Friday, July 24, 2015

Remembering Marilyn, Ten Years On

As the academic year of 2005-2006 began, I found myself out of teaching and living in South Bend. All my buddies were resuming their classes at Mother Guerin High School, and I missed our camaraderie very much. I sent volumes of emails to everyone, and kept in touch with 'current events' at the school. Everyone expected the usual adjustments with incoming freshmen and new administrative leaders, but none of us expected the bombshell fate dropped on us just as school was starting.

Cancer struck our dear colleague Marilyn.

The diagnosis was dire: stage four ovarian cancer. Surgery first, then massive chemotherapy, possibly followed by radiation. You can imagine the consternation, pain, and sorrow all Marilyn's friends experienced, and can perhaps imagine the devastation and fear she felt. We all know how deadly ovarian cancer is. It was just a horrible August.

I have been thinking about Marilyn this month (her birthday was in July), and tonight I re-read the emails she sent me while undergoing her first chemo that autumn. I'm glad that this occurred to me, because I felt like Marilyn was present to me again in all her old delightful insouciance and humor and energy and love of life.

She and our friend Cheryl and I managed to get together for meals in Chicago several times during those months, and savored every moment of those meetings. Marilyn handled the chemo very well, with a few ups and downs, and by Christmas, the tumor markers had dropped from very high to very low. Although her hair had disappeared, she had a very flattering wig and loved wearing it. Her oncologist believed that the treatments had greatly benefited Marilyn, and we all began 2006 in an optimistic mood.

Since I wasn't working at that point either, Marilyn and I exchanged movie reviews (we wore out Netflix, I think, and the public library and Blockbuster in our respective cities) and gardening tips (how to foil those aggravating squirrels when planting spring bulbs) and comments on everything under the sun. I rejoiced with her and her husband Joe when the White Sox won the World Series in October, and was truly glad for them, because they were life-long fans. (I know that when the Cubs win, Marilyn and Joe will be happy for me in Heaven.) All told, except for the fact that Marilyn was in the fight of her life, the autumn of 2005 passed quite pleasantly, and she and Cheryl and I rejoiced in our opportunities for 'messing around'.

The first months of 2006 also progressed well. Marilyn responded so positively to the treatments that, to the best of my memory, no second surgery was needed. Her prognosis seemed so much better than we had dared to hope. I tried to go in to Chicago as often as possible to meet up with her and Cheryl, and we kept up our emailing and phone calling. Marilyn's hair grew back, and she was just as cute as a little puppy! (I can see her face now as I make that observation.) All of her friends rejoiced, not only that she was still with us but also that she felt so well.

I began working at Notre Dame that summer, and my visits to Chicago tapered off somewhat. Everyone remained in close touch by email and phone, however, and I think we did get together for Marilyn's birthday. My last lunch with her and Cheryl was in August, I think.

As that comment reveals, Marilyn did not survive the cancer. Her condition suddenly began to deteriorate in late August,  and while she fought valiantly, by Christmas we all knew that very little time remained. I went to Mobile, Alabama for a business trip and brought her back a Mardi Gras scarf for Christmas, but had to mail it as I couldn't get to town to deliver it in person. Our emails had diminished as Marilyn struggled with each day's challenges. Cheryl relayed updates to me from Joe, and by early January, it seemed that only a few weeks remained for Marilyn. The weekend prior to MLK Day in January of 2007, Cheryl called me and urged me to get to Loyola Medical Center because time was running out. I drove in, collected Cheryl and our dear friend, Sister Kay, and the three of us went to Marilyn's bedside. Marilyn didn't know us and was struggling. Her parents sat by her side, and I will never forget the heartbreak of watching her mother smooth Marilyn's hair. Marilyn died in the early hours of the next day.

Although I said goodbye to her later that week in Chicago, I haven't really lost her. I often look through my photos from our trips with students to France and Spain (with Cheryl along as the Third Musketeer!) and smile at the places we visited and the things we did. Every time I'm in Paris I think of her and remember how she could just chatter away in French with anyone (she was the French teacher at our school). When my daughter and I were following the Tour de France two years ago, I wished that I could send Marilyn emails about all those adventures in France. Silly though it might be, whenever I have a crepe or pain au chocolat, I think of Marilyn! Cheryl and I never tire of sharing our memories of this dear, dear friend.

