I lost someone this week. Not a lover. Not a friend. Not a family member. Not a coworker. Someone who meant a lot to me. More than I realized and therein lies the lesson. She was someone who always had a moment for me. There was small talk but there was more. We talked of gardens and gardening. We talked about the weather and not always in the “oh what a lovely/crummy day” way either. Sometimes pretty specifically. We talked about life and getting older. Things we had control over and things we did not.
Many times in the few days since learning of her death I’ve thought of her. I’ve cried. I’ve laughed. She was quite a character. She was full of life and spunky as hell. She said what she thought and I knew I could always believe her.
She was a hell of a gardener and she cared a lot about Toronto Botanical Garden. She gave. She gave everything. She gave her time and her spirit. She was a “Friend” to The Garden and when they needed her to, she gave more. Her tireless work in the garden, her dedication to the constant job of keeping things in check. The cycle of life and death in the garden was commonplace for her. She got in and got her hands dirty, figuratively and literally.
It still doesn’t seem real. I can’t really believe that I won’t come around a corner and bump into her wiping sweat from her brow, grabbing a drink in the kitchen. I can’t believe that I won’t see her in the garden pulling weeds, planting bulbs. I can’t believe there are no more stories to share.
I miss you already Midge.
Mrs. Mildred Frances (Eachus) Cooper
February 10, 1942 – March 17, 2014