Grace notes

Grace notes….
Grace period…..
States of grace….
Gratitude….

Goodbye.

No, it’s not me who is leaving, but  I must step away from the funny business for a moment to say goodbye to one of my dearest of girlfriends. She departed this world yesterday evening. Now grief begins.

We had a grace period from when her cancer was first diagnosed two and a half years ago. We almost lost her one year ago, but strong and stubborn as she was, she fought her way back. The struggle is over, she had guts, she had moxie, she had true grit, she is…gone.

Go in grace.

goodbye my friend.

goodbye my friend. we will go on.

Be the bear
Bob T. Panda

37 thoughts on “Grace notes

    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      Thank you, Dianna. It is very hard. We go back about 20 years, meeting when she and her husband moved to the island. She was very smart, very funny, and a very generous spirit. She helped me many times and I will miss her more than I can say. I hope Pinky will swing by here on the way to Mr Wu’s place, as I can use a little panda therapy.
      I am trying not to cry into my keyboard.

      Reply
  1. Stacy Johnson

    Aw gee..there I go bawling. You made me think of my late husband. He too fought a noble and courageous battle, only for the cancer to win in the end. I hate that word with a passion! I’m so sorry, Ann. We are losing far too many good people to that horrible disease.

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      I know what you mean. I lost another dear friend about 15 years ago to cancer, and I still tear up when I think of her. Another acquaintence of mine here on the island was diagnosed with a similar form and stage of lung cancer, and everyone (including her) had felt there was no coming back from it. She was granted a miracle and she is here ten years later. Jude was not so lucky, even though she fought long and hard. We just kept hoping. My one true regret is that this last year I was sick with cold and flu so much that I did not get to be with her very much. Once the last scan came in and there was little hope, I spent all the time I could with her, and had a couple of days when the morphine had not yet knocked her out, and so could visit with all her friends who love her. I was with her the day before and the day she died, and the change even in that short week were remarkable. She touched so many people’s lives, both at work and with her friends and family. Damn it all. We were supposed to get old together, sitting and laughing in the sun, with her husband Chris bringing of platters of food while we sat on the deck and watched the sun on the water. I’m sorry too for your loss. It never goes away, does it? We go on because we have to, but we always miss those fiercely special people in our lives.
      It’s gonna be a big box-o-kleenex day.

      Reply
      1. Stacy Johnson

        It never goes away. It gets better but it’s always waiting in the wings to rear its ugly head. I was blessed that Ted fought valiantly and with grace and dignity, never losing his sense of humor right up until the very end. He was the guy that everyone loved to be around, even when dying he relished having all his family and friends right there, telling stories and laughing, but dammit, we were supposed to grow old together too. So true that we go on because we have to. Trust me, I didn’t want to. If I could have jumped into the grave with him I would have. I miss him each and every day and will until the day we meet again. Now, I shall join you with that big box of kleenix…

        Reply
        1. Panda in Chief Post author

          ……I am so sorry for your loss of your love, your partner. that must be 100 times harder. One day, one step, one minute at a time, we go on. And then there are pandas and chocolate. Not a substitute, but a little bit of a comfort. I like to think of an afterlife (even though I am not a religious person in the least) where all my friends are together (not their friends, mind you, but since it is my hallucination, it’s all about me, right?) having a wonderful time. They are at their ideal age and weight, their hair looks perfect, they are free from pain and any reminders of their illness or accident, whatever put them there, They are sitting in comfortable chairs on a sunny lawn with just the right amount of shade. they are drinking and eating and laughing, maybe reading or taking walks when the mood strikes them… they are waiting for me to get there. when I arrive, several little pandas will scamper across the lawn and squabble to see who gets to sit on my lap. It does give me a little comfort to think this.

          Reply
          1. Stacy Johnson

            Won’t it be nice if that’s what’s waiting for us. Sleep well, my friend. One day at a time.

  2. poppy

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. With luck the three little girls on their road trip will stop by and give you lots of pandy hugs and maybe some chocolate cuppycakes for good measure.

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      I know they will cheer me up if they stop by. maybe their gpps will send them this way. :o}

      Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      It is indeed. I don’t know if it’s just me (and my friends) getting older, but it seems like it is much more pervasive. Too many people are being struck down by it. Dogs and cats too.

      Reply
  3. Valerie

    I, too, am so sorry for your loss. I am sure that she would have loved your gracious panda tribute in her honor! So sweet – it reduced me to tears.

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      Jude was an early fan of my panda cartoons. I know she would have loved her tribute. It’s been a bitter sweet year. Thank you for writing.

      Reply
  4. Darlene

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I loss my husband of 32 years and my best friend of 50 plus years, all within a few months. They are STILL a huge part of my life and that has become very comforting. I pray you find this same peace. Please know we all care about you and would take away your pain if it was possible.

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      This has been a very hard day. I am so sorry too for your losses. It does seem to be the price of admission, doesn’t it? We don’t get over these things…we move beyond them because the alternative is to cease living as well. I am so grateful that I knew her and she was my friend for as long as she was here.
      I’m so sorry, I had not heard that your husband had died (damn that facebook!) My thoughts are with you as well.
      I am now getting that VERY attractive puffy-eyed look. This too shall pass. I will try to remember all the good and fun times I had with my dear friend and not her suffering these last months. Pandas will pull us through.

      Reply
  5. Vicky Vladic

    So sorry to hear of the death of your lovely friend. Death leaves a great gulf in our lives. We can remember the good times but the loss never goes away, and we never forget. Such a beautiful and poignant cartoon, and such a lovely tribute.

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      Thank you. I have so many good memories, but not nearly enough. This is not how it was supposed to go.

      Reply
  6. Birgit

    Cancer is ugly, no doubt and to watch people suffer with it is most difficult and there are no true words to describe loss and grief. We hear and know these words but the feeling is another thing all together. These days, weeks and the year ahead will be tough. The first year is the year of firsts-1st Easter, Birthday etc…I hope, through your humour and gentleness that you find in the Panda will guide you through this time. I have a feeling that she would want you to create and continue to make her laugh as she is always near you and in your heart

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      I know that my panda guides and my friends out here in cyber space (or pandyland) as well as in real life will see me through. Each loss changes us, and the thing that comes first to mind is that it reminds you not to wait to do the things you want to do, or be with people you love. Our whole community is reeling as she was much loved and did so much for so many.

      Reply
  7. Diana Sutton

    I am so sorry, Anne. It is so hard to lose one who is so close a bond. But I have always taken solace in just such a scene as you – no pain, perfection of body and spirit, loving the feel of the sun’s warmth, and doing whatever they enjoyed most in this life. It can make you smile in the midst of all the sorrow. Take care

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      Thank you Diana. I know I will heal and go on. Humor (and pandas) will help. It’s not the first friend I’ve lost, nor will it be the last. Thank you again.

      Reply
  8. Deb Richardson

    Anne, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Cancer touches us all, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in big ways. This is a big one for you so take care of yourself and remember the good times. Hugs…

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      Thank you. We get through these events because we must. This is a tough one to process.

      Reply

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