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detail from Sovereignty, Cat Charissage (c) 2015

Dear Friends,

Since the last time I wrote, I’ve lost a dear friend to a recurrence of cancer.  We all thought she had more time, and she committed herself to “living every day that she was alive”, as she told me more than once.  Then she got weak, went into the hospital, and too soon we got the call that she had passed on the morning of April 10.

Though I was very sad, I didn’t cry until her funeral in the overflowing church where I heard over and over how much she had influenced so many people for the good in her 48 years.  She was a home-maker who home educated her now (barely) grown children, and close to 500 people were there at her celebration of life.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a good life, how to have a death that is as good as possible, if it’s possible to live without regrets, and, amusingly enough, how many people will come to my own funeral — hopefully in the far, far distant future!  Because I’ve moved many times in my adult life and have very little extended family, I’ve left many friends in cities far, far away.  I don’t want to move any more, or else my funeral will be attended by only a few new friends!

I’ve been thinking of how so many of us have such challenges and difficulties in our daily lives, how we worry, understandably, about our children and about our elders.  Daily life is filled with such maintenance and routine that I’m hardly ever doing all that I think I can to let people know I love them, to laugh enough with friends, and just hang out with family.

Yet in the midst of of this, the chickadees have returned this year to the caragana bush outside the window of my study.  Soon the growing green leaves will hide them, though I’ll still be able to hear them.  The warming days have brought me such joy;  I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a springtime quite as much as this year.  I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a springtime as much as this year.

I hope our April showers are over.  I hope you’ve had a good spring.  May we all create good summers.

Thank you for reading; thank you for your support.

With love,

Cat

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