An ordinary, extraordinary life

Hi, folks–

Major hat tip to Caitlin Kelly, whose blog, “Broadside,” I follow. She posted about an amazing article from the Toronto Star. Or rather, a wonderful tribute to a woman who loved and lived fiercely, and who touched many lives.

Here’s the direct link to this astonishing piece of writing and journalism, this rumination over a woman’s life through those left behind. A reporter at the Star became interested in Shelagh Gordon through her obituary, and decided to find out more about her. The Star interviewed more than 100 friends and family members, to show how a seemingly ordinary life can have an incredible impact.

I’ve posted the beginning below, but please do click the above link to read the rest of it.

“Shelagh was here–an ordinary, magical life”
by Catherine Gordon

I met Shelagh Gordon at her funeral.

She was soap-and-water beautiful, vital, unassuming and funny without trying to be. I could feel her spirit tripping over a purse in the funeral hall and then laughing from the floor.

She was both alone and crowded by love. In another era, she’d have been considered a spinster — no husband, no kids. But her home teemed with dogs, sisters, nieces, nephews and her “life partner” —a gay man — who would pass summer nights reading books in bed beside her wearing matching reading glasses.

Her relationships were as rich as the chocolate pudding pies she’d whip together.

She raced through ravines, airports and wine glasses (breaking them, that is). She dashed off dozens of text messages and emails and Facebook postings a day, usually mistyping words in her rush to connect.

Then, every afternoon, she’d soak for an hour in the bath while eating cut-up oranges and carrots and flipping the damp pages of a novel.

She called herself a “freak,” at first self-consciously and, later, proudly.

But my sharpest impression of Shelagh that day, as mourners in black pressed around me, was of her breathtaking kindness. Shelagh was freshly-in-love thoughtful.

Godspeed, Ms. Gordon. The world is a richer place for you having been in it. May we all live ordinary, magical lives.

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