It is said the pain of grief is the price we pay to love someone.
Anne Gober, 45, who lost her life tragically in a motor vehicle accident on July 21, was loved and the Wyoming Area community grieved.
The busy mother of four from Wyoming was very involved with her children’s activities at Wyoming Area. Anne wasn’t a native of Wyoming — she wasn’t “one of us” — but no one would ever know it. She grew up in Susquehanna County and graduated from Montrose Area School District in 1987.
Her personality was magnetic and wherever she went, so went that great smile that I loved and will miss. Being a photographer, I knew I had to have a photo of Anne in my archives, and after the accident I posted the first one I found on Facebook of her being silly for the camera with that ever-present smile. It could light up a room.
Attending a viewing is never an easy thing and when it’s someone so young with so much to offer that was loved by many, it’s pretty tough. Once I arrived at the funeral home, it took nearly two hours to finally reach Anne and her family. It was terribly hot that day but I would have waited as long as it took to see the family.
As I stood near the casket looking down on my dear friend, I found myself not crying, but smiling. She brought sunshine to my life each and every time I saw her, and this occasion was no different. When I reached her husband Joe and the kids, I felt comfort, and it wasn’t me comforting the family, but the other way around. Anne lives through her children, and I could see and feel it.
Joe did the eulogy at the funeral Mass to a filled church at St. Anthony of Padua Church of St. Barbara Parish. It was first-class, eloquent and humble. Joe quipped about his proposal to Anne at the service, admitting she said no to his offer before replying yes seconds later. That was so Anne.
In all the years I’ve known her, she was never one to say no when it came to helping her children or the organizations with which they were affiliated, and there were plenty. The kids were involved in theater, tennis, softball, field hockey, Little League, and I’m sure I’m missing one or two more. Anne had her hands in them all.
My first experience with the Gobers was through high school tennis, when eldest daughter Julia participated on the Wyoming Area girls varsity team and I was a volunteer assistant coach. Each of Anne and Joe’s children has different personalities and Julia was pretty quiet and reserved when I first met her. My initial reaction was, “Huh, she must take after Joe.”
Over the years, I’ve gotten to know the rest of the crew and it’s not surprising how well bred they are. Julia, Grace, Abby and JT are all polite and respectful children, and one thing they all have in common is the great smile Anne passed down to them. I believe no matter what they do or choose in life, they will hear Anne’s voice to guide them.
The loss of Anne should have never happened, and if I could turn back the hands of time to fix this, I would. The Gobers are good people and as we know, bad things happen to good people, and that’s the sad fact of life and a cruel lesson to learn.
The legacy we leave behind, the mark of a life well lived, is what we achieve in the time and days given to us. That legacy for Anne is Julia, Grace, Abby and JT. Because of Joe and Anne’s influence, I know they will rise above with heads up high and do great things in life in the memory of their mother that they loved so much.
Maybe Anne wasn’t a native of Greater Pittston, but in the end, she was one of us and we will miss her.
Quote of the week
“To know her was to love her.” – Samuel Rogers, English poet. Dedicated to Anne Gober.
Thought of the week
“Life only demands from you the strength that you possess. Only one feat is possible; not to run away.” – Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish statesman.
“One thing I’ve learned: You never know where life is taking you, but it’s taking you.” – Hilary Swank, American actress.