Monday, February 22, 2010

One Year Ago

Lots of people are talking about what happened 30 years ago today. Under normal circumstances, that would be at the front of my mind as well.

But it’s important to me that I tell you all about something that happened one year ago today.

I had been running around like a crazy person for the previous few weeks doing work stuff. Worked a normal Saturday at the store and spent my Sunday enjoying a Quilters University type thing at The Quilt Company.

I knew there was an M&Ms meeting scheduled at Sandy’s house in Monrovia, Calif., the following day (Monday). When I got home from the quilting thing, I had an email from Sandy saying that the meeting was postponed indefinitely because our good friend Carol was in the hospital. Nothing serious, but the group would wait until Carol could attend.

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Photo courtesy of mehitabel. Taken at Asilomar in the spring of 2008.

I hunkered down with my work laptop and started compiling the week’s softball scores. And watching the Oscars. I was leaving in three days for a two-week trip to administer a pair of softball tournaments, so I had lots of stuff going on. I fired off a “feel better soon” text message to my friend, then got down to work.

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At one of our first block exchanges for the M&Ms group

I had finished my work and was waiting only for the Best Picture Oscar to be announced. Just as Steven Spielberg (I think?) stepped to the microphone to read off the nominees for Best Picture, my cell phone rang. When I saw who was calling, I looked over at Chris (the Hubster) and said "This is not going to be a good call." Sadly, I was right.

It was Sandy. She was sobbing. Carol had passed away earlier that day.

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L-R: Carol, Lisa and Sandy helping me pack prior to our move from LA to Pittsburgh. Only the bestest friends will come and help you pack your stash for a cross-country move, especially when you have dueling quilting and knitting stashes!

This obituary ran in the Pasadena Star-News on Friday and was sent to me by mehitabel. I met Carol’s husband, Ole, several times and he was one of my few blog readers during the early days. He said it was one of the best ways to see what kind of mischief Carol was up to. He was very quiet, but always had a smile. I can’t imagine the depth of his loss.

Living on the other side of the country from where I met and got to know Carol, it has been hard for me to really believe that she is gone. And yet, I see the effects. If the M&Ms group is still intact, it has fractured from its original form. I believe that the group has continued without me this year. I understand that – I’m 2,500 miles away, I was a nightmare last year with all of my crappy summer stuff, and Carol was always the one who kept me in the loop. Carol was the glue. Without her, the pieces are separating.

Carol Jacobsen was the happiest, most giving and generous person I have ever met. Everyone was busy the last night I was in California, and several people dropped out of our planned final dinner. But not Carol. It wound up being just the two of us at Outback for dinner. She had some going away presents for me and we had a great visit before I headed east.

I don’t have the right words to express what an amazing person Carol was. And I know that no matter how much I try, I won’t be able to do her justice. So I’ll simply close by saying that I loved her very much and my world is not the same now that she is gone.

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Godspeed, my friend. You are missed.

7 comments:

mehitabel said...

I think we're all feeling the Carol-shaped hole in our lives. Some people just make the world a better place to hang out in.

Rest easy, Carol, here's hoping we meet again at a big quilting bee or knit-in on the other side.

Trillian42 said...

Oh, sweetie. What a beautiful tribute to a clearly wonderful woman. I'm so sorry that she is gone, but so glad that you were able to have someone like her in your life.

Bezzie said...

How awful.

MollyBeees said...

What a wonderful tribute to your friend. You were lucky to have each other.

SJ said...

Your last three posts just showed up in my Bloglines, so I am doing catch up. This is such a touching post and it's clear that Carol meant a lot to you.

Zonda said...

Great post to tribute your friend!

turtlegirl76 said...

=( I know you miss her. You have given her a great tribute with this post. That smile of hers lives on.