Sunday, June 7, 2015

Missing Tash



Tash died in May. We didn't know she had died; we didn't even know she was sick. Typical Tash. She was not one to share the downside -- be it irritations or inevitabilities; life or death.

When driving to Tash's memorial service this Friday, we argued about whether or not she was a registered general aviation pilot. Ron said yes, I said no, Petrea was on the fence. We were also absolutely amazed, an hour into the drive, that Tash met us so readily, and without complaint, in Pasadena, at least 20 times over the past five years. Palos Verdes to Pasadena? That's one long and awful drive, and she bit this bullet in major traffic, without once saying what I would have said every time, "I just spent two fucking hours on the freeway to have lunch with you guys. This had better be good."

A most unusual woman, but typical Tash.

Why we didn't know these things, well, here is my Tash-theory.

Tash compartmentalized much of her life, because there was so much of, to it. Tash, the Yugoslavian who landed in Highland Park at the age of 12, knowing not a word of English. Tash, the excellent student, who learned English and earned a scholarship and degree at USC in Engineering. Tash, the aerospace Engineer who worked for Northrup, Boeing, and for a time, in Switzerland. Tash the photographer (we knew this one). Tash the blogger (we knew this one, too), Tash the quilter, hiker, skier, camper, world-traveler, folk singer, musician, voracious reader. And Tash, the mother who on weekends drove with her teen-age son to some god-forsaken area of the desert so Ian could realize his dreams and get his private pilot license.

We three who attended the memorial service never did find out whether Tash flew planes. Shaking hands with her husband and son afterwards, we forgot to ask, or maybe it just didn't seem the right time. We three were among the hundred or hundreds who came to the church by the ocean to say good-bye, and we didn't want to take up too much time or room.

But the thing is, she amassed so many accomplishments in her 56 years -- piloting planes? Entirely plausible. Her list of hoping-to-do, doing, and done, ridiculously impressive.

Maybe Tash attempted and learned so many things in her life because she realized the limitations of time on earth. She was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, and as an engineer, and an artist (yes, she was that, too), faced the odds with an unblinking eye.

Life isn't fair. If life were fair, life would give more time to those who explore, savor, and love it most. But life doesn't take such things into consideration.

Her last post on my blog was a year ago. She had dropped out of sight, or our sight. It was a comment about the movie, one I recommended, Dean Spanley. It would help if you'd seen the movie, it would certainly help if you'd known Tash. But neither one is an absolute requirement. Here is what she wrote:

"Hugs from the anteroom of eternity."

Whatever and wherever eternity may be, Tash, I hope to hug you back.






32 comments:

  1. You're making me cry again. Tash was wonderful. You are wonderful.

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  2. It's ok, Earl. I was crying while I wrote it.

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  3. Been feeling sad all afternoon. Since I've had a couple really nice days I wondered why. Then I remembered Tash.

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  4. I'm sorry I never met her.

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  5. So sorry to read about your friend. Lovely tribute

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  6. I think the last thing she wrote, sums it up... 'funny' how some of our best writings come when we're overwhelmed w/emotion... I bet she would be 'pshawing' (sic) this tribute..and I bet she did fly planes.. what a remarkable person and her accomplishments put mine to shame.

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  7. Hugs to you Karin for being the friend she would drive two hours without complaint to see. It seems to fit that Tash would pilot planes - she certainly knew how to navigate life. I am sorry that so many people will miss her. As a stranger I am glad to learn that there are people like Tash in the world.

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  8. I am sorry again...
    Lovely tribute, Karin.

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  9. Beautifully written.

    Her delightful spirit was evident in her blogging presence. You were lucky to know her in person.

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    1. I know. She took her photography very seriously, always taking online classes. She encouraged me to take one too (for obvious reasons), but unlike Tash, I'm good at putting things off.

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  10. I knew you all would like her. That top photo, by the way, was taken after a hike in Icehouse Canyon. The day was hot, the water so cold it hurt. Good times.

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  11. In her last comment, she said it all and still said nothing. Brilliant and impressive woman.

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  12. She sounds like she was an extraordinary person, and you do her justice with your tribute. So sorry for your loss.

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  13. Was just looking at a photo Tash took from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. She said she loved going to the top. I'm surprised she wasn't in the Mercury space capsule!

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  14. I think she was indeed extraordinary, and I'm not just saying that. Her memorial is the only one I've ever attended where the glowing tributes to the dearly departed were completely true.

    PA and Mr. V came, too. PA had known she was sick. Psychic, maybe. I don't think Tash told her.

    This is a perfect piece, Karin.

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  15. Ah yes, I thought I recognised the Icehouse Canyon pool. That was a fun hike. PA came too, didn't she? We should do it again in Tash's memory.

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  16. Let's do it. Pack a lunch. I wanted something to mark Bellis's move to Germany, and this would be perfect. And Earl, there are many places to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way; one can stop, appreciate the view, at almost any time.

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  17. "Hugs from the anteroom of eternity." That's so beautiful ~ and from what you describe, such a magnificent way to remember Tash. She lived the width of her life though the length was not so long. She sounds very special.

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  18. There is nothing I can add to what Shell said. I will just say "Yes" to it and to all the above.

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  19. There is nothing I can add to what Shell said. I will just say "Yes" to it and to all the above.

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  20. Well, she's 'flying' now. That's for sure. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

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  21. So very sad to hear this news about Tash. I only met her once, but all it took was sitting next to her for a few hours at dinner to know that she was a very cool woman. As this lovely tribute shows, she was truly amazing. Not fair to lose her so young.

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  22. Icehouse Canyon in early July then? Let's do a Friends of Natasha hike. The columbine flowers will be at their best.

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  23. Please let me know the details.

    If I am visiting LA then, I would like to attend.

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  24. Bellis, Ron, you're on. Jean, we'd love to have you join us.

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  25. How wondeful....she sounds absolutely lovely x

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  26. And we did find out, later on, that although her husband and son are pilots, and although she flew with her son, Tash herself was not.

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  27. Such a shock....Tash was a vibrant fun woman and I'm so glad I got to meet her and share some experiences with her. It definitely explains why she seemed to come and go from the blogosphere, and makes me that much sadder that we weren't able to connect when she was visiting Mammoth... There's a Dahlia floating along the Danube somewhere in her memory....

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