Marilyn taught many, many 'Guerin girls' during her career and cared about each one. I admired her teaching skills so much! Few people have had as much fun living as Marilyn did. Although she hated to fly, she took trip after trip to Europe with her students, and even went island-hopping in the South Pacific with her father, a World War II Marine veteran. She and Cheryl travelled all over the US by train! She loved cooking and decorating and hosting her family and friends. I could never match her for energy, even though I was younger! She was a fount of creativity, always discovering something new to make or do. Her sense of humor and dry wit were legendary. She was so very, very alive.

Though her diagnosis filled us with apprehension and sorrow, Marilyn inspired us all with her courage and refusal to abandon hope. I can hardly believe that ten years have passed since cancer struck her. Writing about her tonight has inspired me to rise up and get back to our kinds of adventures and shenanigans, so that I might leave behind such memories, too. (And I'll continue to wear that Mardi Gras scarf, which Joe gave me after the funeral, to celebrate Marilyn's joie de vivre.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Don't Expect Me to Answer the Phone

My cousin Charles tells us not to call him while "Jeopardy" is on the television in the evenings. He will not answer the phone. If we need to call him, we always look at the time, just in case. He has trained us well.

During the first three weeks of July every year, I pay no attention to any communications until that day's stage of the Tour de France ends. NBC Sports covers the entire race, and my daughter has given me the live feed package over the internet, so from 8 AM until noon each day I am riveted to the screens.

Those of you who know how leisurely my days usually begin will chuckle at my setting an alarm every day for 7:50 so I can be set and ready for the broadcasts to start. Granted, I might still be wearing my PJ's, but I'm up! I carry my Chromebook around with me and put it safely on the counter while I fix breakfast. I make no appointments in the mornings, run no errands, do no chores. It's much worse than my cousin's 30 minute blackout.

Why don't I just check the sports news around noon each day? Why on earth do I watch hours and hours of a bike race? Who in the world am I watching, anyway?

I first began to follow the TDF during the last years of Lance Armstrong's dominance. Those were thrilling races indeed. Of course everyone's attention focused on him, but I also began to learn the stories and strengths of the other riders who were vying for the yellow jersey. The TDF began to fascinate me as an athletic event, beyond what Lance was doing. I looked forward to seeing what the others would accomplish each year. I also found myself looking at cycling results throughout the year, learning about the Grand Tour races that fill up the racing schedule. There's so much more to professional cycling than just the TDF, but that's the epic race that the pros want to win.

After the fall of Armstrong, I wasn't angry or bitter, but I resented the way he had lied to all of us who rejoiced in his victories. Those will remain memorable races, but they mean nothing to me now. I hope he stays on the margins permanently. The current generation of cyclists generate so much interest and excitement that I don't miss Lance at all!

What do I like about the Tour? The skill and endurance of all the racers astonish me. These men ride for three weeks, all around France (and a little bit of Holland and Belgium this year), over hill and down dale and across beastly high mountains. It's an incredible feat. The strategy of each cycling team also captivates me. Who tries to take the lead? How do they protect their big stars? Why does a particular rider dash off on a breakaway and punish himself to stay far in front of the main group? How can they handle their bikes under all the variety of weather conditions? Every day is fascinating and no day is routine, even the stages that are supposed to be ordinary! Add to all these attractions is the fact that at any given moment, riders could tangle up their bikes in crashes and suffer painful injuries. There is never a dull moment.

I watch it all. If I could get my hands on "L'Equipe", the French sports daily that covers the Tour in extensive detail, I would buy it! I can figure out enough French to follow most of those kinds of reports. But that's not possible, so I glue my eyes to the computer screen and television and imagine I'm roaming around France with the Tour. I have a ball.

