I Am Back and Ready
Sunday, 20 December 2020
Seven years, three months, one week, and one day ago, I lost my Dad, Neil, to a Glioblastoma (GBM). My father was a “man’s man” and, although he was able to scare many of our suitors away, if you made it into his inner circle- a place of unconditional love and support- you would find that the only thing bigger than his brawn was his heart. Ronni found this out in the mid-80’s when a fluke run in with this small town man changed both of their lives forever.
My dad was born in the tiny hamlet of Shickshinny, PA. He spent his childhood there and married the love of his life, Donna, who grew-up across the Susquehanna River in Mocanaqua. He raced cars, chewed tobacco, and he loved walking in the woods. He taught seventh grade science at the high school from where he graduated, and raised his children to be able to identify deciduous trees in February. He lived 2 ½ hours away from New York City, or as we called it, The Big Jabłko, but he lived a life as if it were a world away.
When my Dad met Ronni, or Vern as he called her, our family had just entered a time of enlightenment. We had heard of Vern- a jet setting producer for the likes of Barbara Walters and such, who resided in The West Village- and on Thanksgiving Eve, my Dad drove thirty minutes to the nearest bus station to fetch our holiday guest. Our family Thanksgivings consisted of 30-35 people, all who were close family. The fact that Ronni did not run out the door never to be heard from again still amazes me, and from that weekend on, we were family.
I met Ronni as a child, annoyed her through my teen years, dumbfounded her with my absolute stupidity in my twenties, and became her best friend in my thirties. My forties brought an unconditional, omnipresent love that bonded us deep within our souls. We shared lobster in Maine when times were good, and peanut butter and cucumber sandwiches when they were a bit tighter. We paired $400 bottles of wine with Dominos while watching Netflix in her bed. She taught me how to ride the subway and helped me navigate some of the hardest times of my life.
When my Dad was diagnosed with a GBM, my world was rocked. He was my hero, my rock, my sounding board, and the best Dad a kid could ever have imagined. I watched our Mighty Oak slowly lose his strength, and often not be able to recall the words in his everyday life. I began to grieve before he died. I mourned for small losses everyday throughout his fight and really thought I was going to be ready when he died. In the days that followed his death, I was relieved because my Dad was free. Guilt overwhelmed me. How could I feel more at peace with my Dad gone than I did with him here? In talking to Ronni, she helped me see that I had been caring for the emotions of those around me better than I had been taking care of my own. She urged me to treat myself as I would someone who came to our home to pay their respects. Taking care of myself and being selfish was not only alright, but critical for self-preservation.
Fast forward five years from that day… I was teaching, and during a break, I checked my phone. Two missed calls from Veronica Bennett. It was not Sunday- Sunday morning was our standing phone date- yes we called throughout the week to chat, but TWO missed calls. I called and Ronni told me she had pancreatic cancer. A death sentence. There is much that I can share about the time between that phone call and now, and I will on a much more regular basis now… but for the past month and a half, I needed to be selfish. I needed to process a loss that I knew was going to happen. I thought I was ready, but in the end, I was not. I was not done with our relationship in this life. I miss my Friend so very much. I am so sad.
Thanks Autumn. The rest of us are involved in much the same process.
Interesting background story. Thank you for providing it. No doubt others will eagerly return as soon as they get back in the habit of checking.
2020 is a tough year to be grieving, since so many things are done alone.
Posted by: Perspective | Sunday, 20 December 2020 at 06:49 PM
Autumn, I am so very sorry for your loss. Ronni was something special. She was so dear to so many of us who only knew her through this blog, I can only imagine how much greater the grief would be for someone who knew her so much more intimately. Thank you for sharing the story of how you came to know Ronni. I am also sorry for your loss of your beloved father. Grief is a strange thing. Personally, I've found that the only thing that "helps" -- and then only imperfectly -- is the passage of time. I lost my mom to cancer over 40 years ago when I was still a teenager, and my Dad 20 years ago. The grief doesn't go away, but it does change...as time goes by. I hope that you will find friends among us, who found such community here, because of Ronni.
Posted by: Patty-in-New-York | Sunday, 20 December 2020 at 08:17 PM
No, the grief doesn't go away. But I am so very grateful to you, Autumn, for sharing your memories and for setting the stage back up for all of us. I have sorely missed TGB, as I will always miss Ronni, so it is a great gift to think that those of us who understand one another will be able to gather here together again. Thank you.
