Index of Posts: Slices of Shona's Life
Memories of Shona

From Marc-Andre Pigeon

Dear Randy,

I found out about Shona's passing last week from Ajit but after discussion, thought it best to wait before reaching out.  I was planning on writing something this weekend -- or even braving a phone call (I always worry about what to say) -- but happened upon this site and was so very moved by your beautiful tribute to Shona.  It made me reflect on my brief but memorable encounters and the urge to write was overwhelming.

I can still see her in your Red Hook home, all energy, light and kindness in a world that seems to want to strip that away.  I can still remember the warmth of her greeting when I first arrived in Red Hook, a little afraid, a lot uncertain.  I can still remember the time, at your place, when Shona introduced me to the magic of pesto. I was immediately won over and devoured all that was on offer.  She quickly offered to make more despite my protestations.  I observed as she blended these things called pine nuts with a substance referred to as olive oil and an herb known as basil with this strange device called a hand blender.  Needless to say I was impressed with this magic and rushed out and bought a hand blender almost immediately afterwards.   

I think you were late for that particular supper so it was just me, her and the kids but she made me feel like I was part of your family, a family.  Always.  For a little guy from North Ontario, that made all the difference especially as I struggled through my breakup with Danielle, especially as I struggled to digest this big brave world of the United States of America, especially as I struggled to make sense of this discipline of economics that, upon until I met you, seemed devoid of humanity or even reason.

So my heart goes out to you and the kids for this huge loss.  For what it's worth, I have every confidence they will get through this and prosper.  I lost my father when I was 18, my sisters 15 and 13, and my younger brother 10.  With the ballast of a strong and truly inspirational mother -- like you as a strong and inspirational father, it all worked out.  I'd be lying if I said I don't still miss him, still don't think how much I'd like to be able to, as you say, experience that wonderful evolution from son-father to friendship.  But there is one thing I know for certain which I hope will ease some of that realization: your children will carry Shona's light with them, one way or another, feel a responsibility to it, hold onto it when they need to, and always be grateful that their beautiful mother chose wisely in the father they still have.

Take good care Randy.  My thoughts are with you.


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