Sunday, August 5, 2012

Heavy Heart

Kary's favorite Vermont Farmhouse

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post.  Sadly, our friend Kary from My Farmhouse Kitchen passed away on Saturday, July 28th from chemotherapy complications; she had been diagnosed with bladder cancer last Fall.

I've tried to capture the essence of this wonderful woman and our friendship, I know I do not do her justice, I'm not a writer, I'm simply a friend, who misses her friend.

Kary and I became friends just over two years ago.  My very good friend Susan at From Beyond My Kitchen Window recommended that I visit Kary’s blog.  I was new to the blogging world and Susan knew all the best blogs to visit.  When I visited Kary’s blog she had posted First Apple Pie of the Season.  Many of you know how I love to make pies, but when I saw her pie I thought it was stunning! The crust, the latticework, the crimping, the fluting ~ all amazing!  I recall emailing her and telling her about my family’s “Pie Day” tradition and we became fast friends.  By the end of the month with Susan’s encouragement I was blogging!

Kary's Apple Pie
Kary and I continued to email back and forth daily.  We chatted about everyday stuff, current events, and what we were making for dinner!  More often than not, we discovered that our dinner menus were the same, we thought that was so funny.  How I already miss those emails.

We felt like we were kindred spirits, she on the west coast, me on the east coast.  Our names Kary/Mary, both born in June of the same year, me just 24 days older.   Our husbands John/Ron, both born in December.  Our dogs Teddy/Duke a poodle and a cockapoo.  

Much Loved Cookbooks
We shared a love of our families, cooking and cookbooks - the older the better. We loved tried and true family recipes and traditions; we enjoyed gardening, oh how she love planting her corn; we enjoyed baking and loved our pets.  

The Three Amigos, Whisky Sour, Teddy & Dande
Kary also had two lovely kitty’s, Whisky Sour & Dande (Dandelion), in addition to her beloved Teddy.  On Tuesday I began reading Kary's blog on from the beginning, there is so much warmth in her words.  I came to her early post about the rug with the squirrel, I know how much she loved it, and how much she liked squirrels, birds and all animals in general.  She even had a wood stove that was a called a squirrel stove because it had squirrels on the sides!

This past Tuesday night I dreamt about the rug . . . I got up at 5:30 because we had to go to Massachusetts and we wanted to leave Maine early.  I opened the front door to the porch and saw something I never see - a squirrel was walking down the sidewalk, stopped at the top of my walkway, paused, looked at me, and then went on.  All I could think of was Kary, so I said "Hi Kary" my eyes welled up, and then the little squirrel went on it's way . . . 

Kary was genuinely kind, she reached out to many people all over the world.  She corresponded with people in the US, Canada & Europe, and oh how much she loved my beloved New England.  If someone needed an encouraging word, she was there for him or her.  When my own mom passed away last September, Kary sent me a lovely card and would email me to check in with me.  She knew how I felt, her own mom had passed a few years earlier.  It was shortly after that when her problems began.

Little Teddy, her best friend

She thought about writing a post about what was going on with her.  She asked me what I thought, and I suggested that she write about it when it was all behind her . . . she liked that idea, because she didn’t want people feeling bad for her – now my heart and countless other hearts ache because she left us so suddenly. 

I had a bad feeling when I hadn’t heard back from Kary, so I contacted her good friend of 20+ years, Julie Whitmore.  When Julie told me that Kary had passed away the night before I wept.  Julie posted about Kary this past Thursday, if you can, please visit her post Good Night Beloved Friend to leave a comforting comment.  I can’t imagine how Julie feels. 

Kary had this lovely poem on her blog sidebar . . .  I wish we had talked about it.

The Night Will Never Stay
-Eleanor Farjeon

the night will never stay, 
the night will still go by, 
though with a million stars 
you pin it to the sky; 
though you bind it with 
the blowing wind, 
and buckle it with the moon, 
the night will slip away 
like sorrow or a tune.

Kary in Maine
Our friend Kary is survived by her loving husband, her adorable pets, her family and her many, many friends – old and new.  

