Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Gift of Sunshine

The sum of a person is not in the things that they’ve done, but how you feel when you’re with them, how they rub off on others around them. When I first read Morgan’s obituary, it read like a laundry list of accomplishments. While those achievements are impressive, and her personality fueled her enthusiasm and energy for those pursuits, what I remember about Morgan is her infectious smile, laugh, and quick sense of humor. It was her gift to the world, being around her felt like a sunny spring day.

I met Morgan when she opened her home to me while Dennis and I were in the process of moving back to Fort Collins from an eight year stint in Arizona. I was starting my job as a night nurse in ICU at the hospital and I had my two canine girls, Iris and Isabelle, with me. Dennis was in Arizona selling our house and getting ready to move. We hung out with Morgan and Angus for two months until we were all together and able to find our own place.

I remember her joining me as a crew and a pacing companion during one of the ultras I ran through the Vedauwoo area in Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain Double Marathon. It's a tough, hilly 52.4 mile race notorious for bad weather conditions. It was sunny, but the wind was brutal that day, and I can remember having to pee behind the car, and the wind was not cooperating. Morgan and I were giggling for miles over that.

I just remember how much fun it was to trudge the final uphill miles in the mud and wind with Morgan keeping me entertained so I didn’t notice how crazy the conditions were.

Morgan took care of our precious Australian shepherds Iris and Isabelle when we went on vacation, and Iris used to ham it up, sitting pretty on her hind legs, knowing she would get a response from Morgan.

In early January of this year, a few days before she was moved to inpatient Hospice, she texted me one day, and said she felt well enough for a visit. She wanted to meet our new puppies, Velcro and Gypsy, so I took them over for a visit, hoping they’d be well-behaved.

Morgan said she didn’t want to be remembered as she was when she was sick. I promised Morgan I would always remember that day in Wyoming, when we were as goofy as a couple of teenagers, giggling our way up the muddy hills in springtime under the freshly leafed-out, lime green aspen trees.

I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s doing now, because I can still hear her laughing.


Felix Wong said...

This was a nice write-up about Cathy. I miss her! I used to tease her about the time I "caught" her running with a friend (she lived near me) instead of attending the FCRC's T&H run. She similarly told me that she wanted to be remembered for those fun times instead of when she was sick. RIP Morgan.

Libby James said...

Thank you for the piece about Morgan, Alene. It was just beautiful. So right on. Losing her has been very hard.