One more for Annie

August 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment

Just because this is the last blog post at this time for my dear departed friend, Annie, does not mean I will cease to think of her. In fact just yesterday as I was preparing dinner at my home, I was wondering how her family is doind as they prepare for an October wedding without mother and wife. And I wondered too how it’s going for them without her calm presence as they make plans.

Not so long ago, a fellow business person and friend, Renate Donnovan, made a presentation at a networking event, “Who’s on your A-team?” The idea is that the A-team consists of people who accept you for who you are, celebrate your achievements, push or encourage you to be your best self. Those people are good to  you and for you. The A-team goes both ways, because you have enough respect for them to believe in them and reciprocate in those same ways.

How does this connect with Annie? Easy. She accepted me for who I am and I accepted her where she was. She respected and honoured my vision to write, as I respected hers to use what she had learned from nursing training to sit with the dying and support them in the process. Neither of us pushed each other, but  rather we encouraged each other and celebrated each other’s successes, whether it was in parenting or a professional goal. We also shared our  joys and challenges as parents.

I didn’t know just what musical ability Annie had and what her accomplishments had been. At the visitation, I saw a picture of her holding a guitar and learned later that she had played harmonica as well. I would learn more from members of the church that she had joined the bell choir as one of its first members, also that she didn’t read music but played by ear.  The obituary in the service guide mentioned that she was also learning to play the pan flute. Just because she had a health challenge did not stop her from living as fully as she could. Who  of us knows how much time is allotted to us? Only God knows that.

The family had a piano in their home and I’d seen a guitar on one of my visits, and so I learned that Annie had encouraged her children to take music lessons. Matthew plays guitar as his mother had.  Both Rachel  and Matthew had been in the  junior choir at church with our daughters. In the picture that her daughter Liz sent, I guess that Rachel must have been in the bell choir too.  In fact, Annie had polished the bells the Thursday before her death.

The service was fitting, with the bell choir playing the opening to two hymns, Bob Berg, a choir member, playing harmonica, and Annie’s son Matthew playing guitar with Tim Sutton, Rachel’s fiancé, at piano and Annie’s brother, Michael Prashad singing. If a funeral could be beautiful, this one was, and very fitting to the woman I knew and learned even more about that day. Someone who had been on my A-team, someone I respected and cared about. We shared what we knew about her with each other and came away still sad, but enriched by knowing Annie.

Rachel and AnnieRachel with her mother, Annie

Annie, I miss you and I’m blessed to have known you. I remember you and honour your memory with story.

Photo courtesy of Annie’s family. Thank you for sharing it with me.


Entry filed under: artists, arts, church, community, entertainment, faith, family, friendship, music, photography, relationships, writing family stories. Tags: , , , , , , .

Summer–going places Through the eyes of a two-year-old–Carolyn R. Wilker

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