I learned today that the gal who did mani/pedi's for me for several years passed away last evening after a short but almost violent fight with cancer. Her name was Marie. It was a shock to most who knew her. Marie was a feisty, spirited, pretty woman with whom you always knew where you stood. During our salon session, we would talk about everything from relationships, finances, and even politics. Marie was very involved in local politics, attending most city council meetings and voicing her opinions about the latest bond or tax measure or whatever was on the agenda. She's always tell me to be sure to vote this way or that, and funny enough I'd usually agree with her...even though she was pretty republican and am pretty democratic. That, however, didn't affect our friendship as it developed over the past seven or eight years.
Now she's gone. Suddenly. Horribly by cancer that she either didn't suspect or kept well hidden. Marie was a cowgirl who loves country western in all its forms. I think she grew up and in Norco and we here in the Inland Empire know that is the heart of horse country. And flags...well...Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day...her home was like a float in the Veteran's Day Parade. And more than flag and country, Marie love Halloween and Christmas. She would spend weeks decorating her booth. Halloween was a bloody mess (tastefully done of course) and Christmas, well no one loved Christmas more than Marie. Globes and Santas hung from the acoustic tiles. Gold streamers, glitter, Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad banners...it was truly amazing.
Marie was one of those rare people who come into your life to perform a service and over time becomes so much more than a service provider. And even though we didn't always agree politically, there was not a prejudice bone in her body when it came to people of all gender identities, sexual persuasions and marital status. "Everything is great until someone breaks a nail," she would say. It was stenciled on her workspace wall.
So it is with disbelief and great sorrow I am trying to accept that someone so vibrantly alive, so direct and even blunt at times, but kinder than most and a source of support to many, is gone.
Her last name was Bull, but with Marie, there never was any bull. And who you saw was who she was. No pretense or phony baloney. She was the real deal. Godspeed, Marie. I will miss you.