R.I.P 2:

This week I heard of three friends who have died, two in the last couple of days, and one I just learned had died Feb 18.

Diana Wynne Jones, the astonishing British author of many books, my favorites of which are Archer’s Good, the Dalemark books, the Crestomanci books, Fire and Hemlock, Dogsbody… oh I could go on and on. She’d been sick off and on for years, but two years ago (after years of smoking) she got lung cancer. Almost a year ago, she stopped the treatment.

I wrote this on my FaceBook page:

Diana Wynne Jones was a friend, an influence, a star in my firmament. She made me laugh, she made me think. And now she is making me weep.

This news of her death is not unexpected, but as those of us who knew her personally, the unexpected in her life was always the norm. She was supposed to have died two years ago and kept on living so we mere mortals expected her to live forever.

And because of her books, she will.

The other woman who died this week was Judy Waring, a wonderful St Andrews friend and my gardener, who was sturdy, active, went on hill walking trips with her sister every year, outdoors rain or sun, amusing, engaged with the world, in singing groups and painting groups. She suddenly went ill four weeks ago, they diagnosed a brain tumor, and three weeks later she was dead, waiting for an operation.

The third–well I heard about it by opening up the Pioneer Valley Symphony programme booklet when Maddison and her Amherst Ballet friends were dancing with the Symphony and there was memorial page for Helen Stott Spencer and dear old friend of mine from the 1960s when we lived in Conway, Mass. She and her husband Chaloner (Spence) Spencer ran Bouquet Garni,  small igh end catering service for a number of years and she was the gourmet cook. She was also professionally as well as a singing teacher and choir master, and a Smith College grad, some fifteen years before me.

As this week was also the anniversary of David’s death, you can imagne how gutted I am feeling.

R.I.P. you amazing trio of women. I shall miss you all.

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