[Part of this was previously posted to the ghost-planet mailing list, with later additions.]
Some of you might remember Sarah Trombly-Stillson, a.k.a "Suzz," from the original ghost-planet mailing list at Duke. She was the woman who had a small Zorak tattoo... somewhere... on her body. :) She's still subscribed to the current list. She died sometime probably Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, probably of a brain hemorrhage. Her mother and sister let me know. As far as I know at the moment, Sarah is to be cremated; I don't know of any arrangements or services.
I wouldn't know Sarah were it not for SGC2C, and she was certainly a big fan, as you probably guessed from the tattoo. :) She asked to be temporarily removed from the list back when I was running it at Duke, but had already been on before I ran it. I thought maybe someone was bothering her and asked, but her husband had unexpectedly passed away (this was around 13 years ago; they'd known each other since their teens), and she wanted a break. We got to know each other, and though we never met, we remained friends continuously since then. She'd had a number of personal reverses since then, not least among them a spontaneous sub-arachnoid hemorrhage a few years after her husband died. She had emergency brain surgery, and further surgeries to coil possible future bleeders, but it bankrupted her, and she lost the house she and her husband had had. She later moved to the Southwestern US to be closer to family, and died in Roswell, NM. She hadn't had much in the way of medical care since the original brain incident, but had recently started Social Security Disability, and was supposed to have an MRI in a few days — she was supposed to have regular checkups for further brain problems, but hadn't been able to have that until recently. That's probably what killed her — that's what her mom said — but I don't know for sure yet, and I might not find out.
Sarah's birthday was July 3rd; I believe she was in her early 40s. I think she and her family were from the Niantic, Conneticut area, where her maternal grandmother just recently died (the above-linked map I made for her once, and had updated a few times, but I neglect to have anything in Ohio, where she was when her husband died). I'm sorry I have no more information. I hope someome is taking care of her cats. She loved them dearly — loved all animals, as far as I know. She was most recently employed as a veterinary technician in Tucson, AZ, and previously in Ohio. Before that she had been employed in Ohio in the banking industry, but left it after she could no longer stomach the products her bank was selling to its customers.
I'll miss her horribly. Even though I never met her in person, I regard her as one of my best friends. She was often there for me when no one else was.
Sarah leaves behind her father; mother Eileen; sisters Lorraine, Amy and Ruthie; and four cats.
If any of you knew her or her family, they'd probably appreciate your kind thoughts.
The song that started going through my mind today when I heard Sarah had died was the "Butterflies are free to fly" part of Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." I don't know why. The song wasn't already running through my head. The lyrics aren't apropos except for me wanting her to be free. No one saved poor dear Sarah's life. But Sarah bailed me out of deep emotional holes more often than a lot of folks. Sarah had been in a lot of bad holes herself, many more than just emotional, and most not of her creating. I tried to help. It wasn't enough.
I'm so sorry, Sarah. I wish I could have helped more. I wish I'd met you in person. I wish I'd known you longer than the 12-16 years we'd been e-mailing, SMSing, and only rarely talking on the phone. I wish we could have talked longer when you called me on my birthday. I wish I'd reached you when I called back. But I'm so glad to have known you. I'm so glad we both liked "Space Ghost Coast to Coast," and both wound up on the show's mailing list, so we could know each other. I'm so sorry Brian died, and so sorry for all the bad shit that came your way after that, but we both did what we could. Would that it were more.
Sarah, I hope your family -- Eileen, Ruthie, the rest of you, and all your friends -- does as well as they can with your being gone. I can do little more, and hope no less. Your family has suffered enough lately, even before you died.
I like the Gerry Rafferty song I posted the video for below when he died. The copyright police took it, but here's another, and this one's for you, dear. (Please forgive the ad.) I hope you too get where you were going. I'm sorry I can't say anything better. Or maybe I can, but not now.
I've been really slack about updating my reading list in the sidebar here at Fallout Shelter. I'm going to renew my effort there. But this blogging thing is tough when I again find myself without a computer and have to borrow those of others. Thanks to those folks who let me do that.
Why do so many artists have to drink themselves to death? Maybe Mr. Rafferty would have been better off to have continued being a busker on the London Tube for the rest of his life, but then we never would have heard songs like "Baker Street":
Mr. Rafferty made music that actually sounded nice. I realize that's not the style these days, but I appreciated it then, and I appreciate it now. Arrivederci, Gerry. I hope you get where you're going.