When I moved to Texas six years ago, I wondered if I’d ever meet anyone that I connected with. That was before I met Davene. In California, the walls of my house were blue in every room. With white trim. When I went to Davene’s house, wow, her walls were all painted blue, too! And, she had beadboard in her kitchen and . . . I had beadboard in MY kitchen! She loved the color blue and . . . I loved the color blue! We had a saying together that there were two colors in the world. One was blue and the other was not-blue! Once, we were at a quilt show – Houston as I recall – and as we were finally gathering to leave the show, I noticed a vendor who had a gorgeous blue fabric selection for sale. I went to the spot we were all gathering to leave and took her by the elbow and told her she had to see something gorgeous. She walked over with me saying, “get behind me Satan!” And, of course, we both bought the fabric.
Davene had had her bout with colon cancer and had spent a month in the rehab hospital. When my mom was sent there for rehab, she was mad. She didn’t want to be there; she hated it. Well, Davene went to visit mom (several times, bless her) and basically told my mom to put her big-girl panties on and suck it up. It helped soooooooo much.
When mom was dying, Davene sat with my sister and I and walked us through the hospice options and what would happen when, etc. It was so helpful. Then, a few year later, when my sister-in-law’s husband was in the hospital, vented, she actually spoke on the phone with my crying sister-in-law, helping her to know the next steps, encouraging her, and, of course, calling her sweetie.
I loved how Davene always answered the phone, “Hi, Sweetie!” And, every clerk, waitress, bellhop, you name it, well, they were also “sweetie.” It was magic; Davene’s magic.
Recently, I was at the Starbucks ordering a tea at Kroger and the clerk was crying as she filled my order. My mind was frantically thinking, “what would Davene do?” I conjured up my best Davene and said things I thought she would say. I think I left her in better spirits.
When Davene came to my house to drive with me to a quilt event, she would come in the house and hug and greet my husband, Dan. He is an amputee and in a wheelchair. Wheelchairs tend to keep people away, but not Davene. She never saw the chair; she saw the man. Once, we were loaded up and pulling out of the garage and she stopped me because she had forgotten to hug Dan! What a huge heart. He was a big Davene fan. My whole family heard Davene stories and loved her as well.
She took the early bus to heaven. I’m so stinking sad she is gone, but so very thrilled that I KNOW I will see her again! Thank you, Jesus!
I loved her blogs. She was a masterful writer and had such a wonderful way with words…always thoughtful, lots of wisdom, and common sense, inspirational and humorous too. I so looked forward to them, they always made me think and smile, no matter the topic…always Davene.
One of my best memories: She always greeted everyone with a big warm all-encompassing hug. She was a great hugger and could make you feel so welcomed whatever the occasion. I was not from where ‘big warm hugs’ were the norm and one day early in our friendship, she chided me and said I needed to try again! Needless to say I learned my lesson and hopefully have gotten much better at giving hugs and appreciating them! All thanks to my good fortune to be able to count her as a treasured friend. We will all miss her words, laughter, talents and creativity, you and family most of all.
In sympathy and in joy for having known her partner, her love. I know you will miss her, she is all around you, in her blue and white dishes, quilts, her history is also your history. May you be comforted, as you adjust to the huge change.
Friday morning I got a call from Bob, D died today after surgery. What a shock, my friend is gone. She came over and sat next to me when a family member died. Didn’t say much, just sat close. Then I told her I was thinking about a tattoo – she said she was, too. Two ‘70s thinking about tattoos. It came up at lunch one day, after that. She said she was going to do it, and she did!
She was a selvage saver (decorative strips on the edge of fabric), and covered her sewing chair in assorted selvage strips, made totes, and even a jacket. She quickly converted her sewing friends into selvage savers – for her. Then we were taught to leave more of the fabric, as it was better for her projects.
She was all about blue and white, her favorite color combination. Her home was blue and white, her purses were blue, the wreath on her front door was blue and white dishes, so if she made something in other colors, we weren’t sure it was her work. Except for wool – she was serious about Sue Spargo wool work. Lots of fancy stitches, color, and perfection.
We got lost often on our way to a Just Say Sew meeting, even if “Helen,” her GPS, was telling us to turn, we would be talking, not paying attention, and get lost. She would quickly say, “The world is round, we’ll get there.” Now, the world is round, and we’ll see each other again, in heaven. The Word says, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” I’ll bet hers will be blue and white, filled with laughter. She loved her family, her friends, her neighbors, her church, her quilting, her home, the 7-Eleven drink dispensers with Diet Coke. I will miss her, seriously miss her.
Then there was Lent. I had given up calling other drivers names, but she would call them names for me. Sometimes she would say, “Was that bad enough?” If they had done a particularly jerky thing I would say “No,” and she would think of other names to add in! We would laugh a lot. I don’t think the Lord was impressed, but we both remembered that Lent for years! The same day, Randy and I were part of three couples playing the Newlywed game at the church. Davene would have liked that we had answers taped to our arms. Cheat sheets to remember wedding date, first date, color of eyes, favorite food…we wanted to make folks laugh, and we did.
I can’t talk to you any more, but there’s so much I still wanted, NEEDED, to say. I love you, I love you so much. You helped me through the thick and thin and gave me experiences I NEVER would have experienced without you.
I guess life is like a fire. It starts out of nowhere, or it’s started by sticks and stones and that is its foundation. Fire only lasts for awhile though, and eventually it fades out by force or naturally. Things happen when we least expect it. But I love you and I will never ever ever stop loving you until I die. Thank you for everything you’ve done.
If you’re really very lucky, you meet someone rather early in your life and keep them with you for all the decades that follow. Somehow you know that the two of you are inextricably connected though time and distance may keep you physically apart. Yet you’re aware that there’s an invisible thread, laced with shared memories, which binds your friendship with love.
So it was, and ever will be, when I think of dear Davene. We were so terribly young. She a mere nineteen. Me, her elder, at twenty. It’s been 57 years since that first encounter.
There’s much to remember and cherish as grief over her passing becomes acute. I can hear her sweet voice and most of all, the ever-present laughter. There’s her fondness of addressing dear ones as “Sweetie.” I was honored when she used that special sobriquet with me.
As I write, I’m envisioning Davene sitting beside me. Perhaps she’s sharing her latest award-winning quilting creation. Maybe’s she’s talking about her beloved husband, other family members or friends. Now she’s recounting funny incidents where the unexpected experience became a story to be retold and/or the subject of a blog.
I’ll recall her passion for the color blue and how it appeared throughout her home. I’ll be thankful that there were many years in which I could be inspired, comforted or informed as I eagerly read her most recent blog. Often, I’d copy her words and share them with others. No matter the topic, Davene retained her belief in humanity, kindness, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm and a willingness to share herself honestly with appreciative readers. I always felt that Davene was speaking directly to me in those blog posts. I knew she was not, but somehow it seemed so.
We were the type of friends who didn’t need to say much to be understood and accepted. Though we could be described as loquacious, there were times when we were silent but still said a lot.
Last year, Davene decided to get a tattoo. She did so with boundless exuberance, and, not surprisingly, chose a theme that was perfectly suited for her. The new body art held special meaning as it linked to her daughter, Laurel’s, own tattoo.
This decision is exemplary of Davene’s effervescent appreciation for life itself. She remained, always, someone eager for fresh experiences and open to welcoming new people into her life.
For myself, I know I’ll never have another lifetime friend like Davene. It’s been a blessing to be her friend and I shall miss her forever.