The Tour ends Sunday, so my yearly extravaganza will be over. If you want to come over for coffee some morning, I'll be open for business!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Looking Back at the Tour De France

In July 2013, my daughter and I fulfilled one of our dreams: we followed the Tour de France through the final five stages of the race. She and my husband and sons arranged this as my 60th birthday present. Since I am currently absorbed in watching this year's tour on television,  I thought I would re-read some of my blog posts from 2013.  This made me so happy that I decided to share one of those posts with you here. 
We arrived in Geneva on a Saturday, travelled to Grenoble on the Sunday, rented our car, and spent the Monday (which was a rest day for the Tour de France) exploring Grenoble and its environs. The next day, Tuesday, we watched our very first stage of the Tour. At last. It was a very memorable day for us, and what follows is my description of the whole experience.
The first day that Jennifer and I drove out of Grenoble, to find Stage 16 of the Tour, we had no idea what we would discover. We were heading to the small town of Veynes, where there was to be a sprint point for that stage. Stage 16 was going to end with an HC climb in the alpine town of Gap (which means that the climb was so steep and challenging that it was “beyond category”–most difficult of all). We knew that finding places along the road leading into Gap would be well-nigh impossible, and our host in Grenoble suggested an intermediate town where we could ease into the whole tour experience. The drive to Veynes was not my introduction to French roads because we had done some exploring in Grenoble the previous day, but it was deeper into the steep Alps and little villages that dot the area. Jennifer’s navigation proved superb, and suddenly we looked up, saw a roundabout bedecked with the yellow pennants of the Tour and knew that we had found The Route for Stage 16.
Since the road wouldn’t be closed for another few hours, I boldly drove onto the actual route of the Tour. I cannot describe the delight on both our faces as we realized that at long last we were truly ON the road that the cyclists would be following only hours later. I mean, ON the road. We drove along through Veynes and passed through the sprint point, under the green sprint banner that we’ve seen so often on the TV coverage over the years. Now we were certain that our dream was coming true. After continuing on out of town, we turned around and headed back to a supermarket for refreshments and bathroom breaks. Success on both counts! Back into the car and then past the sprint point once again, to a roadside vantage point only about 50 yards from the banner. We figured that the only riders going really fast at that point would be those contesting the sprint, and that the others would be coming through a little less quickly.
I drove the car well off the road, facing the direction from which the riders would be appearing. We opened the hatchback, got out lunch, and generally relaxed in the sun. A few RVs (called ‘caravans’ in Europe) parked behind us and the owners set up their viewing stations. We watched everything like little kids at the fair! Just down the hill across the road, trains frequently passed at a level crossing, preceded by alarm bells. The sky was a limitless blue and all around us were the fields and meadows and peaks of the French Alps. It was thrilling, and we hadn’t even seen a bicycle yet! Jennifer took out her knitting and I settled in to decipher that day’s sporting news in French.
About one hour before the riders were estimated to arrive in Veynes, the advertising caravan passed through. This is as well-known as the actual stage races of the Tour. There were roughly 35 different official sponsors for the TDF this year, and each sponsor provides a car or truck or special vehicle that comprises the caravan of loot which covers that day’s stage about one to two hours before the race arrives. What a circus! As each vehicle drives past, folks throw advertising goodies into the crowd. We collected hats, little sausages, wrist bands, candy, cakes, laundry detergent, key chains, luggage tags, daily newspapers, magnets, inflatable pillows, Bic pens, rain ponchos, and cold drink sleeves. It was a consumerism deluge! Jennifer and I just laughed as the swag rained down upon us.  Once the caravan sped on down the road, we spent a few minutes cataloging the loot and shaking our heads. Then we settled down to wait for the Tour to arrive.
How can you tell when they are approaching? If we could have understood French, we could have listened to Race Radio, which was blaring from the loudspeakers. Alas, no language skills there. BUT we could hear the helicopters as they approached, filming for French TV, and we were ecstatic that a gendarme was positioned just about 15 yards away from us to wave a yellow pennant and blow his whistle to warn the riders of some ‘traffic furniture’ in the road just there. When we saw him step into position, we knew the Tour was imminent. Cameras ready. We could hear the cheering and see the advance cars streaming through. The real clue is the gendarmes on motorcycles with flashing blue lights. Riders always follow immediately. Here came the blue lights, and there! there is the lead rider! Our cameras worked perfectly, both video and still, and we saw our favorites flash by. We were about 2 feet away from the riders. Really. I could hardly snap photos for the excitement of it all! These were the men whose exploits we have watched on TV for years, and now we were watching them race by. They passed us in groups, several small ones and then the large main body of the race, known as the peloton. Following close behind the cyclists were the individual team cars, sporting spare bikes on roof racks and carrying mechanics and team managers, watching alertly for any signs of trouble from their team members.  Interspersed with the team cars were the ubiquitous motorcycles, carrying the official photographers in and out of the line of traffic. It’s all really quite a traffic jam both in front of and behind the actual cyclists. The last few vehicles are the medical vans, equipment vans, and the “Fin de Course” van, which alerts everyone that there are no riders further up the road.
So. That was our first glimpse of the 2013 Tour de France. Absolute satisfaction and delight for both of us. We lingered for a little while to be sure that the road back out of town was truly open to regular vehicular traffic, and then retraced our route to Grenoble. A stop at our neighborhood supermarket provided us with food for supper, and we dined on our host’s terrace overlooking sunset in the Alps. Both of us felt that such a successful debut boded well for the following five days!
Hope you've enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. I might post one or two more over the next couple of weeks while this year's Tour de France rides around the Pyrenees and the French Alps. My daughter and I want to do this all again in the very near future, too, and we're going to rent a caravan ourselves next time!

