Sunday, January 1, 2017

Afternoon Tea and Sympathy

I made a tea tray for myself, not just a mug, to sit this afternoon with the news I just got that an old friend died two days ago. 

 (Bears in background, once again au naturel.)

This is my friend, Kathy Moran >
(from her linkedin profile), who died two weeks before her sixtieth birthday
She was an ASL interpreter, working in deaf and hard-of-hearing services for seniors.

Kathy was always championing  ways to include more people in everything, and to do it properly. The ASL interpreter at events should be lit, she'd point out to the organizers, so they're visible. And not behind that palm tree either.
You'd think that'd all be obvious, but, she assured me, it was not.

When I think of Kathy, I think of a charged battery, and it's hard to believe such a force could drain away so quickly. I hadn't even known she'd been diagnosed with cancer this fall---something fast, the announcement said. 
[Update: I've talked with her closest friend now; turns out Kathy was only diagnosed about two weeks before she died. She'd thought she had mono or some other exhausting disease.]

Kathy and I were serendipitous friends.
We met in 1989 when I moved in across the street from her. Neither of us drove, so even after I moved, we could always count on running into each other on foot, and then we'd stand and talk for a long time.  
For many years we didn't even have each other's contact information.

So, no, we weren't woven tightly into each others' lives. Still, it's amazing how much you know about a person you've chatted with for twenty-five+ years. I know she played field hockey in college. I know she like vanilla yogurt on her pancakes. I know her father had been a lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan. 

I know there'd been a huge snowfall the night before she flew home to his funeral a couple winters ago, and she'd waited and waited for the city bus, and it didn't come. 
Afraid she'd miss her flight, she went into a coffee shop right there and announced her predicament, asking if anyone could give her a ride to the light rail stop. Some man she'd never met drove her all the way to the airport and wouldn't take anything for it.
That's all very Kathy.

When she came back from the funeral, I took her out for beers, and she showed me a photo of her father in Sherlockian garb on the Baker Street Irregulars' website. Just recently I'd thought about asking her if I could use it in my book... 
I don't think she'd mind me sharing it here.
And I know she liked the a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock. 

Sweet Honey in the Rock, "When I Die", by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell  

I do wish I'd gotten to say good-bye.


The Crow said...

What a lovely, loving remembrance, Fresca. I'm sorry you've lost your friend, who sounds like a wonderful human being.

Frex said...

Thanks, Crow.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m sorry for your loss, Fresca.

Frex said...

Thank you, Michael. I think I might need to start an "In Memory Of" sidebar like yours...

ArtSparker said...

I am sorry for your loss. There are some neighbors on my street who are very important to me, I think they are vital to single people in particular.

Frex said...

SPARKER: Thank you. Yes, as a single person I am woven into the world by social connections other than a partner. Good point.
And there's an interconnection among non-drivers too, we who are on the street for various reasons.