Just short of two months ago in these pages, we celebrated Darlene Costner's 95th birthday. Today we mourn her. I received a note from her daughter, Gail, early Monday morning saying, “Mom is at peace now.”
For many years, Darlene kept a blog, Darlene's Hodgepodge, in which she covered her many interests. One, politics, took a strong lead on her blog. With strong opinions, too. She was a smart, informed and passionate advocate of the left-leaning variety.
I don't remember when I first met Darlene. Actually, we never met in person. Undoubtedly, our blogs brought us together or, rather, I can't imagine how we would have otherwise found one another – she in Arizona and me in Maine at the time.
We were internet friends, that new kind of personal connection that our generation has learned in late life and that in some cases is no less close or important than if we were next-door neighbors. Darlene was one of those for me.
Another blogger Darlene kept in touch with is Jan Adams who blogs at Where is the Way Forward? Lucky Jan, she and Darlene met in person. But let her tell us:
"I only met Darlene Costner once; we connected via Ronni's blog. One day in 2013 when she was visiting her daughter in the Bay Area, we met for lunch in San Francisco's Japantown and happily chatted for several hours about the places around the world that we'd seen - and still wished to see.
"In her last years, travel wasn't possible for her, but she never lost interest in a wide world, sending along her internet discoveries to a far flung list of friends. I hope to retain a similar curiosity and openness to the new as I age further."
When age was catching up with Darlene and slowing her down, she stopped writing her blog, but for a long time after that, she was a prolific contributor of items for the Saturday Interesting Stuff post. I'm including one of those today because it so exemplifies her excellent eye and good taste.
It is a video from 2013, created by a student who used the screen name drivinman687. From the Youtube page:
”My final project I made for my video productions class Cutaway Productions at my high school. I don't own the rights to the song or the pictures and I am not trying to claim them, I just did this video for fun and i spent many a hour on it.”
And it is amazingly beautiful and seems most appropriate to Darlene:
So today let us celebrate the life of the indomitable Darlene Costner. As I said on her birthday post, she was my friend, my old age mentor and I cannot imagine my life all these years without her friendship, her wisdom and her sense of humor.