Rest in Peace my sweet friend.
Mary & Dukeums


  1. I feel so sad for you losing a great friend. So nice of you to remember Kary in such a beautiful way.

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend, she was a very special person. My condolences to her husband and family (and her dear little pets) who must miss her dreadfully. A big hug to you, I know you miss her.x

  3. Mary, I too shared a wonderful correspondence with dear Kary...I was so shocked by her sudden death & have been very teary all week. She was a special girl, no doubt about that....a gentle spirit & beloved by so many. This is such a beautiful tribute, your love shines through. Thinking of you, with much love. Life can be so cruel sometimes xoxo

  4. This is so sad, even though I never knew of her before this I just learned about her from a post Sharon Lovejoy did. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend. ~Lili

  5. What a lovely woman. Beautiful post, I hope all of her family and friends read your wonderful tribute.

  6. My heart goes out to you for your loss. Your friend sounded like a marvelous person and I wish I had known her.

    Sending big hugs your way,

  7. Oh, you've made me cry for this loss ... a good spirit is on its way, Mary. Well said. You've done her proud with your words ...

  8. So sorry for your loss and the loss to many. I read another wonderful tribute written by Sharon Lovejoy. I find myself wishing that I had known her, too. Much comfort to you and all those who will be missing Kary.

  9. Oh Mary, what a lovely post about Kary. Kary was full of life and loved her life so much. Thank you for writing such a lovely tribute to her. Susan

  10. Dear Mary: I'm so very sorry to hear about Kary. I knew her from her love of Halloween--or perhaps it was the fall season. We were casual "visitors" so I had no idea of her illness and, sadly, no idea of what a special person she was. Thank you for such a lovely remembrance of her.


  11. Mary,

    What a beautiful tribute and you can indeed write. So sorry.


  12. a beautiful, beautiful tribute to someone who will be sorely missed by all of her international blogging friends xx

  13. So much love here, and comfort dear Mary.
    She spoke often of you and what a kind and good friend you were. This brought me so much peace. Thank you for I know it was hard to do.

  14. So sorry.
    You've written a beautiful tribute... thank you.

    My heart goes out to her family and friends... praying they will find comfort.

  15. Oh, Mary... what a lovely tribute indeed. I must have read Kary's blog at some point, because I now remember her acquisition of Teddy after losing another beloved dog. I can't remember his name now.

    Though the voice is silent, the spirit echoes still.

  16. Mary, This a beautiful tribute to a friend who so obviously touched your life and others as well. I am certain you touched her's equally. She sounds like a remarkable woman. I am so sorry for your loss. Hold on to the good memories and know she will always be with you in your heart. These are only words I know; only time can heal a broken heart. Hugs.

  17. My heart is with you, her family and friends - what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person.

  18. I'm so sorry that you lost a friend and kindred spirit and my heart goes out to you and also Kary's family.

  19. I saw Julie's post yesterday. I'm so sad for you both.
    Sorry I didn't know her as well.

  20. So sorry to read of your very sad news.Kary was a very special person and although you will miss her terribly you will have all those wonderful memories to treasure.
    Big hugs to you,take care. XX

  21. oh Mary, I am so very saddened to read this post. Kary and Teddy (as she would always sign her comments) always left such lovely sweet words. We corresponded once talking about her love of New England. I checked in on her blog probably six months or so ago, and was surprised to see no new postings, but didn't know why. I can see why you two were fast friends- I loved reading all the similarities, that is so, so sweet. Seeing the squirrel was such a sweet part too. I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a friend is so difficult. I can't imagaine how sad and lost dear Teddy is. She adored him so.
    My sincere condolenses to her husband and extended family. She was a lovely woman and will be greatly missed.

  22. Dear Mary, I'm so glad I came by to see you because like you I had become a good friend of Kary and had no idea-although I should have because she stopped responding to my emails. It is just so sad! You've got me struggling with tears right now, so my words are very eloquent. I loved your photos from her blog. I'm thankful that she is no longer suffering but it is such a loss for her family and friends. Sending you hugs today! I'm also off to visit her other friend Julie.

  23. My goodness, I have tears in my eyes. To lose a sweet friend so young. So senseless. So unfair. It sounds to be like you both touched each other's lives with grace and friendship.

  24. I'm so sorry for your loss. True, deep friendships are so precious. But what a privilege you had to have found a kinship with someone so beautiful.

    Peace to you and may your grief be replaced with memories full of joy.

