No season is one flavor through and through. Every season partakes of the whole of life, from seed-birth through leaf and blossom and fruit, to ripening and harvest and death.
I met Lori Rosenkvist when I was asked to work on a project for Logos Productions over 20 years ago. At the time she was undergoing dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant. I was flabbergasted that she had carted all the equipment necessary for dialysis 2000 miles from home so that she could supervise fourteen writers. She received a kidney shortly after that work conference and her energy and joy on the other side of that experience were infectious. She became a second mother to my daughter when Philippa moved to St Paul for college. Lori’s daughter is exactly Philippa’s age and they have been friends over those same years; in fact, Claire was in Philippa’s wedding.
Almost three years ago, Lori’s transplant failed and she has been on dialysis ever since.
Lori is a woman of wonderful humor and (almost infinite) patience, great inner strength, and thoughtful silences. She is a fabulous editor who respects the unique voice of a writer while keeping us from saying anything we will live to regret. She introduced me to Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, and the most amazingly obscure movies I have ever seen. She introduced me to the work of Jan Richardson, and artists I had never heard of who were inspirations for both my writing and my fiber art.
Eight days ago she went into the hospital to have her dialysis port replaced. She was supposed to come out of ICU in a day, two at the most. She didn’t.
My daughter called today, barely able to talk through her tears. Lori is hovering at the threshold of death. And so, a thousand miles from her hospital bed, I keep vigil.
I will not be writing a blog today. This is the place in which I find my heart and my spirit. My focus is with my friend. From time to time I sing because Lori is a singer. She would be laughing at my voice – which is not strong or particularly tuneful at the best of times, even less so when I am singing through tears. From time to time I stop and watch clouds in a pure blue Colorado sky and breathe with her, hoping against hope that her own immune system will take hold and begin to turn the tide against the infection that is relentlessly straining her system — because they cannot give her antibiotics since she doesn’t have a working kidney. From time to time I remember something she said that made me laugh out loud, and I laugh again – sending that joy and delight winging her way.
I wait — deeply aware of my own mortality and filled to over-flowing with gratitude for her presence in my life. And in that space there are no words, just love and love and more love forever and ever. Whatever happens. For ever and ever.
Text © 2015, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos ©2011 and 2014 Immram Chara, LLC