I am reading it in preparation for tomorrow. I will be with an old friend, old in that I've known her for a long time, and old in that she is 93, and soon to transition. When I think of Annemarie Roeper, I am with her sweetness, curiosity, and intense intelligence. I see her teaching a friend to waltz to The Blue Danube. He thought it was the theme song for 2001, which it is, and it is so much more. She and her husband founded the Roeper School when they were forced to leave Nazi Germany.
Perhaps part of my connection with Annemarie is that she reminds me of my grandmother, who died when I was 13. When I met Annemarie, I felt I'd found my grandmother again. I'm feeling that in this parting with Annemarie I am again losing my grandmother, perhaps having a chance to say goodbye to her in a way I couldn't when I was young, and we lived too far away to go back for her illness and funeral. Only my mother went.
Today, at a friend's suggestion, I made a list of how my grandmother and Annemarie are the same, and how they are different. It was quite a refreshing thing to do. I recommend it if you are dealing with loss, or even if you're not.
My heart feels fragile, soft.