"I am playing with myself,
I am playing with the world's soul,
I am the dialogue between myself and el espiritu del mundo.
I change myself, I change the world."

Gloria AnzaldĂșa

24 May, 2008

Judy


My dear friend and my boss, Judith Gardner, died this Thursday afternoon.

Judy was a great woman. She was smart--one of the few remaining writing program directors with "only" a Master's degree. I know that the university had to ignore its own policies to retain Judy, but it is to their great credit that they did.

She was the most committed worker I knew. She worked up until two weeks before her death. Through surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and all of the assorted madness, Judy was there. Heck, I call in for a bad headache! But she didn't judge me or others for being weaker than she.

Judy was kind and loving and committed to her friends, her coworkers, and all of our students. Every single teacher in the writing department (I think there are 63 of us) considers Judy a mentor and a friend. How did she manage that? And Judy's last words to me, though neither of us knew they'd be her last, were, "I love you, kiddo."

I love you, too, Judy. And I'll miss you, awfully.

18 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a lovely tribute.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Mrs. G. said...

I am so sorry. What a terrible loss.

Mike Golch said...

This is a great tirbute to your friend.I grieve with you on her lose. Here is a cyber hug.

Claire B. said...

I'm sorry for this great loss in your life. May your grief diminish and be replaced with lovely memories.

Irish Goddess said...

I'm so sorry. She looks and sounds like a lovely woman. What a loss.

Cheri said...

I am so sorry for your loss. RIP Judy, and may you live on in the hearts of those who knew you.

Ginaagain said...

I'm so sorry.

Lisa Milton said...

So sorry to hear that. Take care.

Danger Panda said...

Congratulations on having had the opportunity to have such a wonderful person influence your life. Isn't hers the sort of legacy we all aspire to?

Family Adventure said...

I'm so sorry.

Heidi

bipolarlawyercook said...

So sorry to hear it-- she looks like a woman of great character and wisdom.

K. said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, and sorry that there had to be any last words between you, but I'm happy that they were such lovely words.

I hope those are the last words I speak to everyone that I care about, actually.

Julie Pippert said...

What an amazing woman...such a loss. How fortunate you two found each other in this life, and what a lovely tribute. I'm sorry.

Mary Alice said...

She sounds like someone I would have been honored to know as well. May her spirit and her way of doing things live on in those that she inspired during life.

Mrs. T said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. Sounds like it's also the whole world's loss.

JCK said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I've enjoyed reading your posts about her. She sounds like a very special mentor, indeed.

Zenmomma said...

I'm so sorry you lost your friend.

Jozet at Halushki said...

Oh no...I'm sorry I missed this.

My sympathies to you on the loss of your dear friend. She sounds like an amazing woman.