Posted by: laura | Sunday, 20 December 2020 at 11:38 PM
Ronni was so special and I still look for her every day. Thank you for being therr
Posted by: MaryAnn | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 04:27 AM
Hugs to you Autumn.
And thank you for cherishing Ronni.
I’m so glad to read you took time for you - as I’m sure we all have in processing grief. I know I miss her - brought home so graphically in my emotions when I saw ‘Ronni had posted...’.
Lots of love from across the pond.
Posted by: SM | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 05:44 AM
It was a joy to see TIME GOES BY pop up on my sidebar again. Thank you for the lovely accounting of your friendship with Ronni. It is understandable that returning here has been difficult but we will enjoy following you in respect for your friend and ours.
Posted by: Granny Annie | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 05:53 AM
Posted by: The Misstress of Misadventure | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 06:45 AM
I am so sorry for your having lost your beloved father, Autumn. Thank you for following Ronni's sage advice on caring for yourself.
It was with joy that I found your new posting. Thank you for that, too. Ronni's community is still hovering. *smiling*
Posted by: Cop Car | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:00 AM
Thanks for the nice remembrance.
Posted by: Tom at Sightings | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:33 AM
Autumn, what a gift your presence is, especially given the Season.
Many ,manythanks for your sharing.Now I know you better,too.
Take good care of your Sweet Self.I look forward to hearing from you, as we all mourn the loss of our brilliant, creative, feisty ,wonderful Ronni.
Posted by: Marena Charron | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:45 AM
So grateful you shared with us....who also loved Ronni, though without ever having met her personally. How fortunate you are, And how revealing yourself, and inviting us into your world of memories and interests, you are encircling with love again Ronni’s friends.
Posted by: Judy | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:47 AM
A beautiful story. And especially relevant for me today. The Winter Solstice is my most spiritual time of year. This year has been especially loaded with both good and bad, grief and joy. My daughter is in surgery this morning, nothing life-threatening, but of grave concern during a pandemic. I lost my father on December 22, 1986, a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. I’ve dealt with grief, loss, guilt, and trauma since then, although each year gets a little easier. I stayed up all night to experience darkness coming to light this solstice, and will stay up to view the Grand Convergence this evening. As well, I will celebrate three-quarters of a century of life on January 22, under the sign of Capricorn, ruled by the planet Saturn, so it will be particularly meaningful. Your post is so timely, and so reminiscent of Ronni, and so perfectly apt. Thank you for posting, I hope to see much more from you in the coming year.
Posted by: Claudia Snowden | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:48 AM
Reading your words helps with the sorrow. Thank you. Go gently.
Posted by: Connie S | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:49 AM
I never thought I would miss reading someone's blog so much. But this was more than just a way for somebody to vent their frustrations. Ronnie was the moderator of a group of a seniors who are aware and very much involved of what's around them and our place in a world that all to often likes to sweep old folks under the rug. We need this now more than ever.
Posted by: Bruce Cooper | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:53 AM
Thank you, Autumn. It is a beautiful remembrance.
Posted by: Pat Crawford | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:54 AM
Thank you for your post. May aGod give you comfort and love.
Posted by: Henry Knock | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:54 AM
Lots of grief all around but wonderful memories if we're lucky.
Posted by: Rosemary Woodel | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:57 AM
My first thought was, "Oh, no, it can't be". I then thought, "Ronni is back" ??? Glad to read your blog post and how you came to be Ronni's bestie and how that friendship evolved over the years. Ronni had told us how you were much younger and that you would be with her in her final days and hours.
I am happy that I got to read about how you two met. Yes, the grief never goes away but softens, and the memories of the love we had for our parents, and our besties sustains us.
Posted by: Joan M. | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:57 AM
I was so thrilled to see the TGB subject line this morning! Thanks so much, Autumn, for continuing the blog, and for adding your own story and memories of Ronni to the chain. I didn't realize how much I missed Ronni and this community until silence descended.
With love and gratitude and best holiday wishes to you all!
