for dona

Katy, I’ve got cancer. Giggles, and a shrug.
Can you bake me some pot brownies
And please give me a hug?

Katy, I’ve got cancer. Tell me what you think.
Should I hook myself up to chemo 
Or enjoy that mai tai drink?

Katy, I’ve got cancer. I didn’t know you well.
But I enjoyed our little talks.
And the stories we’d both tell.

Katy, I’ve got cancer. I love Deer Isle so.
More than anywhere I’ve been
Even places I’ve yet to go.

Katy, I’ve got cancer.  For pain, I have no use.
The only real regret I have?
I never saw a moose!

On the island, there are people that you meet that you may not socialize with often but who bond with you over a shared history of casual summer memories. A breezy greet & gossip at the farmer’s market each week can add up over time to a deeper sense of a person. Perhaps during a once-a-summer invitation to cocktails on the porch, you realize this acquaintance is now a friend. That’s how it was for me with Dona W. At the beginning of the summer, Dona revealed to me that she was terminally ill with lung cancer on top of her diabetes. When I asked her what I could do for her, Dona laughed. She said, “Do you know how to bake? I could use some pot brownies to help my appetite. And can you tell me more about Scott’s thought process and how he arrived at the decisions he made?”.

I’m a great baker. However, I had to do a little research to come up with a recipe that would have the right consistency using Dona’s medical cannabis oil and a sugar substitute. It was trial and error until I finally got it right. She liked them. I made some more.

I dropped off the last batch of appetite inducers I made for her on October 1st. I was leaving Deer Isle the next day to head south for the winter. It was a gorgeous Sunday and Dona and I sat on her porch and spoke of places she’d been and places she’d still like to go. She told me she wanted to see a moose.

Dona had retired to Deer Isle after taking her vacations here for years. She was a beloved special ed teacher in Massachusetts and had also taught in Bogota, Columbia for awhile. This shy unassuming imp had friends that ranged from a famous blues musician to local Deer Isle clamdiggers.

I learned today via a visit to her facebook page that Dona passed just ten days after my last visit to her home. It was a gorgeous sunny day when I last saw her. I told her there was still time to see that moose.

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 5.10.15 PM
Not a moose, but the carved owl sculpture that graces Dona’s lupine field at her home on Deer Isle. 

2 thoughts on “for dona

  1. Katy, As always, told with raw emotion and beauty. How fortunate both you and Donna were to to do more than cross paths… your heart should feel warm when you think of your short but truly heartwarming time together. Thank you for sharing….


  2. Katy, this tribute is so comforting. You have a gift and that is why Dona found you—to help her into her new world with owls and moose. >


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