Friday, July 10, 2015

What's In YOUR Kitchen?

I updated my little 1926-sized kitchen this spring. The budget stretched to include a Pergo laminate floor, an improved countertop surface, a new sink, new buffet cabinets, new shelves, a ceiling fan, and a dishwasher (finally). Our contractor was a young man with his own business who is just super, and I contributed my own sweat equity by painting the whole kitchen all by myself (which convinced me that I don't need to paint rooms myself any longer). The results of this project transformed my little kitchen and I am delighted with all the improvements.

The contents of my kitchen spent a good six weeks hanging out in my dining room and part of my living room. Fortunately the spring weather allowed us to eat out on our screened porch, because not a square foot of the dining room table was unoccupied. What a lot of things I had accumulated in the ten years since we moved here! Before I moved everything back into the "new" kitchen, I ruthlessly pruned all my gadgets and leftover devices from previous years. I truly was heartless as I culled out all manner of kitchen detritus. (My sister and brother and I have been developing this skill in the past couple of years as we sift through our parents' possessions.) My husband cheerfully toted boxes of still-usable equipment to the Salvation Army. I'm still finding places for the remainder of my kitchen stuff, but by and large there's a place for everything, with everything pretty much in its place.

My grand rummage through all of this brought some nostalgic reflection as I remembered where certain pieces came from or who gave them to me. One piece of cast iron cookware has special significance that I'll share with you. I have three pieces of cast iron: two excellent frying pans and one circular flat griddle pan. The two frying pans came from my husband's Uncle Chuck and Aunt Eula Mae, many years ago when we were first married. The flat griddle is my favorite, though. It belonged to my Grandmother Harrison.

Grandma Harrison wasn't overly fond of cooking, having prepared meals for her big family most of her life. One of her famous sayings was "Eating wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so regular". Nevertheless, she had a deft touch with a few specialties. One such tasty tidbit was her flat cornbread, made from white cornmeal. She cooked this on her flat griddle, just mixing water and cornmeal, flattening it out by hand, and frying it up in "cooking grease".  I have no idea what fat she used, but by golly that cornbread was delicious: thin and crusty and hot. I've never had anything to match it. She always served it alongside her vegetable soup, another memorable dish. All her grandchildren loved to be at her house when Grandma was making that soup!

When Grandma moved to live with my Aunt Rachel, of course she had to distribute nearly all of her furniture and other material possessions. I latched onto that flat griddle pan as my memento. I have had it for over 35 years now, and won't ever part with it. I even use it occasionally, but I've never been able to duplicate Grandma's cornbread. (I blame it on the fact that I moved north long ago and things just don't taste the same up here!)

I thought often of Grandma while my kitchen was undergoing its transformation. Her kitchen was in the back of her 1860's three-story English basement house in Portsmouth. It was roughly the same size as my kitchen here. Her kitchen contained a big stove, which I think was gas-fired, a simple dinette set, a wonderful "Hoosier" type kitchen cabinet, a wringer washer, a sink with cabinet, a refrigerator, and a wood-burning stove. She kept that stove lit all the time, and kept a kettle of water on it. Whenever she needed a cup of coffee, the water was ready! I remember the fascination of watching her feed kindling and old paper into the stove.