Posted by: Rayna Aylward | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:59 AM
Sorry, but I don't know who wrote this article. Could you not have introduced yourself? Others apparently know you : Autumn. But there are many who, while reading, could not discern your name, your gender, your relationship to Ronnie. She'd have been appalled.
Posted by: Mary Alice Mairet | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:03 AM
I grieve right along with you, Autumn. Ronni was special and I wish I had met her in real life.
Posted by: Kenju | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:05 AM
This was just what was needed at just this time. Thank you for the gift of sharing.
Posted by: Berta | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:06 AM
Thank you, Autumn, for returning to this comforting communal space that's meant so much to so many for so long. Reading your beautiful post it's easy to see how you and Ronni were so special to each other; your sensibilities are so similar. I can only imagine how much you must miss her. Wishing you -- and all of us -- a brighter year ahead.
Posted by: Carol | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:07 AM
Thank you for taking this on; so many people wanted to keep this blog going. Of course you needed a break - such a hard loss. Looking forward to getting to know you.
Posted by: jenn | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:09 AM
I was pleased to see TGB in my email today. Several times I've checked ... have you posted, have I missed it? I am sorry for your loss, Autumn; Ronni leaves a big space here, in this blog, let alone the loss to you - who knew and loved her for much of your life. Thank you for picking up the baton. I look forward to getting to know you.
Posted by: Mary Evans Young | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:14 AM
I can only imagine how you miss your beloved friend. Saturday isn’t Saturday here these days with no post from Ronni and I think of her often and the presence she had through thoughts and words shared here. I hope you find peace and some joy this holiday season, and especially today, the Solstice, the promise of the return of the Light and a better year ahead.
Posted by: Cynthia | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:14 AM
Thank you Autumn for returning to us. Just this morning I thought of Ronni and how much I missed reading her blog and then your email popped up- a Christmas gift!
Thank you also for your background story, as someone mentioned - only time helps to relieve our grief.
What did give me a start though was to see Shickshinny and Mocanaqua in print- coming from that neck o’ the woods myself! Made me smile.
Blessings for a better year ahead.
Posted by: Lola G | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:19 AM
Today, the shortest day in the Longest Year, as we continue our discussions on life, wishing you a good one, as we go forward during Covid19, in 2020 and into 2021, Thanks for all in advance Autumn...and know you will be helping us, and remembering Ronni... and her friends. Happy New Year wishes to all of us!
Posted by: Martha K Backer | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:21 AM
Such a leap to the heart to see TGB in my Inbox! Followd by deep sorrow at your loss and ours. Then, a wish to see more about Ronni - a virtual memorial service where those of us who cherished our time with her can share stories of what she meant to us. I long to know how others found their way to the blog, how long they have been a part of it, what of Ronni's writng meant the most to them , what they will carry away from having her very special presence in their lives.
We are all old enough to have lost some of our nearest and dearest, , and to know that telling and hearing memories from those who cared as we did is healing. Perhaps a blog dedicated to Remembering Ronni? After which, we will continue to live in /relish in the present as she wished us to?
Posted by: Ann Burack-Weiss | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:23 AM
Mary Alice - Ronni would have been appalled you asked someone's gender in a place where that label has no place nor meaning. Just sayin'....
Posted by: Christi Fries | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:34 AM
Welcome, Autumn, and thank you for your post. I'm looking forward to reading more of your own thoughts about...whatever. Best of luck in this endeavor, which must be daunting in so many ways!
Posted by: Mary Jamison` | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:36 AM
Wonderful to have your story Autumn. Welcome to our changed world..
Posted by: Faith Olson | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:37 AM
Welcome, Autumn and thank you for continuing this blog.
Never heard of Shickshinny and Mocanaqua, but love their names which I gather have Native American relevance.
Fitting that you posted to begin this next chapter of Ronni's blog on Solstice, with continuing light emerging going forward.
And will Peter and Norma be giving us musical interludes?
Posted by: Simone | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:39 AM
We so appreciate your continuing this community, Amber. I, also, was a bit startled, at the first instant, to see "I am back.." in my e-mail, coming from Ronni Bennett...even though I knew, intellectually, that it was you posting!
What a hard year this has been! My husband died just before Ronni. I was so sorry that neither of them lived to see the outcome of the election.
Wishing you all a happy holiday season, despite the challenges, and a healthy, satisfying year ahead!