  25. hi mary.....this is such a wonderful post about my beloved kary. i am just sick. it is going to take a looooong time for me to handle this. i wrote a tribute to her a few days ago if you haven't seen it yet:

    when you have a chance, shoot me and email so i can tell you a bit more. joyce

  26. Hi again, I just still can't get over this news; again I'm thankful that she is no longer suffering but it is such a loss-especially for those friends who were so close to her. Do you know if there is a remembrance book online(usually done by a funeral home)so that we can leave her hubby our condolences? Somehow I have lost her address and would love to also send a card. I couldn't find any listing in S.L.O, CA. Hugs again.

  27. Oh, Mary, this is such sad news! My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

    I loved Kary's blog and wondered why she had stopped blogging last year. I figured she had new interests. I only knew her through her sweet blog but I could tell she had a kind heart and that she loved new England so much, her beloved pets and baking. I remember when you and Susan and Kary were all baking from Sara Beth's Cookbook!

    None of us know when our appointed day will come. So sad to know that Kary's came too quickly. She will be dearly missed!

  28. What a beautiful post, Mary. I was holding it together until I read the poem, and then lost it. Your loving heart really shines through in this tribute, my thoughts are with you.

  29. Beautiful post. What a lovely tribute to your dear friend. I am so sorry for your loss. My sincerest condolences go out to you and her family.

  30. A beautiful tribute to your friend. It brought tears to my eyes because I really do know how you feel. I recently lost my best friend Lorna who lost her battle with cancer on July 14th. There are so many moments in the day when I think of her, like you think of Kary. When I saw your cookbooks it made me think of my friend who gave me The New Basics when it first came out and put little star sticker by all the things she had tried and loved. I'm so sorry for your sadness. I hope her family reads your post...I'm sure it will comfort them. It's really beautiful.

  31. Oh, Mary. I am at such a loss for words. Your post is heartfelt. You were blessed to have Kary in your life as you did. We will all miss her but I know you are suffering a greater loss. Take care, my friend. I will be thinking of you.


  32. So sorry to hear the sad news of your friend. I can see that you'll miss her hugely. Cro x

  33. You must have a very heavy heart indeed, Mary. I cannot imagine how devastated Kary's husband must be. I just don't understand why such horrible things have to happen. You have written a lovely tribute to Kary's life that I'm sure she would appreciate.

  34. Thank you for writing this lovely tribute to Kary. I can now see that Kary was not only beautiful on the inside, but on the outside too. She will be dearly missed but never forgotten. Blessings, Julie.

  35. You've written a beautiful tribute. When a so-called celebrity dies, the media overflows with the tragedy, but when one of us "common folk" leave this world, barely a ripple, which sometimes feels so wrong, you know? Thanks to you and your loving tribute, more people are aware of what an amazing person your friend was, and share your tears at her loss. Today would have been my friend's birthday. She and I were college roommates... she was my maid of honor... I'm her oldest child's godmother. She died from cancer two years ago this October, and I still miss her, so I understand your pain.

  36. So sorry to hear the news about your friend. You've written a beautiful tribute to Kary. My thoughts and prayers are with you and her family.

  37. What a beautiful tribute post to your friend, Kary. Wishing you heart's ease in the fullness of time.

  38. Hello, lovely Mary. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious friend, Kary. This is a beautiful way to honor your special friendship. I could not contain my tears when I read your words, "Hi Kary." What a precious moment that was indeed.

    I am delighted that you found your way to the "shop." Living in Florida for over 40 years, I am head-over-heels in love with the ocean, so I could not resist clicking on your alluring blog title. I'm now following and I've added you to my sidebar blogroll to stay in touch regularly. I think your little corner is so full of light, and I absolutely love light. ;)


  39. I do not remember how I found Kary. I became attached to her when Buddy died, trying to be a faithful word of comfort, for quite awhile. As I said in a short post, i loved her sense of style, and sometimes she made me laugh. She loved her fur babies, this was a connection too. She shared good recipes.....sigh.

    I am still very sad for the loss of her. There is an empty space where she was....she waits for us. I plan to celebrate her August 25th.....

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. We RV travel now and I do not blog so much or visit. but sometimes i do. I will visit here again one day and look around. ;-)

    Very nice remembrance of Kary.

  40. I'm sorry for your loss, very sweet tribute to your special friend.

  41. I'm sitting here wasting time this morning, catching up on blog reading ... I missed this post when it was new. What a wonderful tribute you have posted here, showing your love for a kindred spirit and showing that friendships come in all sizes and shapes. I have never read Kary's blog, and I feel poorer for it now.


I'm thrilled you've stopped by and I always enjoy your comments! Thank you!