Print Topic - Archive

BTD Forums  /  Golden Threads  /  Remembering Sarah Blakeney...
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 1:51pm
On Sunday, March 5th, it will be one year since my dear friend, Sarah Blakeney, passed away after a long and triumphant (in all ways except for physically surviving it) encounter with breast cancer.

Some of you didn't know her because by the time this board began, she was quite ill and thus was not a big poster here.  But she was active on the old board and on another related board, and was a great contributer to, and part of, the BTD community for years.

Those of us who had the honor and privilege of getting to know Sarah remember her well for her practicality, her common sense, her ability to cut through to the heart of any given matter, her honesty, her intelligence, her sense of humor, her helpfulness to others which only seemed to be more in evidence as she herself got sicker and sicker, and for her striking and remarkable bravery.

When her cancer recurred, I called her on the phone in London, and I think that is when we really became close friends.  We were already good friends, but somehow I think when the diagnosis of cancer comes in, it really throws everything into sharp relief, and at that moment I realized, I love this person, nothing can happen to her!  And I knew I wanted to be there for her no matter what.  But the funny thing was--and this was Sarah--it was she who was always there for me.  Here she was in an epic life and death situation with cancer, and she always wanted to know about my problems of the time which I can only imagine how trivial they must have seemed to her, but she NEVER made me feel that way.  She always genuinely wanted to listen and only rarely did she want to focus on herself.  Who knows, maybe I did help her by giving her that pressure valve wherein she could focus on someone else and forget about her own situation for a few minutes.  But really I think it was that she just genuinely cared so much for others and always had her own problems in perspective, even when anyone else would have been consumed by them.  I know I would have been consumed by the cancer.

But she never let it consume her.  Even though it took her life, it did NOT consume her spirit or keep her from doing the things that were important to her until she simply physically could not do them anymore.  But as long as she could, she was a caring and giving mother, wife, daughter, friend, and I mean right up to the end.

She was a rare human being, and a rare friend.  I've never had one like her and I suspect I never will again.

Anyway, I wrote this poem for her:

Question Spring

Time is strange, a moment a year
Seems an instant ago
Time makes no sense
You seem so much farther away
So time must have passed
Warning: objects in mirror seem farther than they are
I can’t sense you listening anymore
I’m not sure what you think or feel about matters great and small
I wish you could hear me
I wish I could hear you
I wish I could know what you would want me to do
My go-to gal has gone to
Where?
Where are you?
Are you?
Are you somewhere?
Can you hear me?
Or are you gone?
Does time really consume us entirely?
I wish I knew
But obviously we weren’t meant to know certain things
Maybe it would drive us mad if we knew there was nothing once we reach the end of time
Or maybe it would drive us to suicide if we knew there was something wonderful waiting
Either way, it seems we’re intended to see our lives through sanely, thus we can’t know
But I still wish I could be the exception and KNOW
I wish God would tell me, I think I can take it!
If our spirits go on, that is
If not, don’t tell me.  I can’t take it
But if so, I want to KNOW
I want to know if you are okay
And if what you wanted done is what I did
Did I do right, did I do wrong?
And if you are at peace
Are you?
That you are is my strongest wish
Posted by: Captain_Janeway, Friday, March 3, 2006, 2:12pm; Reply: 1
Absolutely Lovely, Edna. What a great tribute to a great friend. Bless You ;)
Posted by: KimonoKat, Friday, March 3, 2006, 3:02pm; Reply: 2
Amen.
Posted by: Jane, Friday, March 3, 2006, 3:43pm; Reply: 3
Edna,
That brought tears to my eyes.  She was a very special person who fought her cancer so bravely.  She spent her time here trying to do what was best for her son and her husband and friends, co-workers, etc.
She is still missed, not only by you!
It is hard to believe it's been a year.  I'll drink a cup of tea on Sunday and think of her.
Jane
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 4:18pm; Reply: 4
Quoted from Jane
Edna,
That brought tears to my eyes.  She was a very special person who fought her cancer so bravely.  She spent her time here trying to do what was best for her son and her husband and friends, co-workers, etc.  She is still missed, not only by you!
It is hard to believe it's been a year.  I'll drink a cup of tea on Sunday and think of her.  Jane

I plan on spending some quiet time Sunday morning in the little reflective garden I created in her honor, just to chat her up a bit and let her know that I'm thinking of her, and not just me but all her BTD friends remember, love and miss her.

Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 4:21pm; Reply: 5
P.S.  That is to say, I hope it will be "quiet time".  Ever since I started walking the kittens in the back yard on their little harness, if I go out there without them, meowing to beat the band ensues!  And they are loud enough to hear down the block!  I'm afraid the neighbors might call the SPCA on me and I'll be forced to produce my "SPCA volunteer" tee-shirt to prove that I'm one of the good guys!  I'd bring the kittens out with me, but I only have one harness, and when one is out and the other is awaiting her turn, the decibel level is even more dramatic.

But something tells me it will all work out on Sunday morning and that a quiet time will be had by all.
Posted by: gulfcoastguy, Friday, March 3, 2006, 4:33pm; Reply: 6
I think Sarah would love to share her garden with the kitties. Aren't they gods creature also?
Posted by: 903 (Guest), Friday, March 3, 2006, 4:56pm; Reply: 7
Your poem was very moving Edna.

I have been wondering for a year now if Sarah was the Sarah I had just started connecting to when I got more active on this forum over a year ago. I think she must be since all of a sudden there were no more helpful, caring posts, and months went by and still no posts. What was her forum user name?
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 5:29pm; Reply: 8
Quoted from JK
Your poem was very moving Edna.

I have been wondering for a year now if Sarah was the Sarah I had just started connecting to when I got more active on this forum over a year ago. I think she must be since all of a sudden there were no more helpful, caring posts, and months went by and still no posts. What was her forum user name?

Her name on this board was "Sarah_B", I think.  Your description (helpful, caring) definitely sounds like her.  Was it in the cook-right section?  I recall a lot of her posts on this board where in the CR4YT section.  Again, she was already in the "end stage" of her illness when this board opened, so she couldn't post much, but I think posting in the cook-right section, in particular, helped her escape her situation, however briefly, and think about something joyful like cooking, as well as allowing her to be of help to others by sharing recipes and ideas, which was always a tonic to her.

Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 5:32pm; Reply: 9
P.S.  She was apparently a darn fine cook.  Maybe not a five-star gourmet chef or anything, but again, her rare combination of practicality and thinking-outside-the-box made her great at creative, BTD cooking, and a big help to others.  I remember Tasdad saying last year that he would miss her recipes!
Posted by: Brighid45, Friday, March 3, 2006, 5:40pm; Reply: 10
Beautiful poem, twinnie. Sarah is sorely missed. I'm sorry I didn't have more time to get to know her better. She was such a marvelous combination of strength and compassion. That's so rare nowadays. Blessings to her and her family.

I'll go to Czestochowa on Sunday and light a candle for her and her family in the vigil chapel.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 5:43pm; Reply: 11
Quoted from Brighid45
Beautiful poem, twinnie. Sarah is sorely missed. I'm sorry I didn't have more time to get to know her better. She was such a marvelous combination of strength and compassion. That's so rare nowadays. Blessings to her and her family.

I'll go to Czestochowa on Sunday and light a candle for her and her family in the vigil chapel.

That would be lovely, Brig.  I think the best thing we can do for her now is to pray for her son, Joe, now 8 years old, her husband, her parents and her sisters.  I wrote to her husband today just to say that I am thinking of her and that I know the rest of her blood type diet friends also are remembering, loving and missing her.  I don't know if that will help him, but I felt it was important to let him know she's being thought of as this anniversary rolls around...and always.

Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 5:55pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from gulfcoastguy
I think Sarah would love to share her garden with the kitties. Aren't they gods creature also?

And I'd love to bring 'em, but the prob is that only one can go at a time, and meanwhile the other one commences crying as if the world has ended or soon will if she does not immediately get to join in the fun.  I thought of getting a second harness so that I can take them both out at once, but I decided that would be advanced level cat walking there *lol*, and both me and the kittens themselves are still beginners at this.  One kitten at a time is my limit.  Example:  the other day I brought a camera out with us to snap some glamour pics, but that is hard to do when you are simultaneously on leash duty.  I ended up with quite a few pics of the kittens' tails *lol*.  At one point, Kioko got herself tangled up in a bush and started to try to wriggle out of her harness, further complicating the sitch (this all happened in an instant).  Well, I was on it like white on rice, but meanwhile J, the dog, and protective big sister extraordinairre, comes BARRELLING over from the extreme other end of the yard and tried to extricate Kioko from the clutches of the bush-n-leash herself.  Now, can you imagine if I had BOTH kittens at once on leashes out there?  So can I, that's why it ain't gonna happen *lol*.  At least not by Sunday morning!

