Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lisa Heyman's passing

It happened two days ago. Lisa Heyman was an unschooling mother, in NY state. I didn't know Lisa or her family well but did have a few good conversations with her, and I bonded over a love of the Red Sox with her husband at the conference picnic three years ago in St. Louis. Their daughters are known by anyone who attended a Live and Learn conference. They are vital, outgoing, radiant girls, always surrounded by lots of kids. They perform with so much joy at the talent shows. I watched Lisa's husband, Larry, and their daughter Fire (self-named) climb the Alpine Tower with us, fearlessly.

But the memory that keeps coming back to me is of Lisa's smiling face answering my question about how she had dyed parts of her hair pink. I was so taken by that smile, and by her shining, sunlit hair. We were standing at the tye-dye activity on the first day of last summer's conference. I have thought of that conversation over the past few months and have wondered how she was doing on her path to wellness. It never occurred to me that her path could be ending so soon. As with Hannah Jenner, who died a few years ago this week, the suddenness of it is literally breath taking. And, it was the same progression with my mother - difficult to diagnose illness and an unexpected sudden end.

I am very conscious today, as I was yesterday, of how short and precious our time together can be. At the same time, in moments, I am also self-righteously whingeing about the fact that we don't all die in our sleep at the age of 99. But mostly, I am sending love to Lisa's family. May Lisa's gentle strength be with them.

1 comment:

Angie said...

So sorry to hear this, Madeline. It is never easy losing someone, especially when it is so before their time.