Saturday, April 21, 2012

My inheritance

Okay y'all read this whole post before you hysterically change this window to and book a ticket to BWI.  And don't grab the phone just yet either.  I'm not sharing.  Get over it.
As you may or may not have read, my dear friend, Carolyn, passed away earlier this month.  Above are Carolyn, me, one of Carolyn's beautifully transformed mannequins, and Fab Janine.   Yeah, it's a good one of us all.  Janine, Woody, and I had gone to one of Carolyn's open houses at the Howard County Art Center.  Her mannequin was in the main gallery that night.  She was pretty sick here; chemo and dialysis, but nothing stopped her.  In fact, it was her last real fun outing that the three of us made together a couple of years ago, right before she was diagnosed with stomach cancer and kidney failure.  I accidentally parked too far away from the Mexican restaurant that was her favorite that I had introduced her to in Silver Spring.  It was a cool but pretty windy day and she was complaining constantly.  There had been a little wolf-crying over the years but Janine and I (rolling our eyes) did our best to make it easier for her as she said she hadn't been feeling well (well, no kidding in hindsight).  In fact, I walked to get the car and drove to pick them up after we ate so she wouldn't have to walk back (or did I just not get us lost on the way back to the car?).  We did have fun that day besides that part.  There's a little guilt that will probably never leave since she was, quite indeed, ill.  As I mentioned previously, I hadn't spent much time with her in the last few months because of all the other fucking shit (pardon meeeee) going on. As these things go, she was not bad off until the end and then it was fast.  Too fast for almost none of her friends to get to see her. So the funeral was the week we went to NYC for spring break.  It was over a week after she passed.  I had no idea I would miss it until it was too late and we were locked into our NY plans.  Yeah, I could have sent the guys and met them two days later but I knew she wouldn't want that-I did-but, trust me, there's no sense in arguing with her.  From my friends who did go...AND THIS MIGHT BE WHERE YOU WANT TO READ IF THIS HAS BEEN TOO LONG OF A POST SO FAR..., I learned that her grandson, D'angelo, who she raised and helped him raise his kids, said that when a person went to Carolyn's home, they were sure to get two things-a hot meal and the cold truth.  He got quite a laugh.  I have so many stories.  One was being caught in a disagreement of what I should do with a rug (they weren't disagreeing, they were each just telling me to do something different) between my newly-widowed mother and Carolyn.  Oh Lord, who do I side with?  I think I ended up running to the bathroom (this was at Oella Mill) and throwing up.  She was a loving force.  And so loved.  She brought big ol' Paul Wolfgang to his knees at least once a week (okay, he's a teddy bear anyway, but he would have given up his magic wand for her).  Anyway, I felt so honored that she thought to set aside some things for me.  She told her son, Sean, and D'angelo what to give me.  I heard it was more but things got confused and I don't care; I have pieces with her DNA on them.
 Heirlooms are the only material things that I truly love.  The things that people who I loved and/or ancestors I never met are all I have of them; it's a tangible piece of them.  What she left me were the molds that she used to make jewelry.  I have several of her art pieces that I purchased from her over the years but these are what she wanted for me.  Molds she made with her own hands...her hands.   
The ones in the top photo are my favorites-the faces.  I love all of them, of course.  The ones above look like something you would find in the pyramids in Egypt.  I have them, as you can see by the "boot picture" in a drawer (not a closed drawer, a drawer used as an open box type a deal) in my guest room all in one place.  There are many.  And then there were a couple of neat silver molds and also the (if you look close enough) some Creepy Crawler molds.  Oh, Justin and his friend, Luke, would spend hours and hours making those.  I still have the machine.  Anyway, I put them in the boot with the other molds and it made me think of Woody in Toy Story..."I've got a snake in my boot!".  Laugh or cry or...snort (wink, wink to someone below)...more on that later.  
Oh, P.S.  Something they mentioned at the funeral was how tickled Carolyn was by all the attention she got when she worked with me on an Historic Ellicott City show house one year.  She painted the floor.  By hand.  On her hands and knees (at 70?-no one ever knew her age until she passed).  And it was beautiful.  I tried to find the photos of that house in this blog archives but couldn't.  I'm going to hunt them down and post them.  It was a beautiful space; two small rooms and a very small balcony that she also painted.  The then-governer's wife loved it, but more importantly, we loved it.  And I loved her, I always will.

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