There's a new angel today -- and how I wish there wasn't.
I've come to not like January so well. It seems that at this time of year we say goodbye to so many. I just learned of the death of another wonderful human being today, and coming next week and two weeks after that, the anniversaries of two dear friends. And I worry every day about several others whom I hold close to my heart, dreading the phone call or email or Facebook post that shares sad news.
I didn't know Vaughn (V.J.) Rawson well. I knew his wife much better, and even she wasn't one of the "intimates" -- one of those with whom you are in contact on a regular basis. But I had been to their amazing home several times for holiday gatherings and to see their remarkable woodcarving.
If you have followed The Marmelade Gypsy for any length of time, you may remember my posts featuring their work. V.J. carved the most magnificent Santas, snow people, Halloween figures and Dickens characters; Stephanie would paint them. They were known as The Whimsical Whittler.
They had been featured in national magazines, had some of their designs marketed to Midwest for mass production and had their work included on the White House Christmas tree.
For some, cancer is in the gene pool. For others, it's one of those things we never really know. But V.J's fight was long and valiant, his creative legacy large.
His final battle is over and my heart is very sad.
Sad, too, as I remember the anniversaries of blogger Diana ("Oh") and my friend, Mike Lewis. Diana's eloquent, delightful blog posts always enchanted me and when we met in person, I was thrilled that she was everything she was on the blog -- and more.
Mike was a friend from work whose heart was enormous and his dedication to friends incomparable. I can't think of him without a smile as he enriched our hearts -- and made many a tough day far easier to bear.
Both left huge holes in my heart. I mourn for their families and hope they know that these people they knew far better and far longer than I are not forgotten.
Tonight I look for a new twinkling star -- and know that V.J. is in fine company.
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