Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Best Angel




My beautiful friend Ellie passed away yesterday. 

I remember after the first time that I met her in Paris (when the above picture was taken), I was literally buzzing, nearly shaking with happiness and just this phenomenal energy as I made my way first to the Gare de Lyon and then all the way back down to Provence. Her star shined that bright, even in the confines of her ALS bound body. The amount of love and laughter and incredibly wise perspective that she had to share, so directly, was like nothing that I had ever seen. 

Not having time to waste, we declared our friendship that night. I still feel really honored by this.

When she said a few months later that she definitely wanted to move down to Provence, I was on it, searching for possible houses immediately. The courage that it takes to leave Paris is huge. I did it myself when I moved to Arles with Remi in 2005. But Ellie did so while paralyzed from the neck down, with only her caregivers as her main company, knowing that her husband David and her daughter Grace would most often only be able to join her on the weekends. And yet she didn't look back until her declining health forced her to return to Paris and palliative care.

I had already left Provence at that point, but while there, I would do anything for her - too much - to show my love. Her family would make fun of me (with kindness) because of the insanely over-elaborate lists of suggestions and recommendations that I would spend hours concocting for their visits. My friend L ran into her a few times while Ellie and Co. were out at an antiques or food fair and would always remark at how strong she was even in the midst of the crowds staring at her in her wheelchair with her breathing mask on. That is Ellie too. She was determined to enjoy whatever she could (and occasionally pushed herself too far when the temptation of, say, a Frito beckoned) and without apologies.

She was so excited to surprise me that she had found the house to rent. Little did either of us know that it was located only at a twelve minute drive from mine. We honestly had no idea. She wasn't even exactly sure of the name of the town that she lived in until I explained it to her. She just found the house and made it happen. Given the proximity, you would think that I would have seen her every day but I did not drive yet (and am still working on it), there was no bus transportation and I was not in shape enough to bike it. But Remi would take me when he could and I watched as she (not-so) slowly transformed the wonkily decorated house into something so her, something really elegant yet completely welcoming. Again, how could I have had my doubts? This is a woman capable of anything. With Joel, one of her amazing and loyal caregivers, I helped to hang the lights on the Christmas tree while the Mistral roared outside. I surprised her with a bit of patisserie on New Year's Eve (before David surprised her by showing up an hour later) and she outdid me by somehow persuading him to pull their enormous Mercedes into the tiny lane outside my house the next day. I crouched down by the open door of the back seat and we talked, I was so happy to start the New Year in seeing her. Ben and Kipling came out and licked her hand. That was the last time that I was able to be with her in person.

My life took a dramatic shift not long after that. And she did not let me down, even though I could hear that her voice was getting weaker when we spoke on the phone. Of course, she said nothing about that. She listened to me, let her opinions fly with stinging precision but also knew just what to say with common sense and care. I can hear her voice so clearly: "If I can survive...one day...with this disease...then you will get...through this." I think of that nearly every day. It was Ellie who I would turn to for strength, just as I did my best to offer it to her (at the very least she knew well that I was never scared of her decline). She was also the first person I wanted to tell after my family when I took her advice: when I arrived in the States, when I passed the test for my driver's permit, that I was starting therapy...I suspect that a lot of us, whether close friends or less so, felt that way about her - that she was someone to share the good stuff with immediately. She was in contact with thousands of people and yet somehow managed to make each one of us feel special and important. 

Once she was again in Paris, despite having just been released from palliative care and her increasingly weak physical condition, she managed to not only keep her shop open but self-publish her third book, And So It Is, which tells the story of both her life and what it became while living with ALS. It is an incredible book, one that moves far beyond any trace of sentimentality to hit right to the essence of her experience. I literally do not understand how she made this happen but, along with her blog, Have Some Decorum, it is an important part of her legacy - one of being awake to the value of one's life - that I often told her was "The Ellie Revolution" (I also used to say that she could stop a war just with the power of her baby blues but that is another story).

Her last and perhaps most spectacular decision was her recent choice to return home, to the US and to her beloved California. When I had asked her about the possibility of doing so in the past she said that there was no way that she could make the flight, that the doctors would not allow it - but she did it anyway, supported by a generous friend who sent his private 727 for the occasion. From there she was able to get installed in the same compound that she had loved and left to live in France. It was truly meant to be, a gift from above.

