I meant to take pictures, not of the wake which was beautiful but of her artwork. She was probably the most talented artist/craftsman that I’ve ever met and that’s saying a lot since I’m the daughter of Martha Stewart on crack.
I don’t think there’s anything that she couldn’t do. Need a latex otter mask? Got it. Last minute wedding dress? That too. Weird caricature of Nixon made out of wire and panty hose? Yup. The house was full of her artwork, sewing and pottery, paintings and even glass buttons. Her coworkers from the theater snuck stuff out of the costume vault to show. It was amazing; she was amazing.
There was so much art still left in her –she’d just taken up pottery again and sold a few pieces for charity over the summer.
I’m glad I got to meet her; I hate that she died of something that’s so treatable in early stages. I hate that she died.
I’m glad we drove 9 hours each way to be there, to see her artwork and to pick up bottles and plates the next day, to go for a distracting nature walk, that my husband learned about the ever disturbing Kum and Go gas station chain, even that we saw an entire city of people all wearing matching black and red Huskers clothes.
Tomorrow morning I’m going to wake up hours before normal, not for a run or an early morning EST conference call, but to drive west with my husband, though the skinny part of Illinois, the fat part of Iowa and into Nebraska. Hours of miles of flat Midwestern agriculture and the same again on Sunday.
We’re headed to a wake. My best friend’s mother – sweet and soft-spoken – died last week.
I don’t know what else to say besides that.
Despite having a family tree full of dead branches, I’ve only been to memorials and funerals for people I don’t really know. I know to wear navy blue or grey and not black and to bring food, but not how to mourn in front of others. I can help her through the long slog, the first holiday, the anniversary, but the wake? All I can do is hold her hand, ply her with food, and hope that it works.
During my raspberry pie breakfast, I kept hearing incesent beeping. Regular, long periods of honking. There’s been a lot of noise in the neighborhood recently – our train station is under construction – air horns, rumbling, and some honking, but this was… new.
Leaving my house I saw a line of young women with red signs at the elementary school across the street. Strike! After 10 days of warning and negotiation, the teachers of Chicago are out of the classroom and on the street.
Ride up the escalator. Walk down the stairs. Repeat for 20 minutes, until people start staring at me. All to try to get a picture of a Zoidberg sticker.
Hopefully I’ll have better luck tomorrow.
It’s still pretty summer here in Chicago, but here’s some of what I saw between Memorial and Labor Day.