Saturday, May 15, 2010


WInona, my dear friend Susan's mother passed away on April 25th in Charleston. Susan was one of the main reason's we decided to move to Savannah. Our children grew up together in rural central New York where Susan and some other dear friends and I met for lunch every month. We still try to have a multi-generational reunion each summer. It was at these wonderful gatherings that I would see Winona as she stayed with Susan each summer. It was Susan's stories of growing up in Savannah that gave it a sense of romance and adventure. So... it was fitting that Winona came back to Savannah be buried.

What struck me about WInona's passing was a huge sense of the legacy she left behind. Two of Susan's daughters - Pamela and Jennifer traveled together from California to be there for Gummy (their grandmother.) At the calling hours I was struck by how much they are like their mother. Jennifer talked of her excitement discovering the flowers and trees in her new backyard and Pamela talked of her children and their love of nature.

The next morning friends and family gathered at Wesley Gardens an Methodist island retreat south of downtown Savannah where Winona and her husband were caretakers for many years. I learned from the minister during the service how they cleared the brush and reclaimed the beauty of the retreat which had its history as a barrier island plantation. He talked about how you can find Winona... and God... in the wind. The whole experience epitomized wabi sabi - rustic, melancholy, slightly imperfect beauty...
After the peaceful service in the little chapel we went to the burial site at Forest Lawn near the famous Bonaventure Cemetery. I realized that one of the reasons I was here in Savannah, was to be there at that moment... representing "home" to my dear friend, Susan and her beautiful daughters. I was there to be a part of Winona's beautiful legacy. She lives on... through her daughters (Susan and her sister, Linda)... through her grandchildren and through her great-grandchildren. LEGACY!

Go to this link to see a SmileBox tribute to Winona...

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