my friend died on the weekend. a sudden and swift death from cancer. there were just 2 weeks for her gorgeous children and family and friends across the globe to realize what was happening. and yesterday we said goodbye.
teta's life was large and grand. her personality swept into a room and filled it. she was a painter. she was a storyteller. she was a gardener. and she was a kind and concerned friend. she loved with all of her. she was born and grew up in australia. her father, a first generation russian immigrant and her mother a beautiful australian nurse. both russia and australia were deeply part of her.
2 years she lived with her daughter and granddaughter next door to us,
in the house that is now the studio. the spirit and energy was strong
and bright and alive. i am full of her stories. grand ones and little snippets of memory. my favorite is a simple little story. a story of her childhood in australia. there was a woman. a woman that held her fascination when she was a child. a woman who made her little girl self feel special. who wore perfume she could still remember 40 years later. and this woman gave her a pretty and delicate robin's egg blue nightgown. (maybe she gave her the nightgown, or maybe it was a nightgown the woman herself wore). but because of the combination of the woman and the nightgown, her favorite color for life, was robin's egg blue. and through that story, i felt myself fall in love forever with the same color.
i drove to ottawa for teta's funeral yesterday. a traditional russian orthodox service. we stood under the dome, her casket in the center of the round room, flowers surrounding her. incense and beeswax tapers burning. gregorian chants and songs. i was struck with the soothing of the soul that this ancient service provided.
when her gardens begin to bloom in a month or so it will fill my heart with sadness and gladness. i miss teta.