Things Come In Threes
Queen Elizabeth, Lance Mackey, and Anne Garrels walk into a bar...
I was catching up on a few emails early this morning when the news about the Queen's health came over Twitter. Patrick and I have spent years fascinated with the Royals, and I knew from being familiar with "London Bridge is Down" that the first news released was Not Good. I then went into a client and was in a meeting when "The Queen is dead, long live the King" came over my news feed, and we all had palpable chills.
Clearly, I'm not British (lost the chance to even marry into that). But, like so many others, Queen Elizabeth was someone I admired, who was symbolic, who was a touchstone of my life. She ruled for 15 years longer than I have been alive. When I was young, I joked that I knew more about the British monarchy than I did American political history (that may still be true). I never saw her in person (though I did see the Queen Mum), but when I lived in London, her presence was discernible. No matter what you think of the monarchy, it was a remarkable life, and a great loss.
Similarly, I was saddened today to learn that Anne Garrels had passed away from lung cancer. I *did* meet her once, when she came on a book tour for "Naked in Bagdad"; I brought her Kit-Kats and Bordeaux (I still have that signed copy somewhere). I listened to her voraciously on NPR, and last year re-read "Putin Country" to help me understand the war in the Ukraine. She taught me to think in a new way about news and how it was reported. I joked with my friend Geri that she was first on my list on my fantasy NPR team and soon after she started following me on Twitter, which made me ridiculously proud.
This morning my sled-dog-loving feed was also full of the death of Lance Mackey, 4-time Iditarod and 2-time Yukon Quest winner. Also of cancer, and 3 years younger than I am. Lance had his controversies, but he was an incredible musher whose devotion to his dogs was legendary. My friend Kathleen has a Lance Mackey dog, Nikolai.
I guess part of getting older is losing people you look up to...