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mainsheetsister

Our Beloved mainsheetgirl

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My sister, Catherine, your beloved mainsheetgirl, died last night, April 5, 2012 at 8:21 p.m. local time. Like a sneak-thief, cancer stole her life right before our very eyes. About two weeks before her death, when she entered hospice care, she was almost terrified of death. In an effort to help her to find some peace with what we knew was coming, and to help me to accept that my little sister would soon be gone, I created the story that follows for Catherine, and told it to her for the first time during the night of March 24. She really did cry during my telling of the story and said, as it is written, "This is the story of our separation." About a week after that, and with many other conversations and revelations in between, she looked at me one morning and said, "I'm not afraid of dying anymore."

 

Yesterday, while washing each of her hands as she lay in bed, something that she enjoyed, I told the story to her again. She fell asleep soon after, and did not awaken. Several hours later, as our parents and I held her close, she smiled with her last breath, and left this world. I sat by her side after she was gone, and wrote down the story of The Two Sisters. I like to think it helped her to find peace with where she was going.

 

Spending this time with my sister will always be precious. I had always thought that I would get to spend the rest of my life with her, but as that was not meant to be, I made sure that she was able to spend the rest of her life with me.

 

The Two Sisters

 

 

Once there were two sisters who went walking.

 

 

 

The one sister said, "There is a place in my imagination to explore, and I've been waiting so you could come with me. Will you come?"

 

"Yes, I'd like that," the other sister told her.

 

And so the two sisters joined hands, left their shoes in the grass behind them, and set out into the one sister's imagination.

 

They came to a mossy stone path; both warm from the sun and cool underfoot. The two sisters followed the path to the top of a quiet hill. There, they lingered, looking ahead at the beauty in front of them, and then walked on, letting the stones lead them forward.

 

The path meandered on through the grass. Past placid sheep tending fresh lambs. Past whimsical window-boxed cottages, bordered by yellow daffodils who nodded their heads as the two sisters happened by. On either side, they saw a pony grazing here and there, with low stone walls and tidy fences to keep them from wandering. Shady trees were scattered all around.

 

Soon the two sisters came to a grove of trees, tall and noble, growing out of the grass. They walked until the trees became a forest, with patches of sunlight breaking through the breezy leaves and onto the ground. On and on they walked, and the path led them through the coolness of the forest, the songs of birds sweetening the air.

 

And then through the trees, they caught glimpses of different places. On one side, was the sea, with tips of sparkling waves and sails full in the breeze. On the other side, a cool stream danced down the mountain, its pebble-bottomed pools edged with ferns. The mossy stone path became two, one went to the sea, and the other went to the mountain.

 

 

 

"Which way shall we go from here?" the one sister asked.

 

The other sister said, "I'm going to the sea."

 

The one sister said, "But I'm going to follow the stream up the mountain."

 

 

Realizing this, the other sister, her face crumpling into tears, said, "This is the story of our separation."

 

"Yes." the one sister said.

 

Then the other sister really began to cry, so the one sister said, "Should I tell you the rest of the story?"

 

The other sister said, "Yes."

 

"First, I'll tell my story of going up the mountain, so you can know what I'll find there," said the one sister, "and then I'll tell the story of you and the sea."

 

And so the two sisters kissed each other and parted, each one going her own way on the path that was meant for her.

 

 

 

The one sister started up the mountain beside the stream. As she climbed up, the cool water splashed down into pebbly bright pools. The mountain forest rose under her feet. Birds flashed through the trees, and violets watched as she passed by. As she walked higher, the pebbles became stones, and the stones became boulders. The stream soon disappeared into the muddy grass. The one sister then found herself above all of the trees, on the smooth gray rocks at the top of the mountain.

 

She gazed all around at the world before her. She looked far away to the place where she and her sister had begun the journey on the mossy stones, to the peaceful forest where the other sister had gone on without her. If she squinted off into the sun, she could see the sparkling ocean in the distance. And so she watched as the path of the other sister unfolded before her.

