There's a well-known two-lane road where I live in North Wilmington that cuts through neighborhoods and winds its way to the Delaware River. Along the way, there's a house where Lorraine Smulski Twardowski, the "Sign Lady" lived. She would post homemade signs at the end of her driveway all the time, echoing current events, but always with a positive twist or a humorous note.
I heard via Facebook that she passed away this week and that there were numerous signs there. I remembered this as I was headed home after showing houses, so I drove over to take a look.
It was getting late when I arrived, but the messages were good and true and strong. And, they are not signs made by anyone else. They are Lorraine's work and they are a gallery of some of her best messages. I'm certain they were selected by her family and placed there to honor her. Around the one that tells the bittersweet truth that she is gone, flowers have been placed.
Her obituary sheds more light on the woman who made the signs. It is a wonderful tribute and it makes you wish you knew her, due to what an integral role she played in so many aspects of life here in Delaware. Her work will have lasting positive effects on people who never even knew her. Whoever penned her obit said it well: "Everyone is loved by someone, but Lorraine was loved by everyone."
Before I saw the signs tonight, I had thought I'd make a sign and place it there, but now that I know the signs there are hers, I know they are the best reflection of her life. I will send my thoughts in a letter to her family instead.
Here's a glimpse of the signs tonight. Please forgive the graininess: the light was dim but the love of her family who placed those signs there is strong.
May we all live like Lorraine.