I can hear her voice, regaling us with stories of her trip to Egypt, where silliness reigned supreme.
"I do myself!"
and of her childhood, when help of many kinds was refused in favor of self-reliance.
I hope I never lose those echoes.
Elayne, long my boss at King Richard's Faire, my dear friend for 20 years, died Saturday night, at home in her sleep next to her husband, Patrick, after 18 often hellish months battling Lupus. There were many blessings in this death -- no fear, no warning, no hospital, no horrible choices for her nor family -- but even given her condition it was a major surprise, as she had been improving substantially for months, and more quickly the past few weeks. She was in a better mental and emotional place Saturday than she had been for many months previous ... so all things considered, this was a good way and time to go.
She helped me enter social scenes I might otherwise have only dreamed of ... taught me much of my sales technique, including how to be a good partner in temptation, which she was ... amazed me with her craftiness, artistry, and studently focus, even as she downplayed her talents, skills, and abilities ... never believed she was half as beautiful, smart, impressive, loved, valued as we told her -- as she was. There are easily dozens of people I would never have met, and my life would have been far poorer without her presence and influence.
I'm more OK than I might have been, having basically been mourning since I heard about her illness, but kicking myself for not managing to visit and express some of the above in that time, having not felt up to it when I thought of her, and not thought of her when I really was up to it. I had been aware of her recent improvement, and had been hoping to visit soon. Damnit.
I spent a few hours Monday evening visiting with her husband, also a dear friend, and that was good, I think, for both of us.
There will be a memorial service thing for her Sunday, and I'll be there. Hopefully, so will she.
Rest in peace, lovely lady. You are and will long be dearly missed. I am pleased your suffering is over, but I weep with the others you've left behind. and I thank you for sharing some of your time with me.