While we would continue to email, I made a decision to talk to her less - it would break my heart to have to ask her to repeat things when I couldn't hear or understand her and frankly I wanted her to save her precious breath for David or Gracie or her best friends Jennifer and Yolanda. But I do hold especially dear one of the last conversations that we had (every single one of our conversations was special, we could talk for hours and hours and hours without pause back in the days when her voice was stronger). She wrote about this later actually, but it was a Sunday and she had gone to her favorite little church, this is still in Paris. There she had a "come to Jesus" moment, except that in it, she told God that she was ready to go soon. And to be truly Ellie, she took things one step further by saying that she was ready to go to work for Him. When she told me that, even though it was such a serious moment, I couldn't help but laugh and say, "Oh my God, you are going to make the best angel. The most kick ass one!"

And she will. She is. 

I am sure of it.

From what I know, her passing was exactly as she wanted it (because save for having ALS and dealing with workmen in Provence, she always got her way). She was surrounded by the love of her family and friends and she was at peace. I was one of her new friends and am incredibly grateful for every moment that I was able to spend with this extremely unique human being. There is so much more that I could say about her (and my thoughts are still fuzzy with my own grief, please pardon any errors here) - about her physical beauty, her brilliant impeccable taste, her wit, her steely intelligence, her thoughtfulness and caring. Not to mention her sheer force of will. While I feel immense relief that she is finally free of her physical suffering, I cannot stop thinking of David and Gracie, of her sister Heather, her parents, her incredible friends and those of you here and all over the world who loved her. She said that she could feel that, you know. To everyone involved, I am sending my love and strength, even though it is a drop in the ocean of your sadness. I am so sorry. 

With typical Ellie humor, she began her last post, "Well hello, surprise surprise, I'm still here."

You most certainly are, because you will live on. Let the angel work begin, Ells.


I love you, beautiful one,
Heather bis




158 comments:

  1. Just when I thought I was safe to put my glass of cab down. Beautifully written, Heather. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm so glad you were there to plan the visits and help her. Sending my love

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    1. Sending mine right back. Thank you for your beautiful, perfect tribute too.

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  2. so loving every word you wrote about your Ellie. She is everybody s friend. I think her as being alive, she will never die.

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  3. Oh, thank you for this tribute. Loved her. So glad you found such good words. How could she ever be forgotten. She's a beacon to us all.
    Sandra Sallin

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  4. Thank you for this very sad news.... I found Ellie so inspiring, I gained a lot of courage from her writings and your post is beautifully written. I am sure she would love it.

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    1. She gave me a lot of courage too, Ana, she still does.

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  5. Thank you, Heather, for this beautifully written tender post about Ellie. She will always be an inspiration. Love and prayers, Jill

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  6. Heather thank you for letting us know and for your beautiful touching tribute to Ellie. There was no one else like her and we were lucky to have found her. She left me a better person. My thoughts are with David and Gracie and all her family and friends. Take care of yourself, you are stronger than you think.

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    1. She most certainly left me a better person too, Kathy. Thank you for your last sentence. It sounds like something that Ellie would have said, actually! xo

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  7. really sorry for your loss Heather...

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  8. Thank you Heather for your wonderful tribute to Ellie. I believe in angels and know that Ellie is now one of the highest looking down on us all. I am off to Paris tomorrow and was looking forward to seeing Ellie on her balcony but now I know she will be flying along side me. My deepest sorrow for the loss of your dear friend who was a friend to us all.

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    1. I hope that you are having a wonderful time in Paris, Jennie. Something tells me that you will make a stop at the Palais Royal. And I agree entirely...

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  9. Dear Heather, a lovely tribute to Ellie's triumphant spirit that lives on in each of us. Best to you too as you wrestle with the changes and challenges of these recent months. πŸ’”

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    1. Thank you. I appreciate that so very much.