Posted by: Ali | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:40 AM
Sorry...Autumn, not Amber!
Posted by: Ali | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:42 AM
I was happy to see that email again. Thank you for continuing with the connection we made with Ronnie.
Posted by: Purple Grandma | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:47 AM
So glad to see and read your post. It will get easier and that is good because the memories are always there. I'm looking forward to seeing your blog.
thank you for carrying on.
Posted by: Odette | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:49 AM
I've paused to honour these two extraordinary persons you were lucky enough to love, and be loved by. What vibrant, unusual, alive persons they were. We sometimes say someone is "bigger than life", they were while here, and that 'bigger' allows them to remain in such rich memory with you now.
Amber, please take the time you need, as you need it, and thank you for this gift today.
Posted by: Duchesse | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:51 AM
Finding TGB in the mail today was a JOY. Thank you so very much to continuing Ronni's blog. Welcome, Autumn, looking forward to 2021 with TGB and you!
Posted by: Susan | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:54 AM
Cheers to you, Autumn. What a joy to have you at the helm of this much-beloved blog. I'm so looking forward to your sharing more of your story. Ronnie was amazing and my hunch is, you are as well! Many thanks for carrying the torch forward! Blessings.
Posted by: Rob Landes | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 08:57 AM
An intake of breath when I saw the email! How wonderful of you to share your history and to undertake this job. Thank you and looking forward to the continuation of the blog.
Posted by: Lynn | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:00 AM
So happy to see your post. As someone who lived in Berwick and Nescopeck and traveled frequently to the stores in Shickshinny and Mocanaqua for my Mom, it brought back memories. I know how grief can be but its the memories that keep us going. Just like the memory you gave me today. Take care Autumn
Posted by: Marie | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:01 AM
Autumn, I am glad to know that you took the time you needed to grieve. Your story about the loss of your dad is reminiscent of my own experience. Watching my strong hero of a father decline was incredibly hard. I'll second Ali's wish that you all have a happy holiday season, even during this difficult time. Looking forward to better times ahead.
Posted by: Nina | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:05 AM
This was a delightful post! I look forward to reading future writings. Thank you.
Posted by: Patricia Edie | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:21 AM
I totally understand. I've been thinking, these past few days, of friends and family I have lost in the past years. It is hard.
Posted by: dkzody | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:27 AM
So happy and appreciative to have you back again, Autumn. I wish you peace and comfort in the loss of your dear, wonderful friend, and I send you heartfelt thanks for being here.
Posted by: Janet | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:29 AM
It was a little jarring to see Time Goes By pop up in my email inbox even though I knew you'd be carrying it along, Thank you. I was missing the stimulating morning ritual of Ronni. What a remarkable woman. She gave me a kind of companionship lacking in my everyday life, coming from a family that never talked politics, religion or even morality. Open conversation. The sharing of ideas and new information. I miss her, but am glad you are taking TGB on for a sacred kind of continuity albeit now your own version. Thank you. If Ronni loved you, I love you too. Happy Solstice.
Posted by: Judy Hope | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:29 AM
Autumn, your post was a Solstice gift! I was shocked, surprised and ultimately delighted to read your post and know that you are back and we are a community again. Having looked for TGB every morning since your last posting, I felt lost and grieved that we had said goodbye not only to Ronnie but to the community she established. So to have your voice and a piece of your story there today is a more than a welcome treat in these difficult times. I too look forward to many essays and conversations ahead. Thanks to you for being there, and a blessed holiday to all of us.!
Posted by: Adele Frances | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:30 AM
With my morning "wake-up" cup of coffee, it was my habit to check the e-mails. I was taken aback to see the headline on your posting today. And, I was given a "mental hug" because of it!
Autumn... thank you!
If all of we "Ronni groupies" were gathered together, physically that is, we would need a pretty big space I think. Maybe start another Woodstock?
I cannot remember how or when I first became acquainted with the blog... but I have certainly missed it... the sharing among like-minded people (and sometimes those of opposite opinions too!)
It would be interesting to learn more about one another, I think. Backgrounds, careers, and current ages... I am at the age (91) where I often say "I have more friends who are dead than alive!" Although I so much miss those friends, I am comforted with the thought that I will see them again one day. And that includes the friends I have never met!
