You all know by now that a beautiful, young Island girl died Tuesday night in an horrific car accident. Brandy Gibson was a delight — one of my favorite students ever. She was always willing to help, to volunteer, she was always smiling, she loved children. Brandy took the safe sitters’ course, so I was happy to recommend her to my friends, especially our seasonal visitors. Whenever Brandy babysat for their children or grandchildren, I would get a call the next day. The family would have nothing but compliments for her and remark on her enthusiasm and wonderful personality.

I have been a practicing Buddhist for many years. A few columns back, when I wrote about my friend Liz Doyle’s passing, I said when it is your time, it is your time. But I was born a Westerner. East meets west in the confusion of my mind to try to accept that it was Brandy’s time. The Westerner in me says too young, too talented, too beautiful, too kind. What a loss for us all.

In other sad news, condolences go out to Ardis Fitzpatrick and family on the death of Dick. I shall never forget his many kindnesses to me from the day I met him at his Yates Drugstore. Later, when he had retired, he always greeted me with a cheery wave on his neighborhood walks. Our community will never be the same without him.

In my practice, I must accept change. The changes above are difficult and sad. But other changes in our town are easy to accept and actual improvements. I had the good fortune to stop by the new facility for my friend Bethany’s Curves at the Woodland business center, around the back. What a place. I had no idea Bethany opens at 5:30 a.m. She says there is always a group of devotees waiting with their gym shoes for the door to be unlocked. Stop by and check it out.

The report from Iraq is that my son will be leaving on Feb. 19 to return to Camp Pendleton. Chris and I thank everyone who sent him cards, cookies, candy, books, and personal items. A special nod goes out to the Edgartown and Tisbury schools and the Oak Bluffs police department.

When I taught my English class last Tuesday night, I instructed my students in the rules of football. The only required homework in my course is to watch the Super Bowl as a member of Patriot Nation. All of my students, from Russian to Polish to Brazilian, understand the rules of soccer but they find our game incomprehensible. We’ll see how good a lesson I gave if they are able to follow the game. Ready, set, Super Bowl!