April 4th, 2014 marks one year since Caroline Anna Jones traveled from a world where her loved ones can call her to say hello and how are you, to a world where her loved ones cannot. I think of Caroline and her girls every day and father Devon too. Below is what I read at her New York celebration of life. Please share your thoughts and recollections in the comments if you wish. Also Caroline's brother, Adrian, started a blog to celebrate Caroline and all the many small details of life that she loved and shared, visit sometime Sit Wherever You Damn Please.
Below are couple pictures from one of Caroline's NY visits from San Francisco. On the left, my Sarah & Caroline's Eloise looking down 5th Avenue in NYC- they were about the same age in the picture as Caroline & I were when we first met.
April 13, 2013
If you feel like you should go visit someone... GO. Last Thursday after 6p I collapsed in bed unable to move, not knowing what was wrong, only to find out that dear Caroline, lost her battle to brain cancer at that same time on the west coast. I am now so grateful I flew to San Francisco in November to attend her 40th. It was tough decision to go, leaving the kids and the expense, but my husband and I felt it was important. At the time I didn't believe we'd be here in this place. And at the time we all enjoyed a good party, which is how it should be.
Our relationship was bookended by childhood- first when we were children and then when we got married and had children of our own. We pretty much by- passed the high school and college years so I was pleasantly surprised when we reconnected over weddings, then sippy cups, mini-mops, breastmilk, and the avocado and mango puree tips of early parenting.
Caroline and I met when we were toddlers. Her family would come out to Redding, Connecticut to spend time in the country, where my family lived. She was city mouse and I was country mouse. It was the 70s. Tony (Caroline's father) and Caroline would go on trips to Caldors. This was the time. We spent the better part of many summer weekends for much of our childhood simply playing and spending days with one another. We played and played and played and played: on the zipline, trampoline, swimming, endless loops around the circular paved driveway- a young bicyclist paradise. Rainy days brought license to bicycle up and down the interior corridor that led from the Tukul / the octagonal shaped, lofty, inspirational building to the the sleeping quarters on the other end. We also received the occasional HagaanDaaz ice cream treat.
It felt like we were sisters and when we were a little older, maybe age 6 or 7, I started sleeping over. Caroline’s bedroom had a bunk bed. I remember one of our conversations she said, “I’d never want to be a model because then I could never eat pizza again.” Then she probably said “I luuuv pizza!” She loved the little things in life- always appreciated the little things in life no matter how grand her life. She lived in fancy houses and came from a fancy family, but she was always so down- to-earth– so real.
Sunny days invited walks down the hill to Caroline’s grandparents to play openly there as well- furiously peddling the paddle boat to get it to the mysterious island in the middle of the pond where Adrian and a friend played Pirates, plus stick races under the bridge, walking on the boardwalk, and many other adventures. I remember only playing- only remember the freedom to be a child and play in this inspirational world. Magda (Caroline's mother), and I believe the Tukul itself, provided this gift of inspiration and the freedom and safety to be a child.
Caroline mirrored this in her parenting- creating an inspiring, free and safe place for her children. Caroline was a magnificent mother and had a special gift for parenting with Charlotte and Eloise. And I believe she absolutely adored the early-parenting years. Dear Caroline lived the beautiful life of Caroline Anna Jones 40 years longer than anyone who was not Caroline Anna Jones. Thank you Caroline for being here with us for those years and thank you and Devon for bringing your beautiful daughters Charlotte and Eloise into this world. My dear friend Caroline, I love you, and will now think of you every night giving protective hugs and kisses to Eloise and Charlotte every night, and Devon too.