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  10. WHAT A POST!
    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN.......................
    SHE WILL BE THE BRIGHT STAR A BLAZE in the night sky..............
    XOXOX

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  11. Oh Dear Sweet God... I have been following Ellie for more than a year, but I really wasn't ready to read this. I know she was so very anxious to get back to U.S., and of course all of us that followed her blog, were hoping with all of our hearts, that she would have "some" time to enjoy being back in the states, before she died. I felt as tho I knew her,and I once even commented on her blog, that I would love having a daughter just like her. All of us that traveled with her on this journey, will miss her to Eternity and back! She was so alive, spunky and beautiful, even as she lived with this horrible ALS, for years. I will always remember her, and I will talk about her to my family and friends, as I have before, about the Hell she was living, but how she never Gave up, and how much she worried about Gracie, and David, but never complained about what she had to endure. God, may she rest in Peace. May she walk again, have her favorite foods again, and have a special glass of wine again,and look down on all of us, and say "I'm saving a place for all of you"... Heaven has a new angel! MY HEART sheds tears for the special human being she was, she will never know, how she touched lives all around the world. She was an inspiration to every one of us that read her blog....Thank you so much for sharing, as I would not have know when or where Ellie left us. I know it was not easy for you... Bonnie in WI

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    1. Sending you Love and Strength, Bonnie. Thank you for this heartfelt response.

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  12. Heather she will be the best kick ass angel, and I am sure that she will redecorate in no time. I am so grateful that I got to see her in June and though we never said goodbye I knew that it would be the last time that I would see her. She was the personification of grace and kindness.
    Ellie does live on, she will never be forgotten.
    Lourdes

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    1. Maybe it is for the best that we never said goodbye Lourdes? I know how much that you meant to each other. Sending you a warm hug.

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss Heather, such sad news. She was a special lady.
    All my love, xxTracy

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  14. This is so beautifully written and such a wonderful tribute to Ellie. I'm so very sorry for the huge loss of your dear, dear friend. (I found you through her blog.)

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    1. Well, then that was another gift that she gave me. Thank you for being here. Ellie was always very generous to mention smaller blogs like mine when she thought it could be of interest. Thank you.

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  15. Your Empathetic Voice here is clear and beautiful, Heather. When the Ellies' of our humanity give such incredible "Life Performances", let there be no doubt .. she was already an Angel .. sent to inspire the rest of us to shake off our trivial complaints and re-energize our attempt to spread our creative wings. She obviously gifted you, Rocket .. what an incredible post this is. I respond in sorrow for your loss and gratitude for your gift .. a gift enhanced by an Angel.

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    1. Much Mahalo, Bill for your moving response. She was indeed and yes she did much to inspire me and will always.

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  16. Heather, I am so, so sorry to hear this news. I am so glad that you connected with her when you did. Sending love.

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    1. And to you, Judith, thank you. Yes, I feel incredibly fortunate. A true gift from life.

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  17. Ahhhh, so very sorry to learn of Ellie's passing. What a special, special person! She was indeed an inspiration to us all. Over and over again in spite of the adversity she faced, she continued to live life as though tomorrow was always just another day coming her way ... May we all know how blessed we are to have known her through her fabulously expressive words!

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    1. Most certainly, Vrb. I think that is why we all felt so close to her! How could we not? There was no or little to no pretense. Ever.

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  18. Sending virtual hugs dear Heather...you are stronger for knowing her.

    Ali x

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  19. I was so heartbroken to hear the news of Ellie's passing. Ellie was so passionate about her life, family and friends. Hope David managed to arrive in time and Gracie was not on her way to college in Paris. My condolences to all who loved her. RIP dearest Ellie you will never be forgotten my angel.

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  20. I've been following Ellie for over a year. I have loved her writing and her spirit. It's difficult to believe that she will never write another post and share her world with us. As much as I knew this day would come, I still can't believe she's gone. Thank you for sharing your grief and your experience with us.

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    1. Thank you for reading and responding, Jill. It is the only way that I know how to do. And I agree with you completely. As much as I tried to prepare myself for her leaving, it still does not quite seem real. It is.

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  21. Such a bright light during her life. I like to think she's not only an angel but a new star, still shinning brightly above us.

