Tuesday, January 13, 2009

andee carlsson remembered

For some of us, this is a tough day. One year ago, one of our fellow bloggers died -- quite unexpectedly.

I met Andee Carlsson through her blog,
My Life in Chacala. It was the first Mexico blog I had encountered, and, after a tentative start, Andee and I became infrequent correspondents. When I told her that I was interested in moving to Mexico, she encouraged me to start a blog. Thus was born "same life -- new location."

I had been working on the blog for less than a month when my dog, Professor Jiggs, started suffering leg problems. At the time, it appeared he was literally on his last legs.

I suspect it was the dog's problems that set the tone for my post on 3 January,
death be not proud, where I talked about the various ways that cultures approach death. It turned out to be a rather prescient post.

About a week later, I received an email from Andee. The tone was quite a bit different than her usual mix of encouragement and scolding. I could best describe the tone as flat.

I am really glad you wrote. I keep thinking I will write because I like your posts a lot, but have I had a horrible headache the last 3 plus days and mostly lie in bed.

She then included a note about some personal difficulties she was having.

As I look back, I wish I had done more at that point -- even though I know there was nothing more I could have done. It is rather like reading King Lear, and wishing you could speed the messenger on his appointed rounds.

The next day, I posted
color and light, where I commended Andee for her positive effect on me as I looked for a house in Mexico.

I should note that one blogger (My Life in Chacala) has taught me to truly appreciate the effect that color and structure can have on a home. I always appreciate it when she posts new pictures because I know I will discover something new in life.

The day that post migrated to the internet, I received the last email I would receive from Andee. She thanked me for my advice on a personal matter and then described in terrible detail the physical pain she had been experiencing the prior three days.

Later that day, she would die.

I could not let this day pass without remembering what she meant to me in such a short time. I know that not everyone liked her; she did not like everyone -- especially people who abused power. But she fully embraced Chacala and its villagers.

As for me, I loved her spirit of adventure. I loved the fact that she was a flawed soul, just like the rest of us. I loved the fact that even with her flaws, she was willing to share with others and speak with the honest voice of a prophet.

I loved her.

And I still do.

She will be a constant reminder that we bloggers truly are a community. When one of us hurts, we are there to help each other.

Andee, we still miss you.


Calypso said...

She will be a constant reminder that we bloggers truly are a community. When one of us hurts, we are there to help each other.

An excellent thought Amigo.

Andee is missed.

Islagringo said...

Thank you for a beautiful post and tribute. You know what she meant to me.

Anonymous said...

how well i remember that morning, walking by trini's house and being asked if i knew erik's, andee's son's phone number. it was at that time i was told that andee had passed away earlier that morning. i often wondered if she would have survived had she not waited so long to go to the doctor, by then it was too late. but she lived life fully till the end, having spent that last day traveling with a friend. it seems like only yesterday. i know she is at peace, sipping cokes up in heaven ;-)


Babs said...

I made the trip to Chacala based on Andee's blog. What a SWEET piece of heaven it is. Truly. It is PV 30 years ago when it was still truly paradise. All I could say as I walked the beach was "SWEET".
Thanks for writing the tribute!

glorv1 said...

I didn't know your blogger friend Andee, but she sounds like a dear heart. How good of you to remember her this way and I feel your sadness. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Thank you all for sharing the moment.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoyed Andee's blog. And share your sorrow at her passing.

Kim G
Boston, Ma

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- I still go back to her blog when I have trouble recalling a piece of information. It is such a great resource.

Anonymous said...

The dogs in heaven and I are wishing you a Feliz Cuplanos!
Wishing you all the best!


Steve Cotton said...

Joan -- Thanks for the greetings.