But what kinds of kitchen 'gadgets' did my grandmother use to prepare those meals? I never saw an electric mixer of any kind, and I am pretty certain that her kitchen equipment only included basic hand tools, a few pots and pans, plain but sturdy dishes and cutlery, and not much more. Nothing fancy. Yet her meals were so good and so memorable!

I look around at my kitchen and marvel at how many gadgets I have to help me with food preparation. A microwave, a toaster oven, a food processor, a stand mixer, a hand mixer, a slow cooker, a coffee maker, an amazing number of dishes and glassware, two sets of cutlery, bake ware for anything you could possibly want to bake, baking sheets, baking pans, casserole dishes, pots and pans, and a myriad of assorted helpful hand tools that fill up their own separate drawer! Yesterday I even added another new gadget: a spiralizer that can slice vegetables into ribbons for faux 'noodles'.

We all have these kinds of kitchen gadgets, and many of you will have much more. It is so easy to get swept away in Bed, Bath, and Beyond!  I am now trying to keep only those things I actually use, and have been successful so far. I hope to persevere. But regardless of my collection of helpful kitchen devices and equipment, I don't think I'll ever duplicate my grandmother's cooking.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Occasionally I indulge in a culinary treat that not everyone appreciates: liver. Last night, my husband wasn't home for dinner and I took the opportunity to fix myself a lovely batch of sauteed beef liver and onions. Oh my, that was good!

My husband and two of my children did not exactly rise up and call me blessed when I would suggest liver as a meal option. I confess I was surprised at first, because I grew up in a liver-loving family. (Can there be such an entity, you ask?) Yes, years of my life passed before I realized that most people do not like liver. My mother, however, cooked liver quite frequently, probably two or three times a month. All five of us, parents and children, looked forward to it and cheerfully ate it. We didn't smother it in ketchup (which is my husband's way of enduring the dish), but simply piled lots of carmelized onions on top. We were known to choose liver and onions when we were at restaurants that served it. I still rejoice when I see liver and onions listed on a menu!

This taste for liver also means that I gravitate toward pates at buffets or parties, and cheerfully consume fried chicken livers when the opportunity arises. When my colleagues Cheryl and Marilyn and I found ourselves in a restaurant in Madrid that served foie gras, I had to try it. Yummers! You won't be surprised to learn that I also love German liver sausage, as well as liver dumpling soup.

Apparently I inhabit a liver-loving universe!

Imagine my delight when I discovered that four of my friends in Chicago also enjoyed liver. I could hardly believe my good fortune. One of our memorable dinners together was a 'liver fest', featuring delicious calves liver, carmelized onions, and astonishingly tasty fresh green beans drizzled with olive oil, all consumed on the backyard deck of Les and Dan in Rogers Park. Such a pleasant feast.

When I prepared the food for our annual Christmas Carol Party in Chicago, I always included a batch of homemade liver pate. I confess that I knew there would be plenty left over for me! My friend Alice always headed straight for this dish, too.

Last year, when my sister, niece, and I found ourselves eating at the Carnegie Deli in New York City, I ordered the chopped liver meal. Wow! Enough for me and my friends from Chicago, too! And it was very good.

My favorite liver story, however, involves celebrating my youngest son's fifth birthday. He and I share a fondness for liver, and would occasionally have 'liver lunches' together before he started school, so that his siblings wouldn't have to endure the sight and smell of the meal. These lunches will always be a highlight memory for me. When he turned 5, our family travelled to Virginia to celebrate both his fifth birthday and my father's 70th birthday, which were three days apart. We decided to eat at the Morrison's Cafeteria in the nearby mall so that everyone could have lots of choices. Guess what one of the specials was that night? Liver and onions! Guess how many of us chose that entree? My father, my mother, my sister, my brother, and I, plus the birthday boy! We cleaned out the entire supply of liver and onions for the moment. It was a stunning meal! I can't imagine another five-year-old boy choosing liver and onions for his birthday treat, can you? Amazing. We all still smile at that one.

And, of course, if you add a little bacon to the mix, you can't go wrong.

Rest assured, however, I will never serve a liver-related dish to anyone who finds it repulsive, nor invite you to a liver-themed dinner. My guests are safe.