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  22. What a glorious tribute - your words just do so much to honor Ellie, the Amazing Angel that she is. I am so very sorry for your loss, even though I know what an outstanding honor it was for you to call her 'dear friend.' She was such an impressive woman, she showered strength to all who fell under her beautiful aura. At the same time, she was just so darn 'real.' Ellie will be missed. My condolences to you and if you speak with Gracie and David, please pass them along to them as well. I so need to look at 'endings' as 'beginnings' but it is very difficult in the moment. Strength and love to you, dear friend. Judi

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    1. Merci, dear friend. For your understanding and this perfect response - she was so real! And yes, I felt that same buzz every time that I saw her. That never faded.
      xoxo

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  23. Oh Heather. I have no words. Love lives forever.

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    1. It does. This brought tears to my eyes in its simplicity. Rebecca. I know that you are going through your own challenges right now. Sending Strength.

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  24. What a beautiful post for Ellie. I know it is a huge loss for you, but I also know how much your life was enriched by knowing her. I remember how thrilled you were when you went up to Paris to meet her and your frequent visits when she was in Provence. I only got to know her through her blog but loved her sassy wit and humor, even as her health declined. And as cliche as it is, I did/do cherish every step I take while walking here in the country, knowing that she couldn't enjoy that basic pleasure and that I'd always taken it for granted. I hope she is running, doing cartwheels and eating endless Dairy Queen now, and I hope you are always comforted by the good fortune of knowing/loving her.

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    1. You know, she said (and wrote about) that she just wanted to be alone a bit more than anything after having been under constant watch for so long but I bet she is being so busy right now, doing all of those things. You always mentioned that Sister about her teaching you to not take for granted simple things like our walking the dogs together. love you

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  25. Dear Heather
    Thank you so much for letting all of us know about Ellie's death. Even though I knew this would happen, it feels so unreal. I hoped that she would have time to enjoy Santa Barbara, her family and friends. You wrote so eloquently about the woman the we all grew to love and admire. Thank you. I want to send my love and sympathy to David and Gracie and to you. We will all miss our brave and wonderful Ellie.
    With much love,
    Judy C.

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    1. We will, Judy. I am so happy that you were able to meet. And I am sure that she must have loved the presents that you brought and had the guys cook with your olive oil! She will be missed, there is no replacing such a unique woman.

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  26. Thought and prayers to her family and friends. Lovely tribute Heather.

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  27. It is so fascinating to hear about her from your point of view. How did she do so much despite ALS? She is an example of how to be a bon vivant. This spring, I read all the way through her blog to pick up any posts I'd missed. It was like a good book. She was so talented. Feisty, generous, classy, uncompromising. Such a loss.

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    1. Catherine, I would love it if some day all of her posts were printed together. You understand as well as I that would be complicated with the photo copyrights but it still would be a fantastic read. I was so grateful to have been able to have read, "And So It Is" when I was out at Elizabeth La Contessa's house in May. Amazing.

      And yes, she truly did way more that I did in a typical weekend when David was visiting. As in far, far, far more.

      I love your use of "uncompromising." Perfect.

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  28. What a wonderful tribute to an amazing inspirational lady. My Father died a couple of years ago of the same disease so I understand what she was going through. May she rest in peace. Xxx

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    1. I remember that we had spoken about your Dad's passing from ALS and that you know well of the reality that Ellie went through during her day to day existence. I am right there with you in that I hope, I know that she is in peace. Although something tells me that she is not resting, at least not yet.

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  29. What a lovely tribute for an amazing woman! Thank you.
    I think we all will be missing her feisty and funny posts.

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    1. Most definitely agreeing with you, Esther. She could make me laugh then cry like no one.

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  30. Dear Heather - Thank you for so eloquently sharing these poignant vignettes of Ellie. She touched so many lives with her rare vibrant spirit and wicked intelligence - a clear and true force of nature. Especially saddened to hear this sad news as my husband and I are retracing Ellie's steps and making the most of her seasoned advice as we travel through Provence. Just yesterday at the St Paul de Mausole in St Remy. I loved thinking of her alongside Van Gogh's legacy. A full 20+ years older than Ellie - yet I learned so very much from her. I will be cherishing my days in Provence even more as I reflect on her remarkable beauty. Gratefully - Dorothy

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    1. Dorothy, you know how happy I am that you were able to see Provence and Les Alpilles through her eyes. Especially the beautiful parts and not the practical day to day things that she had no patience for...with reason. I think that you are home now? Just in case, travel safely please...