 

 

 

The other sister walked out from under the trees, alone, and stepped into the warm sand. She was glad that she had already left her shoes behind. Toward the water she went, and then onto the long, weathered boards that had appeared there, rising from the sand. The boards, smooth under her feet, led her out over the clear water.

 

On she walked; turning around once to look for the mountain that she knew the one sister had climbed without her. Once she found it in the distance, the other sister turned away, and continued toward the deep sea. As she walked closer and closer to the end of the pier, the boat moored there took her gaze and held it fast.

 

"Madrona! It's you, and I'm here," the other sister whispered to her beloved boat. The other sister then took the wide rope in her hands and the knot joining Madrona to the pier fell away. She climbed aboard her, and the wind led them away together.

 

 

 

The one sister, from the top of the mountain, watched as the other sister went from her, on her lovely Madrona.

 

Her voice told the wind, "Our time here is different, but when we get there, we will get there at the same time."

 

The other sister, turning to the mountain, said back to the wind, "I am on my way, and when we get there, we will get there at the same time."

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Peace to you and your family, our prayers are with you. Lots of thoughts, but I never know what to say...

 

 

Bob said it best

 

"Catherine:

Good morning.

I can see you today, two fingers on the wheel, everything trimmed for perfect balance, sails looking liked carved ivory, close reaching along on a sunny day with 15 to 18 TWS and 10 knots of boat speed. The sun is shining on your face, there is a beer close buy and you are feeling the joy of having a boat working perfectly. The crew is laughing."

 

This is where I will see you in my mind.

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Thank you for that - a lovely story.

 

Many folks will miss Catherine. She was loved.

 

Travel well, MSG!

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MSG thanks for being you. You made a huge impact on so many of us.

 

Fair winds

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Rest easy MSG. We'll see you on the other side.

 

 

Thanks to all who comforted her until the end. Well done.

 

The World weeps tonite.

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Dear Friends,

 

Your love is a powerful thing. We all felt it, and still it comes.

 

One request though, please don't swipe the story that I wrote for my sister and post it elsewhere, as someone already did on facebook. It is my story for my sister, not yours to post.

 

Depsite that, thank you all for who you are and for the love that you give so freely.

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Fairwinds Catherine. We didn't get to meet in person in this life, but I enjoyed our banter nonetheless. Peace.

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Fair winds and following seas, luv. Although many of us have never met you in person, all of us will always remember the insight you brought upon us and the many conversations we have had with you over the years. You will sorely be missed and always be loved here.

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Catherine this news really taken the wind from my sails.

 

Your spirit has touched me and showed me how to live. Thank You.

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Catherine... when you look down and read this, know one thing:

You have left the world a far better place, and we are all grateful for the opportunity to have shared it with you, both the real world and the virtual world...

...because you had the ability like few ever to make the virtual world real.

 

Much love,

Blake

 

To those of you (you know who you are) who managed to put your lives aside to travel to NY and share love, laughs and positive energy with Catherine in the last couple weeks... you are my heros. Thank you for being there on behalf of all of us who couldn't.

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mainsheetsister,

Thanks for finding the strength to be there for your sister, and frankly thank you for putting up with all of us kooks who have been overwhelming you and your family. You made a huge difference to all of us. :)

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Be in Peace, Catherine. I wish I could have known you better, but you've touched a lot of lives around you and we are better for it.

 

Good travels!

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fair winds, my friend. i love you catherine.

 

 

thank you for letting us read your story, mainsheetsister...i love you too. peace and love to you and mainsheetmom and mainsheetdad and all your family. i hope to see you again soon.

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Vaya con Dios Catherine

 

I did not know you, but the brother- and sister- hood of sailing stretches far and wide and we all feel the loss. For those you have left here, god bless.

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hug someone close to you tonite. you may not get to tomorrow.

 

losing someone to cancer is a bittersweet pill to swallow. it changes you forever.

 

i'll plant an extra daffodil this year, alongside my mother's.

 

fair winds.

