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December 2, 2004

In September I entered a gardening haiku contest on Organic Gardening. It is a site I frequently visit, because they have a daily giveaway (cool stuff sometimes) and tons of great information. The contest ended on Halloween and I didn’t give it much thought after they took the contest announcement off their home page. I got a phone call yesterday informing me that I won second place. I won a copper garden hoe. I’m a dork. I know. But I am thrilled to win something. I never win!

On a sad note. I am on a few homeschool Yahoo groups. And I had an experience that really saddened me. I have been on the largest of my groups for a couple years now. Any of you with email group experience know that there are always many lurkers and fewer who are regularly active posters. One woman, Rosemary, was one of those active posters who had a killer sense of humor and was just a generally nice woman. She has about six kids, four of whom are grown and two teenagers who are still at home and homeschooled. A few of her grown kids lived with her and her husband in their enormous three story house with their own kids. Her family was her life. In May, she was having headaches and went to get an MRI. It was completely clear. They couldn’t figure out what was causing them. In September, she thought she had a mild stroke, so she went to the ER and they did another MRI. They discovered a dozen or so brain tumors, some very sizeable. In late October, she went into a coma and then came out of it. They sent her home, because there wasn’t much they could do at that point, since it was progressing so rapidly. They had planned to start treatment right before she went into a coma. She spent her last couple of weeks at home, with her family. She died on Monday night. It is so frightening how quickly life can slip away. This was a busy, happy woman who died within months of being diagnosed with brain cancer. I never met Rosemary in person, but I felt that I knew her and she touched me and I hurt when I found out about her death. I was saddened to think that I would never read a post from her again, but mostly I hurt for her family. What a devastating loss for them. What a difficult time of year to lose a loved one. Goodbye, Rosemary.

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