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  31. What a beautiful, heart felt tribute for a beautiful lady and friend. I am so sorry for your personal loss as well as the loss that she is for her family and so many others.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you FlowerLady, you always know exactly what to say. xo

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  32. So beautifully written. I'm sorry you've lost such an incredible friend. She was truly remarkable and you're right her light will shine on, I know you'll continue to feel her strength. Big hug to you Heather. xo

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    1. Dani, I have always appreciated the comments that you left on her blog and I believe that you bought a few pieces from the shop too? How wonderful that must be to have those special pieces. Sending a warm hug right back to you.

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  33. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful friendship. I'm so sorry, Heather. I know you must be heartbroken. I can't add any more words about Ellie, as you've expressed it so perfectly. I will be forever grateful to Ellie for introducing us, and I wish you comfort and peace. xo

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    1. And right back to you, Mary. That was a truly special afternoon that we all had together and I am very, very grateful for it. And for you, too.

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  34. I was so distraught that I couldn't type what I wanted. I told Heather once in a reply to a post that I visited Ellie's blog as a way of saying a prayer for her. Thank you so very much for letting us know of her passing.

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    1. Sending you a warm hug of comfort, Angie. That is beautiful that her blog was such a direct way of connecting to her well-being. Hopefully it still is to her spirit.

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  35. Such an eloquent and loving tribute to your dear friend! Ellie is,truly, finally home.
    I am so happy that you two had the joy of walking through each other's lives, both made richer for it.
    I lost a dear friend to ALS less than a year ago. Her wicked sense of humor throughout and until the end will always serve as inspiration.
    My friend's star shines bright and I am sure she was there to welcome Ellie with open arms!
    So very sorry for your loss,Heather. xx

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    1. And I am sorry for yours, Trudye. It sounds like your friend and Ellie at least had their wicked sense of humor in common. Ellie made me laugh right through the last time that I spoke with her, even when it was difficult for her to breathe. I think that I will still be learning the lesson of what that actually means for quite some time.
      xo

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  36. Such a beautiful tribute, Heather. Ellie was a shining example of strength and endurance always.

    xoxo
    Karena

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  37. Dear Heather, such a beautiful tribute to your friend. Ellie was certainly a special person, unique and strong in so many ways.
    My thoughts are with David and Gracie, whom she obviously adored. I'm sorry too, for your loss. Thank you for sharing this difficult news.
    xx Deborah - Melbourne

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    1. Yes, one incredibly unique woman who wore her beauty lightly when I knew her and yet she shined like no other.

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  38. Beautiful and inspiring, Heather. Think of all the "unknown" people whose lives Ellie affected. Ave atque vale.

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    1. That moved me very much, jmt. But hopefully au revoir instead of farewell. I am optimistic. And I do think that she knew that she had reached many, many people. She would tell me that she didn't know how many people read her blog (although with a waver to her voice so I knew that she was politely lying) but the numbers were not the point, the message was.

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  39. May she Reign. In. Paradise. My Sweet Lord. George Harrison

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    1. Perfect as always, Daniel. Thank you for this.

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  40. Thank you, Heather! This is priceless.

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    1. As was our beautiful Ellie. Hors de prix.

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  41. Thank you, Heather, for this beautifully written tender post about Ellie.

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    1. Merci for all of your support, Elena. It is truly appreciated always.

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  42. Thank you for posting about Ellie and sharing your friendship moments with us. My condolences for the loss of your friend. After reading Stephen's writing I was left wanting to read more and I knew that there would be more written about her. It is comforting to read loving tributes as we are then not left alone with grief. I, too, hope the blog remains. It is a nice way to visit this extraordinary lady. I am still so moved to have found her in the ethers (the internet connection, on a personal level, never ceases to amaze me, and I just am awed how clicking here and there found me in her space, being greeted by this hurricane of humanness, grace and style - no accident to be sure) and then know her as my personal friend (imagining that, any way). What a gift to have known her. For that I am grateful. ~Nicole

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    1. Oh how I do love "this hurricane of humanness, grace and style" - I think that all who knew Ellie in person would have to nod in strong agreement with that just pitch-perfect description, Nicole. And yes, her readers and blog friends as well - for you are completely right in the gift that we are afforded when we happen to land just where we were meant to be and something so beautiful springs out of such a random moment. I am very grateful too. Thank you for your response.