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Beautiful story, mainsheetsister!!!

 

Catherine will live on forever in the memories of her many friends, everywhere.

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The good die young but pricks live forever.

 

Waking up this morning it was beautiful outside. I'm sure you pulled some strings to make that happen... thanks C

 

I miss you...

 

 

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My deepest condolences; words cannot express...

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The good die young but pricks live forever.

 

Waking up this morning it was beautiful outside. I'm sure you pulled some strings to make that happen... thanks C

 

I miss you...

 

 

Amen to that brother.

 

The weather out here 120 miles south of Louisiana is just gorgeous. 18 knots of wind, 2 foot seas, not a cloud in the sky and stars in the millions above my ship. Thank you Catherine for this beautiful night here at sea.

 

We all miss you.

 

Chief Mate Jesse W.

 

M/V Stim Star III

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Rest in peace, Catherine

 

In your honour, the line hauling in the mainsail on my old Alpha will henceforth be known as 'the catherine'...

 

To all her kin, and all others who have lost loved ones: courage, and may you always be aware of their spirit in all the beautiful things surrounding us every single day

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MSG I will miss your fun and input from this site.

I have been following the sad story of your unfortunate situation from the other side of the world and even though we will never meet reading your thoughts on these boards over the last 7 years I feel I could have easily sat and had a drink with you at any yacht regatta as old friends.

It is a sad day for all.

 

MSS would you be kind enough to let me know what MSG's favourite charity was so I can make a small donation instead of making a florist a little bit richer, I would be much happier to put my cash towards a charity that would MSG would approve of.

 

Many condolences to you and your family at this very tough time.

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When it seems like the night will last forever,

And theres nothing left to do but count the years,

When the strings of my heart begin to sever,

And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears,

I will walk alone, by the black muddy river,

And dream me a dream of my own,

I will walk alone, by the black muddy river,

And sing me a song of my own, sing me a song of my own.

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I can barely see through the tears whilst writing this, MSG you are an inspriation for all to admire and hope one day we can have a chat ....... Fair Winds .....

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Rest in peace Catherine.

 

I only knew you through this thread and a couple of posts that we exchanged. I briefly detailed my experience of when my son had emergency brain surgery. Your warm and generous reply gave me comfort even though it had happened four years ago.

 

Your bravery and courage has been an inspiration. You have touched my life and will continue to do so.

 

Sympathies to Dan and Catherine's family.

 

Fair winds.

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Mainsheetsister, you and Catherine fought the good fight; you must be exhausted and my heart goes out to you and yours who loved her and helped Catherine to meet her end.

 

Good sailing Mainsheetgirl, wherever you are.

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Catherine, the reef is out, the winds have calmed and your off on that favorite reach home to port and the warmth of family and friends are with you. Forever.

 

Rick

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She was rich in friends and gave us all so much.

Thank you MainSheetSister for sharing the news with us. I am sure that was difficult and am so very sorry for your loss.

I took this photo for Sol on Thursday night as he grieved the loss of his dear friend and I grieved with him and for him across the country. I thought of Catherine sailing off into that sunset and shortly thereafter read Bob Perry's so appropriate words. Fair winds, Catherine. And thank you.

IMG_4723.JPG

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Beautiful story, mainsheetsister!!!

 

Catherine will live on forever in the memories of her many friends, everywhere.

 

 

+100

 

M

Z

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So sad to hear this news, Catherine touched so many of us she never met such was her sense of fun and her spirit. Mainsheetsister thanks for sharing the story withn us, my thoughts are with you, Catherine's family and friends.

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We never met, and I only picked up on the story and brave writings of MSG in recent months - obviously a massive following of family, friends & invisible but involved admirers & supporters around the world who will be feeling the huge loss of a loved one - very sad news - sincere condolences

 

Fair winds indeed MSG .... Fair winds ....

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How odd to realise that I only met Catherine in person just two weeks ago, but somehow I felt I was seeing an old friend. SA is funny that way - we form strong bonds through our connections here. Catherine absolutely felt the strength from those bonds as SAers rallied around her these past seven months, and she was as whole-hearted in person as she showed herself to be here.

