This happens whenever a beloved dies, does it not? We discover layer upon layer of that person, multidimensional flowerings that remained unknown to us because we didn’t happen to resonate in that manner. Other people let us know. They gift us with who she was for them.
The same thing happened to me when my dear husband Jeff died. He knew so very many people, and with each of them there was a relationship built upon some kind of mutual interest or resonance. Baseball cards with the postmaster. French literature (in French) with my sister Katherine. On and on, from the ridiculous to the sublime.
So too here, with Mary. Who knew that with one woman, Mary Gulick, she would enter and sustain an old-fashioned literary correspondence for 44 years? I note that her writing in the foreground is still steady; that letter must have been written before she had to switch between from right to scrawly left hand, after her right arm finally stopped working, and went limp.
We will never know the depth of Mary’s suffering. But we do know that she lives on in so many ways.
For more on my sister Mary, see
and scroll down to the bottom, for posts relating to Mary’s recent passage.