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  43. What an amazing tribute you have written for Ellie. How fortunate that you were able to meet her and spend time together. By all accounts she was one in a million...she has given us so much and now she is at peace.
    Take care as you move forward gently each day on your healing journey Heather.

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    1. Your well wishes towards me and graciousness about Ellie are really appreciated. I know that you also cared a good deal for her. Sending you a warm hug. xo

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  44. Hi Heather ! Adrienne here from Santa Barbara ... Your words regarding Ellie were so lovely and right on target - funny too of course ! I was privileged to be with Ellie at the time of her passing into eternal life and on to her new job as a kick ass angel . It was a day of peace and love and kindness filling her charming cottage . Candles , flowers , beautiful sentiments and heavenly friends and family . We are gathering on Miramar beach this evening to raise a toast to that beautiful girl . Thank you for being such a darling friend to Ellie ... she loved you so .

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    1. Of course that made me cry, Adrienne. Happy tears. I am so grateful for your description of her final afternoon. I would have given anything to have been there as well as on the beach to have given her the toast that she most certainly loved hearing. She did everything perfectly, right up to bringing everyone together at the end. I loved her very much and do.

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  45. Hi Heather ! Adrienne here from Santa Barbara ... Your words regarding Ellie were so lovely and right on target - funny too of course ! I was privileged to be with Ellie at the time of her passing into eternal life and on to her new job as a kick ass angel . It was a day of peace and love and kindness filling her charming cottage . Candles , flowers , beautiful sentiments and heavenly friends and family . We are gathering on Miramar beach this evening to raise a toast to that beautiful girl . Thank you for being such a darling friend to Ellie ... she loved you so .

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  46. So very sad but such a wonderful tribute, Heather. While I never knew her personally, having read her posts, I know she was a force. She was very lucky to have such a devoted, loyal and poetic friend

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    1. That is a lovely sentiment, Stacey, thank you. I am still the lucky one. She has given me so much on so many different levels. I hope that she knew that you were reading her. I know how much she especially loved all of your video series.

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  47. Thank you for sharing with us Ellie's passing into eternal life. How lovely and moving! I knew her through our email correspondence. I had a bad feeling on the day of her passing and wrote to her but didn't know what to say so did my usual filling her in about events here. Could you please give a toast to her from me tonight? I will twirl for her. I loved her so much. She touched so many lives with kindness... Ann

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    1. I think that you said that this was meant to be under Adrienne's lovely comment, yes, Ann? I think that many have twirled for Ellie. It is wonderful to imagine.

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    2. Yes, Heather, I meant it to be under Adrienne's comment but somehow it went as a general comment. I know what kind of tribute I'd like to see for her and will share it with you privately as it will take some organization to accomplish. In the meantime, it is wonderful to think about everyone having a twirl.

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  49. Hello Heather,
    I am at a loss for words.Your tribute to Ellie is superb as no doubt your friendship was too. The picture of you is a treasure. Firstly, my heartfelt condolences to you on the loss of this special friend. I am a recent follower of Ellie and in the short time I have the greatest admiration for her. Totally unselfish, a wicket sense of humour, kind and larger than life. That she was ready to go and help God does not surprise me. She is an angel and may her brightness shine on you Heather and on all of her readers and friends. God rest her soul.

    Helen xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Helen. I think that it did not matter finally whether one had been reading Ellie's words for a long time or no. She touched us all equally and thankfully, her writing is still very present. There are still a lot of people that she will touch. It is amazing to think about, isn't it? To have such an unending, inspiring reach.

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  50. Your tribute to Ellie is so touching, Heather. Thanks for writing this.

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    1. I wrote it to help sort out my own grief, Ann but I am so happy to see that it has been a bridge for others too.