Posted by: Margo Ford | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:31 AM
I was just thinking yesterday how much I missed this blog and here you are, Autumn. Thank you for continuing the conversation that Roni began. Glad to hear that you are allowing yourself time to heal and look forward to seeing the direction the blog takes in the future. Welcome back.
Posted by: Susan Carter | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:32 AM
I'm glad you took the time for yourself to heal and come to terms with Roni's loss and all that it means to you.
It's good to have you here.
Posted by: Jack Ivers | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:38 AM
Had given up TGB coming back. Chalk that up to resignation spurred by the year's emotional tolls. Your writing seemed so familiar in tone to Ronni's. Thank you for taking up the baton and giving us a sense of Ronni returning as qwell as the community she fostered.
Posted by: TheaT | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:38 AM
Thank you. We all still miss Ronni, but it feels really good knowing you’re going to keep the blog going.
Posted by: Marsha | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:39 AM
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome back, Autumn!
We feel you--the infinite loss of Ronni on this mortal plane.
We take great comfort in what remains -- the living trove of Ronni-isms
entrusted to You, her dearest friend,
to carry on
So all remain onboard
until such time
to the place Ronni described
"When you get here, it is really nice. I am not afraid."
Posted by: Midori Barstow | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:44 AM
I'm impressed by how many read and immediately replied. I think we were all missing Ronni and one another and all delighted to see the email header—so delighted that many of us read this item first!
So a question: Is it Autumn to whom we're speaking? Please consider your own permalink. You've earned it, and it's less confusing for us. But continuing on, thank you for getting in touch. I wonder whether you intend to continue, whether you'll want to offer all of the information that Ronni has always given us. (It might be nice to share your research on the Corona Virus vaccine and how we're to get nicely into line to receive it. I am happy to wait patiently, but no one seems to know how we might plan ahead.
Good news for most everyone: your Social Security checks will grow a bit in January. It's 1.5% for most of us. Certainly not much, but a little something. Check to see whether your Part B expense is also rising the same amount. That's a trick the feds pull on us, but not on all. I don't know the rules. That would be interesting too.
Not that I'm sending prompts, but I'd send the same to Ronni. Thanks again for doing this. Makes a nice Christmas week.
Posted by: Mary McCarthy | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:46 AM
Autumn, I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to see your post. For a moment I, too thought maybe there was a mistake and Ronni was still with us. I realize she is still with us but in a different way. You were hand picked by Ronni to continue her blog and that tells me everything. You are an amazing human, woman, mother and friend. Tom and I are blessed by knowing you and by being part of Ronni’s legacy as well. I look forward to reading your posts. We love you!
Posted by: Kathy Berez | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 09:57 AM
What an absolute joy to see your posting today Autumn. Missing Ronni, and the community, has been hard but I am so glad you followed your friends wise advice to take time for yourself. Blessings to you and all the people that follow this wonderful blog, I have missed you all.
Posted by: Rosemary | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:00 AM
"I think of you
in the darkness
of your grief
I could blow it away
with a breath
you must find
your own wind."
Thank you for your presence.
Posted by: Jane Seskin | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:01 AM
oh my! like others, i was so startled/pleased to see this email in my inbox! i have gathered from your post (and from everyone's responses to it) who you are -- so pleased to meet you. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.
Posted by: grace | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:10 AM
Just Thank you....you take whatever time you need. We are here.
Posted by: Charlotte | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:12 AM
Great to see the blog back, Autumn. My wife's dad passed in his sleep last year. He was only 8 years older than me (my wife is 11 yrs. younger than I) so I never was his "son". We became good friends, though. He will be missed and it has been a difficult time for my wife and her sister. My Dad passed in 1990; we'd spent most of life apart. Good luck with your future. B
Posted by: Bernie J Fleming | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:17 AM
Thank you Autumn for sharing this post as well as your connection to Ronni. I was not ready for this email. I held my sadness at bay since you announced her death those few weeks ago. I cried that day. I am crying today too. While I never meet Ronni, I looked forward to her email, like clockwork daily; that is until she moved to thrice-weekly plus her weekend columns when she got ill. I first met Ronni in my late 30s, laughed with her in my 40s, and recently celebrated my 50th birthday without her.