 

There are so many lines in so many songs I listened to yesterday on the drive, that reflect Catherine's impact on me. At this moment, all I can hear is "because I knew you, I have been changed, for good". (though the soundtrack from the Book of Mormon will now always make me smile a particularly MSG smile) :P

 

Catherine, I know you felt the love. That you left us with a smile on your face is wonderful. I guess the breeze was 'just right'.

 

Farewell, and fair winds dear friend.

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My sister, Catherine, your beloved mainsheetgirl, died last night, April 5, 2012 at 8:21 p.m. local time. Like a sneak-thief, cancer stole her life right before our very eyes. About two weeks before her death, when she entered hospice care, she was almost terrified of death. In an effort to help her to find some peace with what we knew was coming, and to help me to accept that my little sister would soon be gone, I created the story that follows for Catherine, and told it to her for the first time during the night of March 24. She really did cry during my telling of the story and said, as it is written, "This is the story of our separation." About a week after that, and with many other conversations and revelations in between, she looked at me one morning and said, "I'm not afraid of dying anymore."

 

Yesterday, while washing each of her hands as she lay in bed, something that she enjoyed, I told the story to her again. She fell asleep soon after, and did not awaken. Several hours later, as our parents and I held her close, she smiled with her last breath, and left this world. I sat by her side after she was gone, and wrote down the story of The Two Sisters. I like to think it helped her to find peace with where she was going.

 

Spending this time with my sister will always be precious. I had always thought that I would get to spend the rest of my life with her, but as that was not meant to be, I made sure that she was able to spend the rest of her life with me.

 

The Two Sisters

 

 

Once there were two sisters who went walking.

 

 

 

The one sister said, "There is a place in my imagination to explore, and I've been waiting so you could come with me. Will you come?"

 

"Yes, I'd like that," the other sister told her.

 

And so the two sisters joined hands, left their shoes in the grass behind them, and set out into the one sister's imagination.

 

They came to a mossy stone path; both warm from the sun and cool underfoot. The two sisters followed the path to the top of a quiet hill. There, they lingered, looking ahead at the beauty in front of them, and then walked on, letting the stones lead them forward.

 

The path meandered on through the grass. Past placid sheep tending fresh lambs. Past whimsical window-boxed cottages, bordered by yellow daffodils who nodded their heads as the two sisters happened by. On either side, they saw a pony grazing here and there, with low stone walls and tidy fences to keep them from wandering. Shady trees were scattered all around.

 

Soon the two sisters came to a grove of trees, tall and noble, growing out of the grass. They walked until the trees became a forest, with patches of sunlight breaking through the breezy leaves and onto the ground. On and on they walked, and the path led them through the coolness of the forest, the songs of birds sweetening the air.

 

And then through the trees, they caught glimpses of different places. On one side, was the sea, with tips of sparkling waves and sails full in the breeze. On the other side, a cool stream danced down the mountain, its pebble-bottomed pools edged with ferns. The mossy stone path became two, one went to the sea, and the other went to the mountain.

 

 

 

"Which way shall we go from here?" the one sister asked.

 

The other sister said, "I'm going to the sea."

 

The one sister said, "But I'm going to follow the stream up the mountain."

 

 

Realizing this, the other sister, her face crumpling into tears, said, "This is the story of our separation."

 

"Yes." the one sister said.

 

Then the other sister really began to cry, so the one sister said, "Should I tell you the rest of the story?"

 

The other sister said, "Yes."

 

"First, I'll tell my story of going up the mountain, so you can know what I'll find there," said the one sister, "and then I'll tell the story of you and the sea."

 

And so the two sisters kissed each other and parted, each one going her own way on the path that was meant for her.

