Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sher

Isn't anyone just a little bit angry?

I woke up this morning with the full intention of joining the rest of Sher's blogger friends to write a tribute.

Instead, I went to a neglected flower bed and started pulling weeds. As I yanked them from the ground I thought of Sher and of what I could write in tribute to her. Instead I continued to pull weeds. Ever more forcefully, throwing them further and further over my shoulder. With a vengeance I dug out a badly placed rose that I never much liked. It's roots were a tangled mess; no wonder it didn't thrive.

A few times a year Sher and I would have marathon talks on the phone. I delighted in her humor, her story-telling ability, her love of the animals who found her so they could be taken care of, her passion for gardening and cooking. Mostly I cherished the friendship that was forming. It didn't matter to her that we hadn't met face to face. We were friends.

Sher and I feigned jealousy of each other: She of me because blackberries grow rampant on my property; me of her because she lived in the city where I grew up and picked ripe, red tomatoes from her garden by mid-June.

She was looking forward to meeting up with Kalyn and I in San Francisco several weekends ago. This was the year when she thought she would finally be able to make it and she was very excited, as were we, at the prospect of us all finally meeting face to face. And, as we all know, she didn't make it. She died of a heart attack on the morning of the very day she was to meet with us.

Doesn't this make you just a little bit angry?

Before I knew it I'd weeded a 20-foot bed and dispatched with two plants, tossing them on the compost pile without a second thought. Breathing hard, my face, hands and the knees of my jeans streaked with red dirt, I looked back at the flower bed and felt a calm come over me. Yes, she died. Way too soon. And yes, there is a hole in what we call the blogosphere that will never, can never, be filled. And yes, after the shock then grief of losing this wonderful person and friend, I realized that I was really angry at the unfairness of it all.

The lily had been in a too-small pot on the front porch for far too long. I've just put it in the ground where I'll walk by it often on my way to the greenhouse to check on my as-yet unripe tomatoes. Lightly scented, ethereal in color, this is a lily I know Sher would have liked. My way, I guess, of both remembering her and saying good-bye.




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