Friday, 13 May 2011

Sarah, my friend

I started writing to Sarah on 13 May 2008, exactly three years ago,and since then several hundred messages have passed between us. Sarah wrote about her life on the farm at Spruce Hill in the lovely Maryland countryside - what she was cooking for her family, Finny the naughty puppy, Arial the horse who ate peppermints, her childhood and the countryside around her. Her blog communicated her sweet smile and her generous friendship. Although our lives were different we shared a love of flowers, blue and white china and our families. On one occasion I admired her cake plate and explained that I have an identical one and she replied "That is too funny! The same plate! Well you do have very good taste!"

We had much in common as mothers and I watched her beautiful daughters grow up over the years and understood Sarah's pride in all that they achieved. I was sharing memories of Sarah with Fifi today and we both remembered the posts showing Little E in her Scottish kilt but I also remembered Miss E cutting her hair for Locks of Love and Miss H on her 16th birthday. I think I truly believed that one day I would drive down the road to Spruce Hill and meet Sarah and her wonderful husband, Paul.

Sarah passed away on Wednesday night after a long battle against breast cancer. My thoughts are with her husband and daughters, family and friends who have lost a very special person. Her courage was extraordinary and she met each new challenge with such a positive attitude that I felt humble as I read about it. I find myself grieving for Sarah even though I never met her in real life because her friendship was an inspiration to me.

I thought very hard about which picture to use to start this post and it seemed to me that apple blossom from my parent's orchard was the most appropriate - it reminds me of the many beautiful photographs that Sarah took of Spruce Hill which will ensure memories of her life can be treasured by everyone who loved her.

I will miss her.


  1. how sad and how beautiful Sarah was/is. May the Lord remember her in His kingdom. To lose a mother and wife, must be one of the hardest things. Memory Eternal.

  2. - oh, such a thing...may Sarah rest in peace.

  3. I've been thinking about Sarah and her family and the animals and her lovely photographs - and feeling tears in my eyes - ever since hearing the sad news yesterday. Such a strong, sweet spirit!

    Must say I was stunned by the news - Sarah's most recent Spruce Hill post sounded like everything was going very, very well, and that was only a couple of weeks ago.

    So, so sad.

  4. It is truly a strong tie that is woven through the aether...

    May you, her friends and her family feel her strong spirit always...and especially these next few days, weeks and months.

  5. How very sad. Sarah was such a bright spirit.

  6. so terribly sad. cancer is so cruel....

  7. That is sad and dreadful news.

  8. These friendships through the ether are so very real. Sad news.

  9. I didn't know. I didn't know about Sarah, her illness or that she lived not so very far from me. Because I have fought for my life and the other shoe has not dropped, I feel I did know her, and that the air has gone out of my belly like a deflated balloon. Why didn't you tell me? I could have gone for both of us and tried to console. Breast cancer is fracturing too many lives.

  10. Alice I "met" Sarah through you a couple of years ago and will miss her gentle presence. Thank you for expressing my sense of loss so well.

  11. This is our life.
    One moment we are all here laughing our facing silly at something and next moment we are facing death.
    I have never even heard of Sarah before yet your words made me cry.
    Because death is a word no young mother/wife should even hear. I can barely take it for a very old person, and even then ...
    Rest in peace, Sarah.

  12. Very well said, Alice.

    It came a such an awful surprise.

    Those blossoms are very appropriate, and remind me of her too.

  13. Oh Alice.....................

  14. AnonymousMay 14, 2011

    I didn't know Sarah either, Alice but your beautiful tribute brought tears to my eyes. Her memory will live on, through those words, for all of us who did or didn't know her. My thoughts are with her family and all those fortunate enough to be her friends.
    With love - Bobby

  15. Well said, Alice. For all of us who have been touched by the loss of a friend, you put into words what such a loss means. And following the link to Sarah's own blog, I can see why you would have been friends. I'm so sorry.

  16. oh. oh.
    I did not know this remarkable woman. This is very sad indeed.

    You have written a lovely piece/

    Memory Eternal.

  17. Thanks for the very touching post. It got me a little misty eyed thinking of my Big Sister. She was a wonderful gal, and I miss her very much.

    Coleman (Sarah's little Brother)

  18. AnonymousMay 16, 2011

    Oh, this is so sad. I knew Sarah though you -- oh dear.


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