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Memories of Maggie

Vanier Park

Maggie (1973-2017) and I visit Bard on the Beach

Three weeks ago today, I discovered that Maggie had passed away in September. It’s taken me all this time to write this for several reasons, but mostly because I felt embarrassed that I didn’t know sooner.

We lived in the same apartment block, Maggie one floor below me. I can’t remember when she moved in, but I was here first (1997). We didn’t speak in person until she called me on the phone regarding a shared building maintenance issue. At the time, I was still experiencing severe panic attacks, and since I had no idea who she was, why she was calling in the evening, and how she got my phone number, I really panicked and hung up on her.

The next day I knocked on her door and apologized. Maggie didn’t hold it against me! After that, whenever we saw each other in the elevator, we’d chat. She was usually with her bike, and now I picture her, hands on each handle, helmet perched on her head.

Over the years, we never discussed her medical condition (dystonia) or her battles with cancer (won the 1st, lost the 2nd). But we were both writers and connected on other, more important levels. Our walks on the Seawall; occasional dinners together; and long chats when we ran into one another in the laundry room, even though we might have just seen each other the previous day in the hallway.

My favourite memory of Maggie was when she invited me to go to see the Bard on the Beach production of The Tempest. She had been given tickets and asked if I would like to go.

I don’t know how I lost track of Maggie, but I did. I could see a corner of her balcony from my bedroom window: one day last summer I recall noticing the absence of plants and was going to visit her to see if she was okay; then I forgot. At the end of January, I realized I hadn’t visited Maggie’s blog for a while, and I guess by the time I noticed her bare balcony, she had already moved out of the block and checked into the hospital.

I will miss her, fellow scribe, kind human being. Goodbye Maggie.

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