Monday, May 19, 2008

Old Stone Farm Potluck to Remember & Celebrate Weedle

One of the traditions of Old Stone Farm was the annual gathering of all the Babbit family’s friends here for a cookout and picnic. Over time that custom was replaced by smaller gatherings throughout the year. But last fall Weedle spoke of wanting to revive the former without diminishing the latter, and having the big midsummer picnics again. This year, and with luck every year, the Caviness/Babbit family will do just that, partly in Weedle’s memory and partly just for the fun of it. Weedle’s birthday is June 25; we are planning the party for the afternoon of Saturday, June 21. The cosmos is cooperating by arranging to have the summer solstice on that very day.

It will have to be mostly potluck, but all those who knew and loved Weedle are invited to this, the first of what I hope will be many gatherings at the Old Stone Farm.

Call me at 785-594-3102 in the evenings for directions.

Thank You, Friends & Family -- by Paul Caviness

Friends, family, colleagues –

After losing Weedle, and after all the events following that, I have been shamefully slow in getting out notes of thanks. There are so many to thank. Please excuse the form letter –

It took me so long to face the task, with Weedle so much on my mind, and then so much time to write the first handful of notes, that I am resorting to a one-letter-sort-of-fits-all approach in hopes that I can be more timely in expressing my gratitude. I hope you will forgive the impersonal appearance of this note.

To all those who knew her as Weedle or Donna or Mrs. Caviness or Miss Donna or Badonna or Babe or Sissy or Mom or Grandma; to all who enjoyed or respected or admired or loved her as a friend, colleague, teacher, neighbor, relative – you enriched her life and mine, more than you know, and I thank you.

To those who helped with the ceremonies, making arrangements, providing flowers, food, anecdotes, music, readings, setting things up and putting things away, your contribution was invaluable and I thank you.

To the many - and there are hundreds, some traveling long distances to be there – who attended, participated and shared in those ceremonies, you made them a memorable, comforting, healing experience and did so much to ease the sadness, and I thank you.

To those who delivered food to my home, and offered support and companionship and counsel and help of all kinds, you are priceless and I cannot thank you enough.

To those wonderful friends - hundreds of you - who offered condolences and kind words, you brightened Weedle’s life as she touched yours, and if the occasion never arose for her to thank you for it, I thank you now for her and for myself.

Perhaps anybody who takes the time to count up all the friends, neighbors, co-workers and all whose lives touch one’s own, would be amazed at the number of people involved. I am certainly astonished at the crowds who came out to honor Weedle. Maybe teachers and children’s librarians, who influence scores or even hundreds of children each year, have an advantage in the tally, but nevertheless the extent of the circles of friends and associates who counted Weedle as one of their own has been a surprise to me.

Though Weedle’s place in each of those circles is now vacant for a time, it is an article of the personal faith that Weedle and I embrace that in the larger sense the circle remains unbroken. It is those with whose lives our lives intersect that keep it so.

And for that, I deeply and eternally thank you. Thank you all.

-- Paul