Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some last thoughts

Well this snuck up on me. I guess that is not to surprising as it is not something one happily looks forward to.

Today is the day Andee found the strength to realize she needed help and got it. The day Andee's new friend looked at her and then looked at the stairs down from Andee's little house and said something like "there is no way I can get you down from here you are going to have do most of it." Andee pulled together the strength and marched down those stairs even though her body was failing her. Tomorrow is the day she realized that this was the end and she fought to stay in the little hospital and accept that end. This was woman that always found the strength needed when things when it was needed

Yes she could also be a bitch (I am using her word here), headstrong, unwilling to change her mind, bigoted (mainly idiots and Gringos in Mexico). She could hold a grudge like nobodies business. If she thought you where a fool you were cut off till you could prove yourself otherwise. She could say things that would cut you to the bone. She was good at figuring people out, it took time but she would get in there. Then if you pissed her off she could cut you down with just a few words.

She would also open her home to those who needed her. Before me there were many children that she took in because there was no place else for them. I remember stories about them and in way I think of them as the older brothers and sisters that I never met. I have hear from a few since Andee died and hear a few more stories. I believe without her more than a few would not have made it or would have ended up even more messed up. Long before the Farm she helped run a facility for what we would now call developmental disabled kids in Florida. It almost killed how much she gave to those kids. Then she decided to have me, I won't go into detail but it was a very deliberate decision, with a focus that I wish other kids could have had. That same strength came into play and she made a life that surrounded me as I grew up. I think she gave up allot more than I will ever know to try and be the parent she wanted to be. Even in the end a cat found her that needed a home and Andee brought Gracie in.

I say all the above as a reminder to all of us that Andee was a person with her good side and healthy bad side. Without both she would not have been the person I loved, some of you loved, and that pissed off allot of other people.

In Andee's time in Mexico more and more of here cognitive facilities were slipping away. For me having grown up with her it was easy to see what she was losing even if others could not. I would have been sad or angry about this accept for an odd thing. This was Andee are her happiest. I have come to think that this was the childhood that her never really felt she had. There she had no responsibilities that she did not choose, no need for much plans farther than the next part of the day. She was as free there as she had ever been I think. I wish to die so well when it comes.

So remember her as the person that she was. Flawed in many ways. Caring of other with all her heart. Remember the good with the bad. I think that she would hate the memories to be a lie though incompleteness.

I will leave the comments open for those that may wonder by.


Katie said...

Thank you for sharing some of last your thoughts and memories of Andee today. It was a very moving and illuminating post.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Andee, other than through her online writing, but I treasure what she chose to share with the world and I have a lot of admiration and respect for someone who, occasionally prickly or not, possessed such strength, courage, and openness to living life on her terms.

Seems like she did have an impact on a lot of people and often helped others in many ways, and was a unique, complex and big-hearted person. From what I gleaned in her writings, she very much enjoyed her independence and her lifestyle in Chacala. She did it her way to the best of her ability; I hope the knowledge of that helps bring you some solace.

Marjorie said...

Beautifully written Erik. I have been thinking of Andee today and was delighted to see your blog entry. I miss Andee and her blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your mom Erik. I am grateful I got to meet her and spend some time with her on this planet. Cheers, Marjorie

tordway said...

live on Andee, in our hearts and deeds

Gretchen said...

Thank you erik..... I cannot believe the time that has passed since last we heard from Andee. She really was living her end life in a childlike way... but with the wisdom of a lady who has suffered and cried and sang the songs of love. I will never forget Andee, she gave me, and many others, a glimpse into the soul of life, the struggles, the laughter, the pain. Andee was truly special and always will be.
On my daily walks I pick up garbage, and I am reminded of Andee and her strong will to make the world around her "settled".
Paz Andee..... you have given us this.

Russ Nobbs said...

Time marches on....

Thanks, Erik, for posting this. At the Tucson shows again this year I realized I missed yet another birthday for you.

Months ago I got a confirmation from the Friends of Manito that our donation of USD 450 would purchase 2 flowering dogwoods in Spokane's Manito park and that a small plaque will go up in the Gaiser Conservatory in the park acknowledging that they are planted in Andee's memory.

Spokane's unreasonably heavy snow in December kept Dee & I busy shoveling roofs and walks so we never got to visit the Gaiser Conservatory for the annual holiday lights in the greenhouses. When I get a chance I'll see if a plaque is up and post a picture in this group. Spring will come soon enough. Maybe I can even get trees in bloom pictures?

I should have announced long ago that the memorial we planned last summer was completed. I'm sorry if my silence appeared that nothing was happening.

The dogwood varieties, for those who like such things, are Cornus X ‘Celestial’ and Cornus X ‘Aurora’. The names seemed appropriate for various reasons.

Thanks, again, to everyone who contributed to this. When she lived in Spokane Andee was a member of Friends of Manito and occasionally a volunteer at their events. I know she liked the park. Manito was close by to her home on Latawah St.

Dee & I think of Andee as we drive past Latawah St. The yard around her old house is not as overgrown and interesting as it was when she lived there. As I pick up trash and recyclables I'm also reminded of Andee and her beach clean up efforts. There are many ways and reasons to remember Andee.

I posted this in the google group "Andee Carlsson in our memory" at http://groups.google.com/group/andee-carlsson-in-our-memory

Tom said...

Erik, thank you for your being here and there ~ I can see that Andee gave to you some honesty and I know how her pride in you showed in our last period of correspondence - when she contacted me from Chacala.

I knew Andee only briefly on Tolstoi Farm - but loved her for her unique and beyond words beautiful specialness.

You pegged it when you say she was "headstrong, stubborn and could hold a grudge like nobodies business" = and when you speak of her ability to see people and blunt : "If she thought you where a fool you were cut off till you could prove yourself otherwise"
I smile at thinking of you, the grown manchild of such a lioness -
factually, in times most intimate I could almost see Andee as a lioness in some impinging, intersecting dimension. Here's my contribution as it is - to the memory of a certain special character -who I see was so much more than the unique being known in the slim time slices of our knowing. Thank you for your expansion of my knowing of her, Erik.
Tom Hall