Today my heart is heavy and my cheeks are damp from tears rolling down from my eyes, because I lost a friend and good neighbor that I have had the pleasure of knowing for twenty-five years.
If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you have seen the name “Marge Aubin” peppered throughout my blog posts during the past 4 ½ years. Marge fought a tough battle with COPD; that long struggle has ended and she passed away peacefully early this morning.
Marge and my mom and I shared many special moments through the years – there were good times and bad. We supported one another’s families through losses, and there have been many. After I lost my mom in 2010, Marge told me I should consider her family as my family, and they have all treated me as such.
It was Marge who was at the hospital E.R. with me when I was told my mom would likely not survive the night … she gripped my hand very tightly and spoke to me in her cool, calm manner. She was with me as we went to make the final arrangements for my mom as well.
There were other loved ones I lost and Marge was there to console me, like after my beloved bird Sugar suddenly died the same year as my mom passed away. My heart was broken. Likewise when she took me to the vet to have Buddy euthanized, because I did not trust myself to drive there. All those were sad times for me, but there are a wealth of happy memories as well. Marge and I shared a love of nature and there were treks to Elizabeth Park and frequent trips to Bishop Park to watch the freighters go by and just talk.
Marge enjoyed going to the riverfront, and especially loved to watch the sun rise as she sipped coffee down at Bishop Park in Wyandotte. For many years, she headed out the door and down to the riverfront in the still of night. There she would sit, coffee cup in one hand, digital camera in the other, and she would capture images like this one above.
If not for Marge, I would never have started this blog. One day she forwarded a blog post written by a woman who described the beautiful fields of heather in Scotland. Then she asked me “why don’t you write a blog like this – talk about nature and what you see when you’re walking?”
And so this blog began on February 11, 2013.
I have twenty-two people who subscribe to this WordPress blog, and from this group, two people have regularly commented on my daily posts – Marge, and my fellow walking pal, Ann Marie Stevens.
Now I have lost that constant commentary from Marge on the finished blog posts, plus, I often solicited her opinion when I gave her a sneak preview of that day’s blog post photos which I’d upload to Shutterfly and send along to ask which was her favorite of the bunch.
Like me, Marge had a profound appreciation of nature, and loved the squirrels and birds in her backyard, and, she especially delighted in those hummingbirds that frequented the many hummer feeders around the outside of her home. Sadly, in the past few years, Marge was relegated to the inside looking out, so she was content to enjoy those hummingbirds at her front window where she could view them from her easy chair, or, on her back deck where she watched them from the kitchen while having breakfast. How often my heart ached for her, as she had been a very outgoing person until just a few years ago when COPD ravaged her lungs and left her on an oxygen machine 100% of the time. But, still she ventured out, when she was able, to take short trips to Bishop Park or Elizabeth Park. She vicariously enjoyed my recent posts to those venues, and told me she wished she had been there with me.
I found out about her passing from her son Jeff shortly before I left on my walk this morning. He was outside getting some fresh air, making and taking phone calls and gave me the sad news, and I told him I’d connect with him after I returned from my walk, and I did. I know on that walk that I absorbed nothing, but merely moved forward, taking steps like an automaton … one foot ahead of the other. I got those three loops walked and then headed back home, five miles done, but there was no joy in my journey. Were the birds even singing, the squirrels chattering or clambering down a tree to greet me? All I remember is seeing the asphalt perimeter path through eyes clouded by tears.
My initial numbness over learning of Marge’s passing has now been replaced with grief, as I realize that my sounding board, a woman with whom I shared confidences and dreams, not to mention gripes, is no longer there for me. I sound a little selfish in saying that I suppose. There will be no more passing cute animal stories or beautiful bird pictures along to her to make her smile and ooh and ahh over.
Sadly, Marge did not live long enough to see today’s sunrise from her hospital window, nor her beloved Bishop Park, as she passed away at 5:05 a.m. in Wyandotte Hospital, just a stone’s throw away from her favorite go-to spot. So, I will post this one last sunrise photo for her and hopefully she is looking down on me and saying “thanks for doing that for me Linda” … rest in peace my good friend Marjorie Jean Aubin.
“So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.” ~ Robert Frost