Laughing Dog Arts

Monday, April 4, 2016

Maggi's Gone

Hello friends,
Been awhile since I have posted anything here.  Today I want to publish a small tribute to a friend who has passed.  I feel a need to do something to mark her passing.

Maggi Birchenough. 
 Maggi and Meg  

We met through blogs back in 2010, and quickly found we had much in common including favorite books, music and a love of art, particularly fiber art, growing things and our pets.  We wrote many long emails, getting to know each other through the years.  Traded plenty of stories and eventually began trading gifts through the mail.  In 2014 she became the Co-rep for SAQA for Europe and the Middle East.  When she found that Portland Oregon was hosting a meeting for that group, she determined to come to the US from her home in the UK and attend that meeting, and, oh yes, as long as she was in the neighborhood, she would come and visit me!
So she did.  We had the most lovely time, walking through my fields 

and sitting on the deck, watching the birds with my cat Tigger sitting on Maggi's lap.  She had to leave all too soon.  After she returned to the UK she was having trouble breathing and had terrible headaches.  Finally she went to the doctor and got the worst news possible, advanced lung cancer.  She struggled but was gone less than a year later.

What did I know of Maggi?  She was kind, thoughtful and generous.  She volunteered at her local animal shelter, walking dogs, petting cats, and adopting one to keep her first cat company.  She missed her husband Robert who passed several years ago.  They had no children.  Maggi had been a teacher and in her later years worked as a dispatcher in a police station.  She was an inspired artist, working in fiber and often having her art quilts shown in big shows, where she also volunteered, helping with set up and showing the art.  She loved to read and to watch car racing!  She kept a blog for years, .
She loved to dye and manipulate fabrics and fibers.  She loved her family and friends.  Loved spending time in her home and yard, tending her garden, watching her cats, Jack and Casper,

helping her neighbors.  She was fortunate to be close with her cousins who were a huge help to her after she became ill.  I know her friend Linda Vincent was also a help during her time of need. 

Maggi and Linda at a quilt show
She was so generous with help to others when she was strong and healthy, I'm glad to know it all came back to her when she needed help.  From my perspective she seemed to accept her illness with strength and pragmatism, not complaining, just doing what she had to and enjoying what life she had left as best she could.  Maggi must have been heartbroken when she decided to give up her cats so they could find new homes.  The shelter where she had spent so much time helped her there, and they found new homes readily.

Her cousins were with her in her home when she passed peacefully, which was brave of them all.  Maggi was loved and will be missed.  I feel blessed to have been able to call her my friend and will miss her, keeping her in my heart forever.


Robbie said...

What a lovely tribute to your's interesting but one of my friends here in Florida was diagnosed with lung cancer and bone cancer...ugh...I've been with her for biopsy and they are setting up appt. for possible rod in her leg to prevent fracture where bone cancer is...we leave Fl. in 4 weeks and it's going to be sad not to be her "Taxi"...she's such a great gal so I look forward to seeing her next year! And I will. so glad you and Maggie had your time together too.

Deborah said...

Beautiful tribute. I am so very sorry for the loss of such a dear friend.


Cindi Myers said...

Omg Jan,
I am so so sorry to read about the loss of your friend.
She sounds to have been an amazing woman,
I'm so glad you were able to meet and spend some time together.
Life is so freaking unfair.
Cancer sucks so much.
I have lost many relatives and others to it.
You have written a wonderful tribute.
My deepest sympathies.

audrey said...

This is a lovely tribute, Jan. I think Maggi would be pleased to know how many people loved her and miss her, and how much it meant to you for her to visit your home while she was in the area.
Cancer has taken relatives and friends of mine over the years. It is a difficult disease to watch a loved one suffer and die with. We desperately need a cure as cancer seems to be gaining speed as the years go by.
I am sorry for the loss of your friend, Jan. May her memory linger always in your heart.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Lovely. Lots of times we wonder what our purpose of being on this earth is. Maggi certainly made this world a better place for many. I hope she knew that she affected many lives. And weren't you both so lucky to have that long distance friendship, even though it was not long enough. One has only to read this post to know how much you loved and admired her.
xx, Carol

Emma said...

A lovely tribute to Maggi, a sad loss, a good person to remember. Thank you for your kind words on my blog post. x

Corrine at said...

Oh so sad. I will have to reach out to Linda too, I am sure she is grieving as well. xox

Linda Wildenstein said...

Lovely thoughts shared at the loss of your friend. She sounds like she was a very lovely soul. Sorry for your loss of a good friend.

maddyrose said...

It's always sad when someone with so much goodness in them leaves our lives. It sounds like Maggi was a wonderful warm and caring soul whose passing will sadden all who knew her.

Jackie said...

Maggi was a presence in my life too although we never met. She was always supportive of my work and blog with her lovely comments and I feel her loss.
That is a lovely tribute and told me much more than I knew about her.


Such a lovely tribute to our friend Maggi, I was blog friends with her for a long time too and was delighted to meet her at FOQ in August 2015. Sending hugs to you for your loving words xx