03 July, 2008
My Friend, Carolyn
My friend Carolyn died this morning. She was --I don't know--79? 78?
Carolyn was an amazing woman. She had polio as a young girl and in her later life developed what they call "post polio syndrome." All the time I knew her, she was on those crutches you see beside her. Carolyn was a social worker, an English teacher, a civil servant, and I don't know what else. She lived in Turkey for several years, developing many life-long friends.
I met her in 1992 when I had just moved back to Texas. She and my friend Jane went with me to see Romeo and Juliet in the park.
Like my mother, Carolyn was a volunteer at CASA (Child Advocates San Antonio), where she met with children who were in the family court system and acted as a go between for all of the different services and the court. She also volunteered at the San Antonio Public Library and the San Antonio Zoo.
Carolyn was a world traveler. Besides her life in Turkey, Carolyn took trips to Europe, Alaska, South America, Greece, and anywhere the winds took her. While she often traveled with friends, she also did a great deal of that travel alone. On crutches.
Shoot, I can barely drive to Austin by myself without whining.
Carolyn had many dear, dear friends and a few loves, but she never decided to settle down with anyone. On her 75th birthday, Carolyn rented a barge and took 20(ish) of her dearest friends on the San Antonio River complete with fajitas and pitchers of margaritas. I was honored to be among that crowd. It was a great party. Indeed, I hope to do the same thing on my 50th birthday later this year.
Carolyn had three cats at the time of her death. I'm going to take the oldest one, Chatty (20 years old) to the vet this afternoon, so she can join Carolyn. At her age, and in her present state of health, it is the kindest thing. The other cats will go to the Animal Defense League.
I loved Carolyn and I will miss her. Here is a picture of Carolyn, our friend Jane (still with us, thank goodness), and my mother. I like to think of Carolyn and Mom having some wine and Indian food right about now.