Midge


(Midge) Mildred CooperI 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.

(Midge) Mildred Cooper with Claudia Zucatto Ria

I miss you already Midge.

Mrs. Mildred Frances (Eachus) Cooper
February 10, 1942 – March 17, 2014

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7 thoughts on “Midge

  1. “I just need to get my hands in the dirt.” mom would comment. I think she meant some thinking and quiet time. A little like yoga or reading for some people.
    Early spring before gardening time was toughest for mom. She would switch gears from snow to ground preparation with aplomb. It was always too early and the view not pretty after the snow.

    This can always be assuaged with have the neighbors over and some good wine. Cheers mom!

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  2. iI loved Midge too. She was such a fun bubbly person. I met Midge in Hawaii at her Daughter Lynne Cooper Pascual’s wedding at the Halekulani Hotel and Played with them at Bellows Beach in Waimanalo and spent time ringing at St. James Cathedral n Toronto, Canada where we had a wonderful time shopping at the St Lawrence Market and went up to the CN Tower together and she had one day that we could not meet for lunch as she had to meet with her Garden Club at the Botanical Gardens as that was her passion. Midge was so full of life and fun, and I for one can really appreciate a gal who lives in the moment to enjoy life at the fullest. Lets all have a a toast for Midge . Hold those glasses high and may we all enjoy life as she did. Aloha Midge. from Lynn Albrecht in Hawaii (one of her many fans)

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  3. I first met Midge Cooper late1979 while working as her husbands (Brian’s) secretary. I would see Midge at all the hospitality divisions social function and at Brian and Midge’s annual July 1st pool party. I loved her big smile, especially those smiling eyes and she never prejudged anyone for any actions. Trust me, many who came to their July 1st pool party did not know how to behave. Although I left the college in 1984 my life would always bring me around to an event where Brian and Midge attended. She really had a very quirky sense of humour and laugh. I knew of her love for skiing…teaching but was unaware of her love for gardening. Last June I decide to retire from the college and specially asked for Midge to be invited as I wanted to reminisce about the old days in Hospitality with Brian. I was so happy she came. As usual we talked about Diane, Lynne, Reg, her skiing and Brian. Like always, she was full of life, happy and had a very busy life. I was winter/vacationing in Arizona when I received the phone call of her passing and I can’t put in words what I said or thought. After getting over the shock my heart went out to the kids as I just lost my mother in September 2013 so I had an idea how the kids must be feeling. Midge and Brian were both very special people who gave much of there time to their communities, to others less fortunate, and to college students (especially international students). I feel very lucky to have met Midge and Brian and will think of them often….plus I do have a some great memories/stories that I have told and will continue to tell. May Midge and Brian continue to guide and watch over us all. Cindy

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