I will, nonetheless, continue to enjoy my solo feasts here and my gastronomic celebrations in Chicago with my son or my friends!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Hearing the National Anthem

I spent my junior year of college in Scotland, at the University of Saint Andrews. (Yes, Prince William, Duchess Katherine, and I are fellow alums.) In those years, we didn't have the luxury of the internet, cell phones, Skype, Facebook, and so forth. I made exactly two phone calls back to my parents during the entire year. It was quite an involved process, requiring me to book a time for the call with the overseas operator and then to wait patiently in the call box (phone booth) at the appointed time until the call was put through. I always felt rather like I was Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic.

Suffice it to say that when we were overseas in Europe, we were far away and quite cut off from home.

In those days, the United States was not any better loved abroad than today. We were still trying to disengage from Vietnam, and the Cold War was still in full force. The Watergate scandal dominated news from home. I remember well that we never walked around wearing any clothing that sported USA or the Stars and Stripes or anything that identified us with the US. With our new friends in Scotland, we were comfortable talking about our differences, but it just seemed prudent when out in large public places not to draw attention to ourselves.

It was a time of terrorism, too, but this came from the IRA, not IS. For example, at Christmas, the day after my sister and I had visited the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, the IRA detonated a bomb in that exact area. Too close for comfort.

I felt indeed like a stranger in a strange land. But the year passed wonderfully, and I enjoyed submerging myself in Scottish and English culture and later in the adventures of travel on the Continent. Home, nevertheless, remained very far away.

One time, though, I received a surprise that made me stand up straight and brought unexpected tears to my eyes. I can't, unfortunately, remember the exact place or reason for this after so many years. I do remember what I felt. I was in London, I think, somewhere that a public ceremony was occurring. It must have been a joint British-American moment, featuring a military band, because suddenly I heard the opening notes of "The Star-Spangled Banner".

I have played that song dozens and dozens of times in marching band, I learned all the verses in my 7th grade history class, and I have never reacted so viscerally as at that moment. I stopped in my tracks, and stood still. If I had been wearing a hat, I would have removed it! Every note resonated around me. As the anthem drew to a close (the "Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave" part), tears welled up in my eyes. My goodness, I was proud of my country and proud to hear our anthem and not ashamed to show it.

In the intervening years, I've sung the national anthem repeatedly at Cubs games in Chicago without succumbing to a weepy patriotism. Generally I can be trusted not to over-react to "The Star-Spangled Banner"! Yet I had one memorable experience even there. One Fourth of July I was at Wrigley and before the game four Medal of Honor winners from World War II were honored. After they were introduced and we cheered for them, they stood at attention at home plate while we sang the national anthem. As I looked at these heroes and sang that song, once again I felt the tears well up. Because of their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their comrades, I was free to stand and sing our anthem without fear.

I know that we sing the anthem at so many sporting events, and I hear it butchered so frequently (but that's another topic!!), and I observe folks starting to whoop and cheer before the final words are sung. Yet there is a power in that music when heard in a foreign land after many months away, or when in the presence of those who have risked their lives for what that music represents. It's never routine for me.

Happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Outliving A Student

Last week brought sad, sad news from Chicago. One of my former students, only 28, died unexpectedly in her sleep. Word swept quickly through Facebook, and I sat stunned as I read the posts.

It is not right that teachers (especially those my age) should outlive their students.

Of course, I know this happens all the time and has certainly been painfully true during wartime. Imagine what high school teachers felt when they watched the young men march off to World War II. And of course, tragic accidents often take the youngest from us.

But I didn't imagine that Laura would leave us so soon, even though she had fought a valiant fight against juvenile diabetes for a long, long time. The disease won.

Laura and her two sisters were all students of mine at Mother Guerin High School. All three brought their own individual, creative contributions to my classes and I looked forward to the 'arrival' of the next one in line. Only a few complete families hold special places in my heart from all those years at Guerin, and Laura's family was one of them. I am so grateful that Laura and her sisters came into my life. I am richer for their presence.

It's an interesting phenomenon that I think of my students as "my girls" to this day. They taught me so much, and I cherish the years I spent at Guerin, good times and bad. They might be surprised that I never, ever forget them.

Laura leaves a truly loving legacy to her family and friends. I know they ache with sadness and heartbreak, and I mourn with them. We are all so fortunate to have known and loved her.