Nobody has had the heart to say it on their blog yet, so I will. Carla died.
She died peacefully, surrounded by people she loved, who loved her dearly, having been able to say good-bye to so many old and new friends. She died knowing that she made a huge difference in the lives of so many people, including mine. She died having done everything she could do on her "bucket" list (hate that term, but whatever.) She tied up as many loose ends and finished as much business as she could. No one could have used 47 years on this beautiful planet better.
She died way too soon, and she died of a disease that will be curable, or at least much more treatable five years from now, in part due to her efforts raising funds and consciousness to fight ALS.
I don't know why it had to be this way; I don't know why she's not here anymore, and frankly I have a hard time believing it. Even though I was one of the lucky ones that got to say a personal good-bye to her on Friday, May 14th, her last day of being fully awake before she slipped into a coma. She had a great time that day. Her beloved Maclen was by her side, and her caregivers, and good friends came and went. The house was full of love and light--and tears, as well, but plenty of laughter.
She set the bar very very high for living and dying with grace and purpose.
And I still can't quite wrap my head around it. And I still want to talk with her about the Anna Deavere Smith play I just finished reading, "House Arrest", and I want to tell her about my trip to Massachusetts where I taught with other SUN writers at Rowe and had an amazing time, and I want to brag to her about my nephews and nieces who are turning into such interesting and wonderful people, and roll my eyes with her that in my absence Christopher heard six (yes, you read that correctly six) abandoned feral kittens mewing piteously in the tall grass in our yard and felt moved to take them in.
(Their mother is True Dee, the barely-adolescent sister of Trixie who got knocked up the same time Trixie and her other sister My Sharona did. C managed to get Trixie and Sharona aborted and spayed, but True Dee would not be captured and gave birth and then abandoned the babies because she's just too young to know what to do with them.)
They take formula from a tiny bottle. They weigh 300 grams each and sleep in a pile all together--a kitty pudle of black and gray and white arms and legs and six tiny heads. They are gaining in strength and awakeness hourly and all are bent on survival and sucking down as much formula as they can. They all seem to be girls so far as we can make out, although who knows, maybe some of them are boys whose boy parts just aren't big enough to be apparent.
Anyway, we are now officially kitty grand-parents, and C is off to buy a heating pad for them, while I prepare to post photos on Facebook and Craigs List.
I could tell her about that and show her my lightly scratched hands and kitty-pee-stained new pants and she would get a laugh out of it. And even though she's not here, I do tell her, whever she is.