Every Friday at 12:30 p.m. since 1977, southern Scottsdale resident and former elite hairdresser Trudy Wells-Meyer, washed and styled her client Margaret Benson’s hair.
But when long-time client Benson passed away in 2008, Wells-Meyer had one last appointment with her - inside the mortuary upon Benson’s final request.
“She always said to me, ‘When I die, I want you to do my hair at the mortuary.’ And I said, ‘Oh, no, I can’t,’” Wells-Meyer said. “I had never done that. I simply thought I couldn’t.”
But, Wells-Meyer kept her promise. In exchange, Benson gifted Wells-Meyer her beloved, treasured ring embedded with 17 diamonds, Benson’s husband Stewart bought on their 17th anniversary.
“I still get goosebumps,” Wells-Meyer said. “It was a very emotional time but at the same time, so beautiful.”
Wells-Meyer wrote about Benson in a short story titled “The Ring,” which was chosen to be included in the third edition of “Stories Through the Ages Baby Boomers Plus 2019” published in September.
Wells-Meyer is one of 15 writers born before 1964, whose short stories were included in a book published by Living Springs Publishers.
But this isn’t her first contest win.
Wells-Meyer placed in a Writer’s Digest poetry contest and won first place in The Poetry Society of Tennessee poetry contest and in the Dream Quest One poetry and writing contest.
She has also been published in five anthologies.
However, Wells-Meyer’s most compelling, most interesting story? Her own life story.
Wells-Meyer – who writes only in her second language, English; the first being German – grew up in a small village in Switzerland and moved to New York in 1965 when she was 23.
Wells-Meyer, a hairdresser at the time, embarked on a five-day trip, alone, aboard a massive German ocean liner from England.
Speaking and understanding very little English, Wells-Meyer waited 11 months for a green card.
“I left [for the U.S.] on July 18,” Wells-Meyer said, emphasizing the significance of the No. 8 in her life.
“Eight is my lucky number,” she said, adding she didn’t move to Scottsdale until 1968, and she was 28 when she met her husband, Lewis, on Aug. 28.
It wasn’t until 2008 when she wrote her first poem, “The Dog That Could Not Walk.”
“I won $250 first prize in Chicago and I’d never written poetry,” Wells-Meyer said.
And the book she’s working on now, “Some Things Are Simply Meant to Be.” It’s 308 pages long and throughout the book, the number eight is bolded.
“I believe in life things happen for a reason,” Wells-Meyer said, hence the name of the aforementioned book, an anthology comprised of her poetry and short stories, including “The Ring.”
“The day I went to the funeral home, I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. She had her favorite dress I helped her pick out. She had on her favorite pearls,” Wells-Meyer said. “She was like my Arizona mom.”
“The Ring” is Wells-Meyer’s favorite and most personal piece of writing.
Wells-Meyer spent a year and a half writing “Some Things Are Simply Meant to Be,” which originally started as a book about the power of prayer.
Now, the manuscript for “Some Things Are Simply Meant to Be” is a blush pink-hued book with a photo of the Statue of Liberty and a photo of an Arizona sunset on the cover.
The cover represents both Wells-Meyer’s journey and the significance of the color pink in her life.
For starters, Wells-Meyer’s home is accented with dusty rose furniture, home decor and artificial flowers.
She and Lewis, whom she calls Lew, frequently have matching, pink-hued outfits, too.
“I looked out the window, and down by the pool, I see this guy in a blue bathing suit and pink polka dots,” Wells-Meyer said, explaining on that day, she was wearing a pink bathing suit, one she describes as the “best bathing suit” she ever had.
“We matched before we even met,” she said.
For Wells-Meyer, her writing is largely inspired by her life and her memories.
“The biggest thing is I write from the heart,” she said. “I am not a writer on command. I write at a red light, a few words. Sometimes I get up at three in the morning.”
Wells-Meyer hopes to publish “Some Things Are Simply Meant to Be” soon.
In the meantime, “Stories Through the Ages, Baby Boomers Plus 2019” can be purchased on Amazon or through the publisher’s website at livingspringspublishers.com.