I will be happy to follow you with more stories of Ronni as well as your observations about 'what it's really like to get old.' Might I ask for you to post a picture of yourself? I loved when Ronni added a new photo of her aging smile, each one marking a new milestone in her life. Such a classy woman. I really miss her. I am sad too.
Posted by: Bonnie Schroeder | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:24 AM
I about jumped out of my skin when I saw the "Time Goes By" headline in my inbox!
What a gift to get this Christmas week! Thank you so much for coming back to us readers on this Solstice Day.
And thank you, Midori, for recalling for us Ronni's exact words about " a really nice place..."
Love to everyone here and especially you, Autumn, Ronni's wonderful friend.
Posted by: page day | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:24 AM
How marvellous to hear from you Autumn, Ronni grabbed a part of our hearts with her honesty and good humour. I live in the UK, her wise musings had a world wide audience. I am so sorry for the grief you are feeling, as others have said it will always be a part of you but in time it becomes easier to manage. Keep safe and thank you.
Posted by: Carla | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 10:51 AM
Dear Autumn, thank you for your beautiful posting, honest about who you are and a heartfelt tribute to your relationship with Ronni.
If I may say so, she would be proud of you for picking up Time Goes By in the winter season, when we need a lift and a shot of hope. You do justice to her memory by resuming her website and keeping her community connected.
Ronni was very supportive of my writing endeavors and published some of my pieces over the last year. I am deeply grateful to her for her generosity. She was a role model to me.
If you will be taking submissions sometime in the future, be assured I will dedicate my writing to Ronni.
Posted by: Barrie Levine | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 11:15 AM
I’d say that you can see by the enormous number of responses above that we are all happy to have you carrying on with this amazing group. It will be delightful to get to know you better. 🇨🇦
Posted by: Janet Lewis | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 11:16 AM
Thank you for sharing. Grief is just one step at a time.
Posted by: Bonnie Blayney | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 11:38 AM
Thank you Autumn and I'm so glad to hear your voice at last. And I love that you have been taking care of your own self, living in and with your enormous grief, and moving at your right pace.
I look forward to your continuing of this august and precious community of Time Goes By!
Many blessings to you,
Posted by: Elizabeth River | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 11:53 AM
SO glad to see you and TGB this morning, Autumn! Joni Mitchell (I think) was right: "you never know what you've got 'til it's gone". TGB was a part of my life for 10 years, more or less. Ronni and I didn't always agree on the "joys" of old age, but I always looked forward to her posts, as I will to yours. Thank you for keeping TGB going. It's really quite a remarkable online community that Ronni created.
I think I recall Peter saying that he would be retiring his Sunday music column when Ronni left us. My husband loves music and was really into them--many thanks to Peter and Norma.
Posted by: Elizabeth Rogers | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 12:01 PM
Thank you, Autumn. Sharing your story with us is a testament to your association with Ronni and her feeling comfortable leaving the continuation of her blog to you. And in going forth I hope you feel the freedom to be you and not just the expectations of anyone who wants to tell you what you should and shouldn't do or write. I know Ronni chose you to soar in your own right. I look forward to seeing your posts whenever it suits you. Hugs.
Posted by: Norma | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 12:24 PM
Sometimes it takes a long time to be/get ready.
Posted by: Barbara | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 12:25 PM
For those who asked, I’d be happy to continue my music column if Autumn wants me to.
Posted by: Peter Tibbles | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 12:52 PM
I love this group and am so happy, Autumn, that you will be hosting it! It is such a joy to have "long-time-friends" (a term I got from a delightful children's book about meeting "little-while-friends" and "long-time-friends." ) as well as "little-time-friends" and now "online friends!"
On Veteran's Day I lost one of my best friends to a sudden brain aneurism. Although it occurred in a doctor's office while she was getting tests taken in prep for a knee surgery, there was nothing the doctors could do. She was 63.
We had been "besties" since we were 18 and talked frequently and saw each other several times a year even though I live in Mesa and she was in Seattle. I still find myself thinking I will go pick up my phone and give her a call to share something! I'm sure that you- and many of us on this page - find yourself doing the same. You are not alone.
Posted by: Kath Noble | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 12:55 PM
I want to echo the sentiments expressed above, about missing Romi and being so grateful to see TGB in the inbox today.
Autumn, Romi was right - take care of your self first. We will be here.