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  51. Hi Heather,

    Thank you for sharing those experiences you had with Ellie. I felt like I was there! I would have loved to have met her and delighted when she replied in an early email that I was ''her kind of woman''. She certainly made everyone feel special.

    I recently started reading your blog and I do hope you are okay. It's been a tough year. I wish you the best journey forward Heather. Basia xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Basia - for reading here and for your kind wishes. Yes, I love how Ellie was able to make everyone feel like the most important person in the room, even when responding to people on the other side of the planet! If you were her "kind of woman" then you must be mine too. xo

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  52. Thinking of you at this time Heather. Ellie was,and continues to be,such an inspiration. She was an incredible woman and I feel so blessed to have had the privilege of following her blog for the last few years. Peace and love to you beautiful Heather. Katrina x

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    1. Merci beaucoup, Katrina. I share your lovely sentiments towards Ellie. Privilege is very right. xo

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  53. Thank you Heather for your tribute to Ellie.

    A toast to Ellie

    here's to you angel
    of heaven and earth
    eternal

    Bernadette

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  54. Thank you Heather for your tribute to Ellie.

    A toast to Ellie

    here's to you angel
    of heaven and earth
    eternal

    Bernadette

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  55. How sad to hear of the passing of Ellie who sure was such a wonderful person, even though i was only one of the many followers of her blog, I felt I knew her. How I wish I could have only half the will and determination she had. She will surely be missed.

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    1. She will, Barbara Lilian. I wish the same...

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  56. A beautifully written tribute. Thank you and good luck to you in your journey. I am one of her "imaginary friends".

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    1. Thank you very much, Marci. We are many, together...

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  57. Heather, I just wish I could hold your hand, my darling friend. What a loving & beautiful tribute. May the "Angel's Work" begin !!!

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    1. Feeling your loving presence, Marsha. I am quite positive that she already has!

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  58. Very sad news. I am very sorry.
    Our prayers for her and family,for you and her friends.

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  59. Darling Heather,
    Much love and comfort to you. I feel like Ellie is looking down on all of us, her "imaginary Friends", and feeling our love and admiration for her. Yes, prayers for her family and friends, and especially for David and Gracie

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    1. Yes, Robin! I would love to think how content she might be if she is too. We are all united together not only in our grief but even more strongly through our love. That is truly beautiful.

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  60. Heather,

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your wonderful and incredibly special friend Ellie. It was through you that I discovered her blog and I have to say that I was always blown away by her spunk, her tenacity and her will. What an indominable spirit and love she had for life.

    I am heartbroken for her Gracie and David and for all her friends and family.

    I am sure that she is your angel and that she will be watching over you and offering guidance from heaven just as she did on earth.

    Take care of yourself dear Heather. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    xo Elizabeth

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    1. I am somehow proud to have introduced you to her writing. I hope that makes sense.

      How I hope that you are right, Elizabeth. Her love remains alive in my heart but she knows well that I could use guidance at present, you do too. I feel great sadness for David, Grace and all of her family and close friends.

      Thank you for your continual kindness and prayers. xo

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  61. Heather,

    I can hardly see to type through the tears. You put me on to Ellie about three years ago. At that time I read backwards .....and caught up on all of her posts. I remember your trip to Paris to meet her. Oh why do these things happen? No more words...except to say. I am happy she isn't suffering anymore. thinking of you too. janey

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  62. I will miss her dearly. Thank you for sharing Heather.

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  63. Such a lovely tribute. She will be missed.

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    1. She is. It is so moving to me to see so much love for her here.

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  64. So beautifully said, dear Heather. Thank you for giving us, her virtual friends, some more insight into the life of the Ellie we only knew -- and loved -- through her writings.

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    1. After I hit "publish" I kept thinking of so many other stories that I could have shared. :)

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    2. We're not averse to hearing more stories Heather when you're up to it!! :) Basia XXOO

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  65. Sweet Heather,

    I love reading everyone's tributes to our dear friend Ellie. Your words were eloquent, accurate, and read like a symphony. Ellie chewed glass and spit nails... that girl was more than a superhero!

