Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sweet Peace

I got a call this morning at eight a.m. Slug that I am, I was still in the bed.
It was Bug. He was crying and said, "Mary, I think Kathleen has passed."
"I'll be right there," I said.
And in less than thirty minutes I was, which is sort of a miracle in that their house is about fifteen minutes away.

I got there and another friend was already there. The pastor from Hospice who was a good friend of Kathleen's. We all met at the Opera House doing Casablanca, the three of us. And that man is a good soul, a good egg, a laughing pastor. I was glad he was there.
Bug was still sitting by her side, holding her hand, telling her how much he loved her, how amazing she is. And my god, she was so beautiful. I wrote a final post on her blog just a little while ago and in it I said that she was ethereally beautiful. And she was. And she looked incredibly peaceful. She died in her sleep and that is how she wanted to die and she died at home and I am so glad she got to do that. In her own bed with the sun streaming through the windows.
Light and love, baby.

I sat with her too, on and off for several hours. I stroked her arms and kissed her face, stroked her hair. The hospice angel nurses came and they did everything that needed to be done and dressed her in her favorite yellow dress. I took her diamond studs out, trying so carefully not to hurt her, which is odd, but that's how it is. Bug gave me a silver bracelet with a turquoise in it that she bought in Arizona when they traveled six thousand miles on his Harley, from one end of this country to another.
That was one of the dreams she had that he helped turn into reality.
I swear to you, when she told me she was going to take the trip I almost slapped her and called her a fool. I thought, "Okay. That's going to kill you."
It did not.
It made her so happy.

In the last four years since her diagnosis, she has been to Spain twice, taking her dad with her, she met and married Bug Tonski, took that trip across America, went to Europe with her best friend Vicki, she and Bug bought a piece of land with a partially destroyed house on it, rebuilt it, brought her animals and many of her plants over and started a new life there.

Oh, and besides all of that, she continued with her gardening, her meetings, her activities at the Opera House, her present-buying-and-making, her cooking, her animal-tending, her laughing, her dancing, her life and more travels.
She planted a fucking orchard, y'all.

It's funny. She never wanted to say that she was "battling" cancer. She talked about that on her blog a lot and in real life, too. She was an old hippie, like me, and we believe you should make love, not war. And she loved her life so much that the weapons of mass destruction the doctors gave her were able to do the fighting for her and she just continued on with her joyous existence.
And it wasn't easy.
Chemo is one hard motherfucker to live with. Forget cancer- chemo's a bitch.
But it did not slow her down. And her wonderful doctor at the Oncology Center in Thomasville, Georgia, figured out just what to give her that she could tolerate and he always told her, "I can't cure you, but I can give you more time."
And it was good time. Not wracked-in-pain time. And if I could remember how to spell his name, I would do it. And if could find the picture I took of him with Kathleen I would do that but I can't right now.
We called him Dr. McCutie Pie.
Because he was.
And oh, how we adored him and how he adored Kathleen.
Anyway, no, she didn't battle. She just kept on loving. Kept on being ALIVE!

Right up until this morning.

The funeral home guy came and took her away after we'd all said our good-byes. I loved that she got one last bit of sunshine on her face. What a beautiful morning it was!

Glen came as fast as he could get there and he and Bug and I came back to our house and I made a huge breakfast with sausage and eggs and cheese grits and biscuits and sausage gravy. I had never made sausage gravy before but Bug loves it. So I called Billy and he told me how and I did it and it was good. Then I went back to their house, wrote that post on Kathleen's computer, took Bug to the funeral home to sign some papers, and now I'm home.

There's been laughing and there's been crying. As it is.

I'm so glad I met her. I'm so glad I got to spend time with her. I owe her so much I can't even tell you. I've never met anyone who has had a life like hers. I swear to you- she'd tell me stories and I'd be thinking, "She's making this shit up."
But she wasn't.
She was brilliant and a scientist and an artist and a clown (really- a professional one) and such an amazing friend.

Bug took that picture of them yesterday. He surprised her with a visit from Santa.
When I was there yesterday, she told me twice, "This isn't so hard."
Of course, the woman was on a hell of a lot of morphine and thank god for that. Still, I'm just so glad that the last days were not so hard. So glad.

And thank god for Bug who loved her and made so many dreams of hers come true.

And by the way, he's going to give us her last three hens and her two ducks.

That makes me so happy. Ducks? Be still my heart.

And one more thing for now. All of you here, all of this community, embraced Kathleen and gave her so much love and support and you will never know what that meant to her.
Thank you.

This Solstice do something wild for Kathleen, okay? She would love that.

She is dancing with the stars right now. I'm so glad to know that her energy, her essence, is dancing free and wild. She can breathe just fine now, she can laugh and dance her way to the ends of this universe and the thought of that just makes me so happy.

