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I learned a few days ago that our Opera friend Linda Muckleroy passed away. I don’t know the details, but over the past few years she had a bout with cancer. I guess she finally lost the battle.

We visited each others blogs and left comments over a period of years. Her posts ranged from nature and birds; language and the origins of euphemisms; her city of Tyler, Texas; her family and her personal life. She was feisty and she could be very stubborn. Also very funny.

At one point, due to an interchange we had (I can no longer remember the details), she sent me two ceramic cows that she had. Just totally out of the blue, she asked for my address and I gave it to her, and a matter of days later I get this big box with two wonderful ceramic cows and also a nice decorative plate with a cow on it. They are still sitting on my shelf. And in fact it was just last week that I looked at them and thought of her. Thanks once again, Linda. I love them.

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Besides the cancer she had gone through some tough times of late. Her trailer caught fire, and she lost many of her things. And because of her sickness she lost her beloved bird.

Linda I came across this bird the other day on the Audubon Society page. Thought you would like it. It’s a Bohemian Waxwing. But of course you knew that. 

Waxwing-2

She hadn’t been posting very much lately. As far as is known to me, her blog was not ported to another site; as a consequence, all she did on Opera will be lost as of March 2014. Which just doesn’t seem right. It should stay behind in memory of her. In any case I have decided to do a repost of one of her own below, in the attempt to save just a little something. I don’t think she would mind. And I think this post is appropriate, in a very real way her own elegy.

Linda, thank you for the good times and the friendship. And God’s speed to you out there in the universe.

Linda-Muckleroy-About-Photo-1

AND THEN WINTER COMES

by Linda Muckleroy, on Opera

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 8:05:30 PM

Hope, Faith, Life, Winter

I’ve had a lot of time to think over the past year. Considering all the health problems I’ve had, it has led me to think about how much future I have left and what will it be like for me henceforward. I’ve gone through depressions, near death episodes, weight loss and weight gain, fear and hope, and faith in my God. So many things have happened to me this past year. The depression at times has immobilized me. Despair has overcome me. Fear has made me shake and cry and quiver inside.

My whole life was centered, all through 2011, on battling cancer, undergoing surgeries, fighting to survive sometimes fatal infections, eye problems, the list goes on and on. Seems like my life is totally and only about health issues now in this winter of my life. 

But through it all, I have managed to hang onto my faith and to hang on to hope, and my friends on OC have, in large part, helped me through this whole, unhappy period of my life. But it hasn’t been ALL unhappy. I have discovered who and what friends truly are; how much I depend on prayer — by myself and for others for me; how precious life truly is and that I still have a life, restricted though it may be. I’ve learned to “not sweat the small stuff.” Some things, mundane things, just do not matter when you have looked death in the face –and survived. 

I want people to think well of me after I leave this mortal plane. I want people to remember me with a smile when they DO remember me. IF they do remember me, and I hope some will. I don’t want people to feel relief, or indifference, or any of those negative things about me. Hopefully people won’t think long on my faults and bad habits. I’d hate that.

I want you younger friends to live every day as fully as you can. If you want to accomplish something–get busy because time flies and before you know it, you will have waited too long. Patch up quarrels. Don’t hate ANYONE. Forgive everyone. Go on those trips you always wanted (sell stuff to get the money to go if you have to). You can sit at home after you get too old to travel–one of my biggest regrets. Have fun, and above all, have faith.

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