I taught yoga to Liz years ago. She came to my classes faithfully whenI lived in Philly.
In honor of today's theme and appreciation of Liz I am posting a letter I wrote to Maura (my granddaughter) a few years ago about Liz.. Maura was five at the time.
Poppy and I are so happy to have you in our life!
About a year before you were born I was teaching yoga to a bunch of friends in Philadelphia at a place called Breathe (Moyo). I distinctly remember that day; class was finished and I was walking over to the stereo to get my music out and got this message from you that you were planning on being born soon! You tapped me on the shoulder and said “remember me? You will see me soon--I am going to be born and Katie is going to be my mom!!” I looked at my friend Liz to tell her about this very special granddaughter that I was going to have one day. She smiled and didn’t really know what to say but seemed happy for me!! And now you are here,
I want to tell you about my friend Liz who is wonderful too! She hasn’t had an easy adult life. She is one of those people who always smiles even though her life can be a struggle. I get the sense that her life started easy enough out in California. California is at the other end of the United States from where you live in Boston! It is usually sunny out there! Liz is smart and she went to a school called Berkley—a hippie-type school where a lot of really smart people go.
Anyway…she met this handsome tall quiet man named Sam and they fell in love and got married and they moved to Philadelphia. Sam is a chemist and makes pharmaceuticals—(pharmaceuticals are things your mom and daddy sell.) After a few years they had a boy named Pete. Pete is a nice boy but very sick. He didn’t have many friends at school. One day he came over to play with Uncle Liam. Uncle Liam liked him and they played together again at Sam’s house. They didn’t go to the same school though so didn’t really see each other beyond those two times.
Pete is a great kid but he got picked on at school because he has a disease that makes him have to go to the bathroom a lot. He has colitis which gives him lots of stomachaches and makes him thin. Kids don’t always understand sicknesses at school. Pete is doing better now. He is in college and really enjoying it and making a lot of friends, just like Uncle Liam. I am sure that he will grow up to be a nice like Liz and Sam. They also have a daughter Caroline.
Can you believe that Caroline has more problems than her brother Pete! Lots more problems!! Caroline was born with a disease that affected her brain and spinal cord (her back). She can’t think the same way that most people do and cannot walk or talk. She needs help going to the bathroom and her mom needs to help her eat too. She is a happy girl though. Liz smiles when she takes care of her and when she looks at her she tells her she is beautiful which is amazing because she needs to be very patient with Caroline and take care of all her needs and Caroline doesn’t always look beautiful!!
Liz is a pretty amazing friend (her birthday is tomorrow!!) and even though I was Liz’s yoga teacher she taught me way more than I could have ever taught her. I hope you meet a friend like Liz someday!
Ps I am glad we are in this life together!!
(My practical daughter remarked laughingly that it was a strange letter not meant for a five year old. But somehow I think Maura got it because she's pretty amazing too.)