They do both love Sarah's garden, a bit TOO much, as they often want to go directly into the thick of it, dragging me along behind, crushing through all the plants as I go!

Oh dear.  At least the garden is much enjoyed!

Posted by: KimonoKat, Friday, March 3, 2006, 6:46pm; Reply: 13
Here ya go PT:

http://www.carealotpets.com/item-detail/?ItemID=000000000001001

Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 7:07pm; Reply: 14
You know, this pet supply place I shop at occasionally has this similar, mesh system, but not a mobile stroller, for allowing cats to hang out in the yard, but it is very expensive and not all that big.  It got me to thinking, what IF I were to make something myself, just out of a playpen or something, with mesh sides, and then putting something translucent or clear, and breathable, on the top?  That way, they could sun themselves and nap in the yard whilst I read a book...not that I've EVER read a book out there, but I fancy myself doing so and doing so more and more, now that things are blessedly, finally seeming to quiet down on my block...although the house on one side of me is still a question mark, but hopefully something good will happen there soon, and we still have some other prob houses, but all in all, things are improving, at least enough to enable some book reading in the back yard!!!!!  It'll be so weird to be out there doing anything other than gardening!  But it would be lovely to be out there reading, kitties napping contently nearby, and J keeping watch over them as she does.  I do have a lovely little fur family going.  As for Ember, she usually does her own thing outdoors (she was a stray, so she is allowed out, but the two "newbies" don't have that privilege, sadly.  Not in this dangerous world.  Ember is a world savvy stray can take care of herself.  For example, if anyone were to approach her, she'd rush off.  Whereas, the wide-eyed newbies would go right up to anyone.  That's just one example of worldy dangers.  No, these two little 'uns will never go out unattended.

But I probably will make them a little airy enclosure of some kind so that they can "hang" with me when I'm out doing yard work or, she said wistfully/hopefully, reading.  If I haven't finished the Bryson book Sarah wanted me to read by Sunday, maybe I'll read the rest on Sunday itself, out in the garden, after "chatting" with her.

(btw, new kitty action pics will be forthcoming soon.  Look for them soon in a Little Fishes forum near you!)
Posted by: gulfcoastguy, Friday, March 3, 2006, 8:15pm; Reply: 15
Do what I did with my little sister, turn the play pen upside down and weight the top with encyclopedias. Hey! She loved it!
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 3, 2006, 8:25pm; Reply: 16
Quoted from gulfcoastguy
Do what I did with my little sister, turn the play pen upside down and weight the top with encyclopedias. Hey! She loved it!

Posted by: Mickey, Friday, March 3, 2006, 11:41pm; Reply: 17
Edna,

I can't believe it has been a year already either!.  Sarah was very helpful to me on the other board we were on.  I remember her helping me with a few recipes.  I think the hardest part is letting go of somebody soo soon.  I know you two weren't friends for very long, but it's not the time you had as friends it's also the quality of the friendship.  I too lost a friend to breast cancer a few years ago and like you i didn't know her for very long.  My one regret is that i didn't meet her sooner and i will forever feel her void.  It's weird how i've been friends with some people for alot longer then her, but feel like i knew her all my life.

I think Sarah would really like the kittens roaming through her garden.  I think she would enjoy the liveliness of them and that her garden was being used.  

Like Jane said, i think i too will have to have a cup of tea in Sarah's memory.  Even though i grew up on english tea (my mom is from england), i think Sarah would be happy knowing i will be drinking BTD compliant green tea!.