    I have never followed a blog and I must confess I was hit and miss keeping up with "Have Some Decorum". Ellie would alert me when she wrote a blog she wanted me to read. These last few days I've realized bloggers and their readers become cyber family. Bloggers words and thoughts sound beautiful. It makes us non-bloggers ⬅️ (probably not a word...bloggers chime in) sound like we just turned in a 3rd grade book report. I put a short slide show together of some special memories. Hope it will work. Heather you are a gifted writer, it's wonderful hearing the impact Ellie made on so many lives. Thanks for sharing! xo

    https://www.facebook.com/debbie.p.owens/posts/10209184745714259

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    1. I am so incredibly grateful for this slide show, Debbie! You really reminded me to hold on tightly to the joy that she created and shared. I know that you both spent so much incredible time together and that you must miss her terribly. But again, thank you, thank you, thank you for leaving a message about this here as I would have missed it otherwise. It truly exemplifies the spirit of what Ellie was all about.

      Thank you for your kind words here too. Yes, as you can see, her reach was wide and she was/is truly loved.

      Sending you a long, warm hug.

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    2. Heather,

      You are very welcome. Loved her to pieces and miss her beyond words!!

      -D

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  66. thank you so much for sharing your lovely slide show.

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  67. Dear Heather, Thank you for sharing this beautiful and eloquent tribute to Ellie. She touched hearts and minds so deeply. I LOVE that she's going to work for God. Makes sense. She's a force of nature; I like that she might remember me in the great beyond. Gawd, she is missed. Deborah (d2zen)

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    1. Deborah, I always have enjoyed your comments on HSD. She is a force of nature. Thank you for using the present tense. I believe it.

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  68. Such a lovely tribute to her - well said.

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  69. Thank you so much for this loving tribute to our Ellie. I miss her every day. And for you, I wish you the best in life. I have no doubt you deserve it. :-)

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    1. That is such a beautiful wish, Marie Louise. There are days when I have my doubts (although I bet Ellie would not have put up with such talk!). I miss her too.

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  70. Hi Heather, thank you for the beautiful post, I read it before but I still was too affected to comment. I hope you are doing better, have you been twirling around? I have.
    Hugs

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    1. I haven't, Maria Teresa. But I will. And I can promise you that. xo

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  71. Oh Heather....i am sure she is looking down at you with such love and pride..proud of your beautiful words and your beautiful friendship! Sending love and a few more angels πŸ’•πŸ‘ΌπŸ’•πŸ‘ΌπŸ’•πŸ‘Ό

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    1. I would not be surprised that she is making the tour of her many friends - something that would take time! My friend Stephen has something funny to say about that in his comments:
      http://stephenandrewblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/ellie.html

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  72. Although I knew how ill she was, I somehow never expected her to die, simply because she was so brave, so strong and so defiant in spite of this debilitating and ultimately fatal illness. Rest in peace now Ellie, and may your family, friends and loved ones also find peace in your passing. Thank you, Heather, for sharing this with us, and condolences to you in losing a special friend. Ingrid.

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    1. I think that was really the case for so many people, Ingrid - especially those that did not meet her in person as her spirit shined through her writing so strongly until the end. Thank you for your condolences.

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  73. A beautiful tribute Heather, sorry for your loss.

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  74. She really is the best angel isn't she! Thank you for your lovely tribute to our sweet Ellie. She will be missed so very much, but so wonderful that she is now free!

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    1. Yes but she truly will be missed and is. I see it both ways. xo

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    2. Yes she is missed! I have a neuromuscular disease that is parallel to ALS. Ellie inspired me on a daily basis to keep going.... She was so brave and strong. I miss her everyday!

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  75. Heather, what a touching tribute to true friendship. A remarkable eulogy.

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    1. I really was writing this out more for myself than anything, Patricia. Still working out that she is gone.

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  76. It's an honour to read this Heather. The depth of your sadness is understandable. It has been my experience in late adulthood that, out of the bleakest darkness, comes light. It may take time to see, but it is definately there somewhere for you. My thoughts are with you, Ellie and her family. Gros bises

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    1. These are beautiful thoughts, EE. You know that I hope you are right.
      Gros bises Γ  toi aussi...

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  77. Sorry to read of your loss Heather-she was truly an inspiring lady..besides which, they are never far away from us..just beyond our sight is all.. Janine xoxoxo

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