Friday, March 5, 2010

Darcy Pohland... the great adventurer

Every time I saw Darcy Pohland roll into the newsroom with her big smile, it brightened my day. She would usually have a funny story to tell and was full of enthusiasm. I loved catching up with her every week. Everyone loved Darcy. She was funny, compassionate, and just a genuinely caring person. She was real. She always told you what she thought, but also had a kind word for everyone. We all wanted to be around Darcy and share in her zest for life. But, I had another incentive. Darcy got it. She understood better than anyone what disability means. She was always so supportive of Mieko. She knew so well how fragile life as we know it can be. She always said just the right thing. She understood and she cared.

Darcy accomplished so much without wanting recognition. She showed disability didn't have to keep you back. Though life as a reporter in a wheelchair wasn't easy, she didn't let it keep her from doing what she loved. She told me about the days she had to suffer out in the cold to get her work done because she couldn't get her chair into the live trucks. Sometimes she couldn't even get to interviews because the homes or buildings weren't accessible. Darcy was a straight talker. She wouldn't sugar coat things, but she always chose to be positive. That's how she made it. She didn't have to tout that she had overcome so much, she just did.

I really thought she could do anything. Recently, I was amazed at her composure during her mother's funeral service. She got up in front of everyone and spoke joyfully of her mother without missing a beat. I will never forget what she said to me after the service. I told her what an incredible job she did talking during such an emotional time. In comparison, I couldn't say more than "thank you" at Mieko's service. She said, "Well, that was different. I had my mom my whole life." No matter what she was going through, Darcy made you feel important and loved.

I'm still having a difficult time realizing that I won't see her rolling through the newsroom again, that I won't hear her laugh or the excitement in her voice when she talks about a game, story or show. She made all of our lives brighter with her sense of humor and sensitivity. I only knew Darcy for a short time compared to other friends and colleagues, but she taught me so much. Hellen Keller said "Life is either a great adventure or nothing". I'm so thankful to have been a small part of Darcy's adventure. I only wish it would have lasted much longer.