As I wrote and posted my last blog entry, the lesbian fiction world was rocked by the announcement of Sandra Moran’s cancer diagnosis. On the morning of 8 November, we woke to an emptier world – one without her in it. She passed away just four weeks after being diagnosed.
In the aftermath of that news, all kinds of blog and Facebook posts were written, eulogizing her and testifying to the positive impact she’d had on the world. I didn’t know Sandra well, but I still felt the loss. Though I felt it, words wouldn’t come. I really couldn’t think of anything substantive to add to all the other eloquent posts out there, nothing that would ease our sense of sadness at her passing. I didn’t really feel like writing much of anything.
So I waited. I knew words would come when they were ready.
A week ago on Thanksgiving, when we got home from sharing a meal with my sister and her family, Beth and I went for a walk. An after-dinner walk has always been a tradition, kind of shakes the food down into your legs to make room for pie. At least, that’s what I thought when I was a kid.
But as we walked through our neighborhood, we reminisced. We remembered an earlier Thanksgiving walk about twenty years ago, when the house we live in now was for sale, and we walked by it with my sister and niece. It was an okay house, just kind of blah, with no landscaping and neighbors too close. We lived one block away at the time and had passed this house hundreds of times as it sat on the market for over a year. But that day, we looked at it and saw it with fresh eyes. Twenty years later, it’s transformed – inside and out. It’s home now.
I guess I tend not to move quickly on things. At least, when I have in the past, it hasn’t worked out so well. My first relationship was kind of infatuation-at-first-sight. Now, I am a romantic at heart, and I totally believe love-at-first-sight can last, but it didn’t for me. When Beth and I met, we were both healing from past relationships and had a real fear of repeating past mistakes. So we were content to be friends. It took me a year and a half to realize something had shifted, and I suddenly saw her with new eyes. I know… I’m a bit slow. But taking the time to get to know each other without the pressure of an immediate romantic entanglement has worked. It’s been twenty-three years and will last forever.
What I’ve come to realize as I’ve grown older and maybe a bit wiser, is that things really do happen in their own time. You can’t force them, and if you try, it rarely works out. I know… I’m a bit slow on that part as well.
I absolutely believe that Sandra is in a place of light and beauty. As much as we’ll miss her and all those who have gone on while we stay here, their passing helps us to remember to see what’s in front of us, to see with new eyes, to recognize when the world has shifted. I believe that this, too, happens in its own time. Maybe someday we’ll know why.