Monday, December 12, 2005

The sound of her voice

My friend Darcy was somewhat of a local celebrity; she wrote a book about her experience with ALS that received tons of publicity locally (and not as much as it should have nationally). So I don't know why I was shocked this morning to hear her death announced on Maine Public Radio, which then played a snippet of one of her essays. As her ALS progressed, she lost her ability to speak clearly, and her sister read most of her essays for public radio. This morning, though, as the water for my oatmeal was boiling, they played one of her first essays, one of the ones Darcy read herself. And the sound of her voice, unimpeded by the muscle problems that come with ALS, was amazing. I hadn't heard it in at least 18 months.

There is lots more I want to tell you about Darcy -- about the way we met, and the purple couch she couldn't get into her new apartment, and the gourmet lunches she would make when we went hiking, and the great parties she would throw. But I have to take a shower and take the dogs to the groomer and do a bunch of shopping, Christmas and otherwise.

In the meantime, there is a story about her in today's paper; the link will only be good for a week.

Update: National Public Radio aired a lovely remembrance of Darcy this evening on All Things Considered, as did Maine Public Radio (audio link, which I believe is temporary). Both stories include clips of her reading, in that voice I miss so much. And it's amazing to me to look at the guest book pages on Darcy's online obituary and see comments from all these people who never knew her, yet were moved to write.