11 a.m August 28, 2010 (Saturday)
Mountain View Cemetery
5455 Fraser Street
(Entrance at 39th Avenue and Fraser)
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“I miss Gail.
I was going to pretend she was on vacation during the summer so I wouldn’t have to accept the fact that she was retiring on July 8th. I wasn’t ready to accept that she wasn’t going to be my cubicle buddy anymore. If she wasn’t there, from whom would I get movie reviews? To whom would I read the Georgia Straight’s Leo horoscope every Thursday morning? To whom would I ask when I should use “whom”?
There are things she wanted to do.
Gail wanted to walk the Cabot Trail. Learn to play the banjo. Write a novel. Write non-fiction. She wanted to read the hundred books that have been begging for her attention for years. She wanted to get a cat. Start making yogurt again, like she did in the seventies. She wanted to edit. She wanted to go to Cuba. She wanted to ride her bike more. She wanted to take advantage of free BC ferry travel mid week after she turned 65. She wanted to make homemade sauerkraut this autumn, like her Grandma in Ohio used to make. She wanted to be around a long time for her daughter, with whom she was in a community choir. With whom she spoke every day. I think she fancied herself aging like the folks in the documentary Young At Heart: belting out the Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” at 93 years ‘young’. Though she’d cringe if anyone actually said ’93 years young’.
There is a list of things she didn’t get a chance to do. But she was incredibly accomplished.
She was an editor but never fussy. A musician, but never a diva. A mother, but never a nag. She was contrary, opinionated, vocal. She was easy-going, flexible and thoughtful. She didn’t have material wealth but she was generous. She was private but civic minded. She had a small immediate family but scores of friends from every walk of life. She loved a good cup of coffee, ‘peat-y’ whisky and Eggs Benny at Bluegrass Brunch on the Drive. She believed in fairness, compassion for those less fortunate and the transcendent power of music.
Gail always made an impression.
I miss Gail.”