Posted by: Elizabeth Archerd | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 12:57 PM
i am so glad your back and feel like posting. Your story was wonderful. I am so glad you and Ronni were so close. I am looking forward to reading more of your stories. Thank you for keeping this going.
Posted by: Lyndia | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 01:03 PM
She was a wise friend to us all ..she never sold herself short,She was indeed the female John Wayne .we are all with you on this journey.
Posted by: Uma | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 01:44 PM
Thank you Autumn, so wonderful that you’re back and ready. I think of Ronni often, it’s an especially difficult loss in this difficult year. Look forward to hearing more from and about you and wishing you a joyful holiday.
Peter Tibbles, if you read this, could you be persuaded to post once in a while? I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that I really, really miss you.
Posted by: Ursula | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 02:03 PM
Thank you so much, Autumn. We have been hungry for an update, and it's lovely to know more about your evolving relationship with Ronni. I sent you a personal message a few weeks ago via Ronni's old address, she wanted me to do something for her after she died but I don't know if she changed her mind because I haven't heard anything. Please contact me if you can so I know for sure what she wanted. We should all be so blessed to have someone like you in our lives. Thank you.
Posted by: Wendl K. | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 02:38 PM
Was incredibly happy to see TGB in my Inbox again this morning. We had a brief introduction to you when Ronni died and then nothing. It's such a habit to read TGB first thing in the morning and I've missed it, Ronni, and all my "friends" more than I thought possible.
Welcome back, and as many have already said, looking forward to getting to know you better.
My younger brother died of a GBM 21 years ago and I still miss him terribly. He was part of experimental medications at that time, not so much for himself, but in hopes that it would prolong other victims of GBM in the future.
Posted by: irma | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 03:01 PM
I only knew Ronni from this blog and i didn’t comment often. I admired her from afar and expected she’d live forever. I’ve surprised myself at how sad i’ve been, too. I have no answers.
Posted by: Debbie | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 03:09 PM
Thank you Autumn for continuing Ronni's tradition.💜💜💜
Posted by: Linda Carmi | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 03:41 PM
Just seeing this blog appear once again in my mail was heartwarming...thank you
Posted by: Clairejean | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 04:56 PM
Surprised and delighted to see TGB in my inbox. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed it until your post showed up. Thank you for the backstory of your relationship with R. Hugs for you, Autumn.
Posted by: Catharine | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 05:23 PM
So many tributes to our friend. Both Bittersweet and comforting.
A once in a lifetime soul.
Thank you, Autumn.
Posted by: Cowtown Pattie | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 05:49 PM
Thank you Autumn. So good to see the blog in my email. Looking forward very much to more.
Posted by: Mary | Monday, 21 December 2020 at 07:47 PM
Thank you so much, Autumn.
So happy to see your blog pop up in my email and also looking forward to reading more.
Posted by: Marilyn J Bunte | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 03:18 AM
Like others, so happy to see you here! Looking forward to what this brings to you and to us.
We all feel the loss and grieve with you.
Posted by: Carol | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 06:12 AM
Glad you shared your relationship. Happy for the Solstice and Christmas yet to be. Hope you find it a merry season for you.
Posted by: Rain Trueax | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 06:38 AM
I totally enjoyed finding out about how you met Ronni—but I am curious, Autumn—why was Ronni coming to interview your family?
Looking forward to more editions of the blog when you can. Don’t feel like you have to write an entire column—simple observations are fine for awhile.
Posted by: Linda | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 08:52 AM
So many responses...Ronnie is smiling. She made a difference while here and that counts for something. I have missed what Ronnie offered like everyone else. Autumn, it sounds like you had a very special relationship with Ronnie. What a gift she was in your life. Always she will be near through what you shared with and learned from her. I look forward to this new chapter. Ronnie has bestowed this space to you. It is now yours. I welcome and encourage you with all my heart.
Posted by: Nancy Rubuliak | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 09:44 AM
Thank you, Autumn. As the days after Solstice lengthen, I hope you find increased comfort in memories of shared times with all those you have cared for. Blessings
Posted by: Jeanne | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 11:31 AM
Hello Autumn, I'm so glad you are back.
With so many problems in your country, I hope you have a pleasant new year, with health and peace.
Looking forward to read TGB again.