 

 

 

The one sister started up the mountain beside the stream. As she climbed up, the cool water splashed down into pebbly bright pools. The mountain forest rose under her feet. Birds flashed through the trees, and violets watched as she passed by. As she walked higher, the pebbles became stones, and the stones became boulders. The stream soon disappeared into the muddy grass. The one sister then found herself above all of the trees, on the smooth gray rocks at the top of the mountain.

 

She gazed all around at the world before her. She looked far away to the place where she and her sister had begun the journey on the mossy stones, to the peaceful forest where the other sister had gone on without her. If she squinted off into the sun, she could see the sparkling ocean in the distance. And so she watched as the path of the other sister unfolded before her.

 

 

 

The other sister walked out from under the trees, alone, and stepped into the warm sand. She was glad that she had already left her shoes behind. Toward the water she went, and then onto the long, weathered boards that had appeared there, rising from the sand. The boards, smooth under her feet, led her out over the clear water.

 

On she walked; turning around once to look for the mountain that she knew the one sister had climbed without her. Once she found it in the distance, the other sister turned away, and continued toward the deep sea. As she walked closer and closer to the end of the pier, the boat moored there took her gaze and held it fast.

 

"Madrona! It's you, and I'm here," the other sister whispered to her beloved boat. The other sister then took the wide rope in her hands and the knot joining Madrona to the pier fell away. She climbed aboard her, and the wind led them away together.

 

 

 

The one sister, from the top of the mountain, watched as the other sister went from her, on her lovely Madrona.

 

Her voice told the wind, "Our time here is different, but when we get there, we will get there at the same time."

 

The other sister, turning to the mountain, said back to the wind, "I am on my way, and when we get there, we will get there at the same time."

 

Many paths, but the same destination.

 

I'll remember Bob Perry's post for a very long time.

 

Condolences and big hugs to Catherine's family. She certainly showed all of us something about strength.

 

MikeR

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She was rich in friends and gave us all so much.

Thank you MainSheetSister for sharing the news with us. I am sure that was difficult and am so very sorry for your loss.

I took this photo for Sol on Thursday night as he grieved the loss of his dear friend and I grieved with him and for him across the country. I thought of Catherine sailing off into that sunset and shortly thereafter read Bob Perry's so appropriate words. Fair winds, Catherine. And thank you.

 

Nice Dixie, good job.

 

Those that were lucky enough to be closer than me, I'm jealous of you.

 

MSS, special hugs for you and Dan. I've got a picture of you and Catherine nipple to nipple somewhere.

 

I've been to the beach, strapped one up and slowly got drunk and had a sook to myself.

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mainsheetsister,

Thanks for finding the strength to be there for your sister, and frankly thank you for putting up with all of us kooks who have been overwhelming you and your family. You made a huge difference to all of us. :)

 

 

putting up with? oh, no, on the contrary, we could not have done it without you.

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MSG I will miss your fun and input from this site.

I have been following the sad story of your unfortunate situation from the other side of the world and even though we will never meet reading your thoughts on these boards over the last 7 years I feel I could have easily sat and had a drink with you at any yacht regatta as old friends.

It is a sad day for all.

 

MSS would you be kind enough to let me know what MSG's favourite charity was so I can make a small donation instead of making a florist a little bit richer, I would be much happier to put my cash towards a charity that would MSG would approve of.

 

Many condolences to you and your family at this very tough time.

 

 

Thanks for asking about her favorite charities...florists are nice folks, but...

 

Keep watching, her obituary will be posted on SA in the near future, and such opportunities are mentioned for those who would like to honor her name in such a way.

Love to all of you, now, forevermore.

 

mssister

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Oh how to choose the words, currently sat overlooking the sea as the sun rises over the hill to my right with tears streaming down my cheeks and thinking of our dear MSG. Hearing your news MSS has bought more than a tear to my eye, I feel blessed that I came to know if only a little of MSG's fighting spirit and sense of life and adventure through her posts and stories here. She will be truly missed. It's lucky she was such a huge character as there's enough of her to let us all carry a little of her in our hearts.

 

My thoughts are with you and your family.

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our hearts are heavy with sorrow. A little part of all of us has gone,but we are all better because of Catherine.

