Sunday, June 7, 2015
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.
Labels: Natasha Zaninovic