down. Her reply, “Not when I have something to tell you.”
And her information was correct, every time.
On the way back from Austin Mary Jane apologized to me and said that she needed to sit by more of her friends farther back in the bus, but she promised to call me the next day.
The news of her passing greatly saddened me. I knew that something special had been taken from us and I didn’t know exactly how to react.
I thought on Monday when my phone rang at deadline - it’s Mary Jane. Then I remembered it couldn’t be.
One of the little things she did every time she called was to hold her cat up to the phone so I could hear it meow. I don’t know why that was so important, but I miss hearing her say, “Can you hear Kitty, she is saying hello.”
As I came to know this special person, I came to realize the impact she had on so many lives.
It is no mystery why God put her here in Waxahachie. She was here to bless us and watch over us.
From many conversations with her, I know that Mary Jane loved the Lord and that she is in His presence today.
She always cared and wanted to know about the health and spitual welfare of me and my entire family. Though my kids graduated years ago, they were her kids too, as were all kids in Waxahachie.
Neal White called her an icon in the newspaper. I call her a friend and Godsend.