Sunday, January 12, 2020

memorial for Andi Shechter

I heard this was being planned: an e-mail was sent me, and then I saw it announced more widely. I decided I had to be there if I possibly could. And that's what I'm doing in Seattle.

The memorial was held in the meeting room of a distant and isolated branch of the Seattle public library. I guess it's what they could get. It was a small room, holding about 50 people, which is what showed up. I knew at least forty of them, though some I had not seen in decades.

There was gathering and talking, there was munching of food, there was browsing through some of Andi's books and other possessions which had been brought for those who wished to have something to honor her memory with (so now I'm reading a book on the history of the concept of nonviolence).

Many spoke also, of whom one I did not know was Andi's long-time massage therapist. She pointed to the basket of Andi's progressive political message buttons and said, "Andi's here, in that button basket."

But Andi was also many things. Tom W. said, "Trying to encompass all that Andi was is something only Andi could do." And Andy H. warned not to make assumptions from seeing Andi arguing with friends. If she argued with you, he said, that meant she found you worth arguing with. It's if she wouldn't argue with you that you were in trouble.

For my part, I repeated much of what I'd said in my original memorial post. I specifically singled out dancing with Andi, as Kate S. had just shared a memory of the same (different kind of dancing). My memories reached back: I was one of the few there (we counted hands) who knew her when she was married to her first husband: heck, he even introduced me to her. But that others entered Andi's life more recently shows a virtue on her part, that she continued to add friends throughout her life.

I was pleased to see so many of them there. The gathering was warm if the occasion was sad.

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