Mickey
Posted by: italybound, Sunday, March 5, 2006, 10:52am; Reply: 18
It's hard to believe it's been a year since Sarah left us. I didn't really know her, just remember seeing her posts.
Edna, here's hoping you have a lovely, quiet, relaxing time in your garden, chattin' it up w/ Sarah and doing whatever it is you'll wind up doing. Is it quite warm where you live? (I think you are in Florida?) Can't wait for spring!!  We have had some spring/almost summerlike days lately, but they're just teasers.
I too will have a cup of tea for Sarah.  It's amazing how fast time flies. My best friend of 30 years died the night she had simple orthoscopic knee surgery. (she should've been in the hospital as she had complications during surgery, but you know the ins companies...............maybe her family should sue THEM)          Anyway, May 4th will be a year and I CANNOT believe it is only 2 mths away!!  My heart is w/ you and her family. I know your pain. (Can't know her family's, but I sympathize w/ them)
Edna, everytime I read about your antics w/ your cats, it makes me miss mine. I had a Siamese mix, I believe. She was SO beautiful and just the lovey-ist thing! Even people who didn't like cats, loved her.  I would love to have another, but the DH doesn't like animals in the house, so I'm reserving that space for my next small pooch when I retire or get a dif job where I'm home more.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, March 6, 2006, 1:17pm; Reply: 19
Quoted from Mickey
Edna,
...Like Jane said, i think i too will have to have a cup of tea in Sarah's memory.  Even though i grew up on english tea (my mom is from england), i think Sarah would be happy knowing i will be drinking BTD compliant green tea!.

Mickey

I know she would!!!

Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, March 6, 2006, 1:31pm; Reply: 20
Quoted from pkarmeier
Is it quite warm where you live? (I think you are in Florida?) Can't wait for spring!!  We have had some spring/almost summerlike days lately, but they're just teasers...

Take heart!  Spring has sprung in Florida, so there is no way it will not spread surely north!  The azaleas in my yard are in full, beautiful bloom.  Most of the year, they don't look like much, just non-descript bushes.  But for a few short weeks each year, they are glorious.  I'm not a cut-flowers person.  I don't know why some people like cut flowers, I find them DEPRESSING.  I mean, they are cut and dying flowers!  But flowers in the "wild", so to speak, well, they are another story altogether.  My, but these are so beautiful.  I didn't plant them, someone before me planted them.  Someone well before the previous owners of the house, as the previous owners totally and utterly neglected the yard.  It is lovely to realize that at some point, someone else loved the yard the way I do.  Whoever they were, they loved the "old school" flowering bushes:  azaleas, roses.  Oh, there are wild roses, too!  They are blooming, also, but are just about done already.

Spring has sprung down here and will surely make it up north ASAP!  We are now firmly in the oak pollen shedding mode, as I just swept about three inches of the stuff from the sidewalk this weekend.  Stop the madness!  It is so thick, it is like mulch!
Quoted from pkarmeier
I too will have a cup of tea for Sarah...Edna, everytime I read about your antics w/ your cats, it makes me miss mine. I had a Siamese mix, I believe.

My Siamese mix is a pistol!  She reminds me of my beloved cat, Ollie, the one who I was blessed to have in my life for 20 years, in the sense of how INTO EVERYTHING and INQUISITIVE she is, and MISCHEVIOUS!  Oooooh, she's Trouble with a capital "T"!  So far, she has broken the sink-stopper in the pedestal sink in the bathroom, broken the blender, and gotten herself shut between the screen door and the front door.

What I love is that, even though she was terrified of the dog at first, she now can give as good as she gets from the dog and really gives her a run for her money when they play.  This is so good for the dog.  I think her name, "Harmony", is apt because she is very good at getting along with various and sundry other animals.  She calmed Kioko right down that very first day at the shelter, she doesn't take any guff from J (which J loves!), and she manages to make Ember, the older cat, feel non-threatened and at ease around her.  ...althoooogh, she does try to eat all of Ember's food, but that's another issue.  The poor thing must never have gotten enough to eat when she was a teensy-tiny babe, as she definitely has "issues" around food, even though she has enough now.

Anyway, she's a pistol, all right.
Quoted from Mickey
...I think Sarah would really like the kittens roaming through her garden.  I think she would enjoy the liveliness of them and that her garden was being used.  Mickey

I agree, Sarah would definitely approve of kittens trampling her garden!   ;D  J definitely contributes in that department, too, and Ember loves the garden.  Ollie's ashes are scattered there.



Posted by: 971 (Guest), Thursday, May 3, 2007, 10:44pm; Reply: 21
brought tears to my eyes....may her soul rest in peace....
Print page generated: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 12:21am