Thursday, August 07, 2008

A word about Lori

Lori was my best friend's wife who passed away this week at a young age.

Lori was a person, who like myself, was pretty self-made. She learned how to do things and eventually did them well. Like me she was also a writer but had stronger literary skills than I possess as she was an avid reader and a skilled editor.

As long as I knew her she was a writer. Not exciting stuff like novels or stuff like that but the boring stuff you do to keep a paycheck. Things like manuals and internal documentation for some of the largest companies in the United States. She also worked on classified documentation for a new strike fighter. Writing and understanding complex concepts was something that looked easy when she did it. She was one of the only people who read my manuscript in an early form that I felt apprehensive about. She knew the rules and knew how writing is formed and I knew whatever she had to say about it was going to be well-informed and honest.

I met her years ago and I can't even tell you when exactly. Maybe 15 years ago or more? I knew she was something special when my buddy actually introduced me to her. You see my friend and I share one personality trait and that is we don't have a burning intuitive longing to be liked by others. We are what we are.

Lori tolerated me greatly but probably never liked me much. I found her to be generally reserved around me but always really nice. Seems cold doesn't it? But it wasn't. Sometimes I'd call my friend on the phone and she'd answer. We'd talk on the phone for sometimes an hour about a bunch of subjects and I'd sometimes forget what I called him about in the first place. It was then that I learned how smart she was and more much smarter she was than me. I always enjoyed her company far more than she enjoyed mine. That's not unusual really.

A testament to her character was that she got involved in AA which sort of shocked me because I never thought she drank that much and maybe to some standards she didn't. She did recognize a trait in herself that she didn't like and like any self-made person she did what she thought was necessary to better herself without the pushing of anyone else. She organized AA groups and helped allot of other people who I'm sure were way far worse than herself.

The last year or so has been pretty intense for my buddy and Lori. A long mis-diagnosed bout with cancer had begun to eat away her life before it was fully discovered. She passed away like a self-made person does...when they're ready and not a minute sooner.

Not much else to say and that's okay. It's a woefully pointless task to attempt to summarize someone's life in a few paragraphs or even an hour long memorial service.

To honor Lori I will end with this poem by William Butler Yeats.

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

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