 

RIP MSG :(

 

my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family....

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GO THE CATHERINE has become Gone is our Catherine.

 

I just reach land from one of the easiest most beautiful deliveries ever and now I know why the weather was so kind. Fair winds MSG, and thanx for touching us so strongly. Miss you will be!.

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Fair winds, following seas and good times in your next life! You will be much missed by all those you touched along the way.

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I got up this morning to bright sun and blue sky. Thought to myself, "What a lovely day." I now know why the day is so lovely. It is the day Catherine made for us as she passed from our world. She always knew how to make the world seem bright and sunny even when it was less than so. May God bless you little girl. Now who will I offer lollipops to?

 

Like many of you, I had "known" Catherine for quite a long while here on SA. She sent me a PM a while back saying she would be swinging through NYC on the way up to Voorheesville after escaping Texas by way of Florida. We met up for cocktails at some bar I had never been to and will probably never visit again. An SA'er named Jonathan, some Flying Dutchman nut job from MA. and her friend Dan were the only ones who attended. At the time I thought what has become of SA when someone like Catherine passes through town and invites what must have been a dozen or more of us to drop by for a drink and some chat....and two of us show to say hello to her. I am glad I set aside the time to meet her in person and in retrospect I am glad it was a small gathering as it gave me a chance to sit with her for hours on end, gaze into her eyes and just talk about anything and everything we wanted to talk about.

 

To Catherine's family I offer you my deepest sympathies. Yes Catherine was a free spirit and perhaps you folks even thought she was the black sheep every family has. Perhaps so. But she was a lovely person. One who has touched more lives in a positive way than any of us could hope to. Please know that we are with you in feeling the pain of such a loss at her prime of life. The tears we cry today are for Catherine.

 

We love you Catherine. Thanks for being our friend.

 

One last song for you little girl.

 

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One day we will quit fighting wars all over the world and start fighting the real enemy who lives among us...cancer.

 

RIP MSG.

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I'll never again look at my sails quite the same way, when they're full and drawing. sad.gif

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MSS,

 

Thank you for joining this community and sharing your moments together with us. Your sister was an inspiration to so many of us who have never met her, in addition to those who have had that privilege. In this sense, she will live on.

 

Peace.

 

———

 

What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind.

 

 

---William Wordsworth

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IMG_2860.JPG

 

IMG_3620.JPG

 

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO

THAT GOOD NIGHT

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rage at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

- Dylan Thomas

 

I don't know that you went "gently" anywhere - someone as full of life as you brightened any room so much just by walking in that everyone knew you were there. As one of those lucky to have met you many times I am a fortunate man for having known you.

 

 

P.S. Thanks for not actually getting us physically removed from the Providence Boat Show!

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MSS,

 

Thank you for joining this community and sharing your moments together with us. Your sister was an inspiration to so many of us who have never met her, in addition to those who have had that privilege. In this sense, she will live on.

 

Peace.

 

———

 

What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind.

 

 

---William Wordsworth

 

 

The child is the father of the man...my favorite poem.

Thank you so much for that.

 

Love, mainsheetsister

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Unbelievably sad to think that msg has left us. Fair winds C. And so touching for msgsisster to bare such a meaningful and touching set of words with all of us.

 

With heaviest heart,

Graham

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Sound is awful in a loud bar, but the smile is spot on.

 

So right, BJ! That IS Catherine, and what I'll remember! Thank you for posting that

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I didn't know Catherine well but if you ever met her you would never forget her. Through all of this I kept hoping MSG would could beat this, so full of life, the free spirit that I admired and wished I could be. Thank you Sister for sharing with all of us, she will be missed and never forgotten. Texas has lost something than can't be replaced.

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Guest One of Five

Woke up this morning with this ear worm, dunno why.

 

Tommy Dorsey and Frank.

 

 

She left us, but there's a lot of her left here. The thoughts and memories remain. I daresay she's off on new adventures, new places that we will know someday. We'll see her again just like in the song.