Posted by: Conceição Brito , Portugal | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 11:44 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is heart warming. The fact you are taking some time to miss your dearest friend is to your credit. I am not sure if sharing grief makes the burden lighter...if it does, we are here. This group will be responsive ad lively and I hope you will engage with us in any way that serves you.
Keep safe and have as good a Holiday as possible. May there be better times ahead. This year seriously sucked! Here's to a brighter 2021, for all of us.
Posted by: Fritzy DEan | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 02:07 PM
Oh my...I have written three entries but they all timed out. Will try super short version here. I have had the pleasure of meeting and staying a couple of times with Bengal Ollie and Ronni on my way to retired pet and housesitting in Portland. We got along well, being lovers of cats and connections.
While I was retiring, I lost track of the blog. I came back to it from a friend I'd introduced to Ronni, who told me of her illness. So I was there for the last. And hopefully can join her many friends on here again. Thanks to you Autumn! If there's anything I can. Contribute from far northern CA, I'm happy to do so,
Might be fun sometime to see where all of us are from! Hubby is disabled and 65 & plays a mean fiddle. I'm a retired international educator, just 72.Happy season and beyond!
Posted by: Kathi Williams | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 02:20 PM
This is a heart breaking post and Autumn, you are bold to share your emotions and circumstances, like Ronni did. She would be proud of you, of course. My dear hubby, Will, died four years ago, so I know heart break too. I am surprised to find joy in my life again, much of it due to my faith in Jesus. I will continue to visit your/Ronni's blog.
Posted by: Terra | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 03:13 PM
Like several others here, I was more than a little surprised to see "Time Goes By" come up in my inbox yesterday. I had been thinking of her more frequently recently, and remembering how she used to share photos of her menorahs during Hanukkah. I've also been pondering how she might have felt and what she might have to say about this still tumultuous post-election period.
Thank you for sharing the history of how you came to be connected to Ronni. I have to admit that I've been curious for a while, and it was a very interesting story. I hope we can look forward to more stories of time you spent together and your own perspectives on many of the topics that have been discussed on this blog over the years.
I know how hard it can be to return to a "normal" routine after losing someone you love. I hope you will continue to take good care of yourself during this time, and I look forward to hearing more from you here.
Posted by: Cathy J. | Tuesday, 22 December 2020 at 06:47 PM
Clearly these have not been easy days for you. I am so sorry you’ve had these losses in your life. I think of your father and how difficult that experience would have been for him, you and loved ones, as I provided speech-language-swallowing therapy to a couple men coping with GBM who I especially remember.
I’m sure Ronni’s unexpected diagnosis, ultimate successful surgery, then medical turn of events must have seemed like a rollercoaster ride not only for her but you, too. I’ve certainly felt great sorrow through this and my relationship with Ronni was only through this blog. She was responsively comforting at the time of my husband’s unexpected sudden death. The strange thing for me is I thought I was providing her support as she weathered the sale of her Greenwich Village abode, the Maine experience, then move to Oregon.
I welcome your continuing this blog however you choose to pursue this, however frequent you may write here, whatever topics you may choose to introduce. As I told Ronni, I offer my support, shared many of her ideas for how she envisioned this blog. Feel free to contact me for any reason. Do take good care of yourself.
Posted by: Joared | Wednesday, 23 December 2020 at 04:52 PM
Thank you Autumn for bringing the TGB back. I am sorry for your losses, your Dad and then Ronni. I have missed the blog and hope you will be able to continue and Peter Tibbles too! I hope I am not being insensitive but I have wondered what precipitated Ronni's decision to die at the time she did. I think many of us were surprised that she did it before the election. She had been so open about her illness and her decisions, I learned so much through reading her thoughts and other's responses.
Posted by: Mia McCabe | Wednesday, 23 December 2020 at 07:32 PM
Autumn, thank you. It hurts so much to lose those who are tightly woven into our lives. Your deep friendship obviously meant the world to you both. Nothing can take from you the gift of that friendship. Please accept my condolences. I wish you peace of mind. You couldn’t have done more. Bless you.
Posted by: Carol F | Wednesday, 23 December 2020 at 10:57 PM
So great to see the old Ronni gang back again
Posted by: Charlotte Dahl | Thursday, 24 December 2020 at 04:27 PM