Angel Viola

Memorial at Mimico Creek

For the move from Toronto to Vancouver in 2005, like the moves to Toronto in 03 and the move to Calgary later in 05, Wendy went first to pick up a job and pick out a temporary rental apartment. I would stay behind to pack up the house and arrange the move.

Musings on 2004 and the 2005 Toronto departureCollapse )
This was not an anniversary of the walk on the beach. That was ealier in January than this. But it was a winter memory to celebrate her birthday. This year has been much warmer than that winter. But a cold wave swept in to provide the ice floes for the memorial.

Pix from 2007 ceremonyCollapse )

From Barb:

Barb on 2007 ceremonyCollapse )
Angel Viola

Samba dinner and Leyse reflections


There is a group of friends in Canada called the "Darksiders." They met a decade ago on a BBS board for the Vancouver area, and have been friends ever since. The age of this group ranges from 3 years old to 60 years old, and when I moved out here to be with Dennis, I was adopted into this group. That's how I met Wendy.

When I first moved out here, Wendy was very much the lynchpin of the group. It seemed like she had everyone's schedule memorized and if there wasn't something planned for everyone to get together, she would plan it. There were LAN parties every months, hikes every weeks, dinners and nights where we'd just get together to play cards, drink, and be really loud and merry. When Wendy moved away, things started happening far less frequently. When I found a job in Bellingham and started school, I rarely saw these people, although we all kept in touch with email and Livejournal.

There are two restaurants that are the standard special occasion restaurants in this group, 13 Coins, a seafood place in Seattle, and Samba, an all you can eat exotic meat grill. Before Wendy died, she stipulated in her will that the estate pay for one huge get together at Samba. It happened on Friday.  [ed note:  A memorial "clams run" was made to 13 Coins back in April.]

It was wonderful seeing everyone again. There was laughter and ribaldry and wit and many hugs and more than a little alcohol.

On Saturday, Dennis, Greg, Lori, Ken, Anneka and I walked up to the waterfall where Wendy's ashes were spread. We stood in the middle of the river and let the world be drowned by the sound of crashing water. I sipped from the place where she was spread. It was beautiful, as always. When we saw Anneka she ran up and gave me a hug, and promptly showed me how she remembered to act like a zombie. Adorable kid. Great company, great day. It's still hard to believe that the next trip that Greg makes out here, Wendy won't be with him.
Angel Viola

Wendy's last physical presence has been released.

Wendy's last physical presence has been released, from the round rock in the middle foreground.

(click for high-rez version)

For Google Earthers, that's low-res at 49°21'11.81"N 122°27'5.16"W

Describing this place on Live Journal once drew surprise love into Wendy's best friend's life. Even before that, this was Wendy's favourite hike from the Darkside repertoire. The stream at this point is just the right mix of peace and activity.

The particular streamlet where I left Wendy was a few feet away from the rapids, part of them, yet not part of them. Conducting the flow quietly, quickly, and with great depth, yet without diminishing the bright noisy froth nearby. The center of attention, the main falls, is "over there", but visible from here. There is a lot of symbolism here that I'm having difficulty articulating.

Five or eight miles downstream, Gold Creek runs into Alouette Lake - the site of one of the few Darksider campouts that Wendy attended. This was where we learned the essence of Danish cooking -- everything tastes better wrapped in bacon.

Alouette Lake runs into Alouette Creek, Pitt River and then the Fraser River. The Fraser runs about two miles from where Wendy was living when I first met her, and about two miles in a different direction from the townhouse we renovated into perfection for her -- where she got to live for two days.

Further down, the Fraser River splits into two rivers and wraps its arms around Richmond. Wendy grew up in Richmond and always considered herself a Richmond girl. (Toronto? Surrey? No. Vancouver? Well, close enough. Calgary? Maybe eventually, but the time wasn't there.)

The last point of Richmond that the Fraser runs past on its way to the sea is Garry Point, where her stepfather was released two years ago. She missed him deeply, but now has a local guide wherever she is.
Angel Viola


From: feste

Wendy knew when the chemotherapy failed that she only had a limited time
left, and so she and Greg and her family talked about what she wanted
for her funeral. She even made a start on writing her eulogy. Here is
what she wrote:
Read more...Collapse )
That's as far as she got though. Greg tried continuing it from that
Read more...Collapse )
These are all facts, events in the life of someone we care about, but I
don't think they were why she wanted me to speak today. Wendy and I were
very good friends. I knew her about as well as a person can know another
person, I think. I was there for a lot of the events recounted in this
telling, such as Greg's proposal, which happened in mine and Geri's
dining room, and one of the cross-Canada drives. She and I shared much
of the same world-view, especially with regard to enjoying life at every
opportunity. Our sense of humor is very similar as well, or at least she
laughed at a lot of my dumb jokes.

It didn't take in-depth knowledge for Wendy to make a positive mpression
with people, though. Even in the short time she was at the Calgary ATCO
office, the people there were impressed by her work ethic and positive
attitude, and many of them came to visit her on one of her last lucid
days, the Saturday just before she left us. When her friends heard her
time was running out faster, many posted rememberances of her and how
she had affected them.
Read more...Collapse )
"So maybe it's not you or her that people grieve for. Maybe it's
everyone else, who never had that blessing."