Amen and Hallelujah.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Oh. So beautiful. The pic with the santa hats is so precious. Thank you for sharing her with us.
    Sending hugs.

  2. Cried over this and obviously I never met her. The way she lived was an inspiration. I sensed this was coming and felt sad for a couple of days that a person who loved life so much couldn't have more days. I'm sorry for all of you who had the honor of knowing and loving her. What a wonderful person.
    Anon Suz

  3. I met her through your blog, and saved it in my favorites right next to yours. I could tell in her last several posts that she was fading, but when I read your post today, I didn't cry until the end. That's when I realized that Bug must be hurting so. But that wonderful woman is flying free. She lived her life on her terms and found joy in everything. Please give my love and a hug to Bug. I hope he can rejoice in having been loved by her. You're a true and loving friend, Ms. Moon. I'm sending inter webs hugs to you, too!

  4. I don't know what to say. She is set free from this earthly prison but so many people have to live without her now. To those, I sent light and love.

  5. Oh Mary, I have no words, only tears. I will light a candle for Kathleen. I am holding her and all her beloveds close in my heart. Wishing you all peace and so much love.
    Angie D

  6. I am sad for those she left behind and sending love to you, you were a true friend to her. On a brighter note I can't wait to hear the duck stories. Gail

  7. I am sad but glad she is free from pain. Cannot imagine the sadness for Bug. He will be there alone. So hard.

  8. I read your post over at Sittin On A Porch. What a beautiful job you did for her. I only found your blog recently, and I found Kathleen through you. You are right, she is free now. I wish her sweet sailing.

  9. Mary, you have said it more beautifully here than I could ever hope for. I'm even without the words to say it here, but it's beautiful the job you did taking care of her. It's truly amazing how much life she lived in the time that she had left.

  10. Ah well, I wasn't so far off. fly high Kathleen. I'm glad you got to pass in your house built with love and full of love. that's how I want to go.

  11. I've been quietly following this journey, and my heart is so touched beyond words at the dignity and love of it all.

  12. I remember you introducing us to Kathleen. At the time I thought I'd be reading the blog of someone who would be gone within a year. But no! She lived so much in those years. Most of all I am touched by how she was able to find such LOVE with Bug and their home so recently. Blessings to Bug. Thanks for sharing your friend Ms Moon.

  13. Dear Ms Moon, what a sweet passing she did have. What a gift you have been for her and Bug and what gifts they have been for you! There is no finer service than helping each other at the beginning of life and at the end. To be carried by the love of others, it makes me well up, but it is so important, as you know, Ms Moon, as you know...I feel blessed and so tender in my heart from being allowed to share in this story. Thank you.

  14. Please know that people from far away who have never even met you or Kathleen or your families are feeling for you all today and wishing you peace. May we all have such a calm passing. I am glad she did not suffer too much.

  15. A beautiful piece. A beautiful peace.

  16. Ah Mary. I hope you are resting comfortably with Mr Moon this evening. You did so much for Kathleen and Bug in such heartfelt ways. Your writing is beautiful. I send so much love and peace. Sweet Jo

  17. Such a perfect passing in so many ways. Words fail me but the love all around fills my heart tonight. You are all foremost in my heart today. Beautiful of you to share, thanks and blessings

  18. Oh Mary. I am just seeing this. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend but so inspired by the way she "did" cancer, the way she embraced life and did not fear death. They way she laughed and lived and loved. Thank you for introducing me to her. Her radiant spirit is everywhere around us now. She is sailing free. Bless you dear Mary. You were a true and faithful friend. To the end. Love.

  19. Yes, dancing with the stars. In glittering stardust.

  20. So glad Kathleen got to die peacefully at home the way she wanted. I know it is not easy to let her go, but you have done it about as well as it can be done. Sending hugs to you. I am sure that Mr Moon is a wonderful comfort, as you both are to Bug. x0, N2

  21. I'm so happy that she was able to go through this journey on her own terms. What a gift. Thanks universe!

    Big hugs for Bug and for you, and I hope her chickens and ducks melt into your flock.

  22. Such a beautiful photo. An amazing last one to have. Astonishing woman. I feel completely humble.

  23. Her blog was amazing and you have conveyed how alive she was in your post. What a wonderful lady she sounds.

  24. All of you- I am just not up to answering each comment. I have, of course read and re-read them all. You are all so wonderful and I am so grateful we are here together in these journeys.

  25. I love, love, love you.

  26. Kathleen really is spectacular. Thank you for sharing everything with us.

  27. She had an incredible life, particularly just in the last four years. She sure crammed a lot into that time frame! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us the details of her life and your friendship with her.


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