Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

In Memoriam

Maestra Teresa le Marchant, OL


Per pale sable and Or,
a garb counterchanged.

Teresa McCartney died September 28, 2007 after many health issues, quietly in her sleep. She is survived by her mother Connie Schulte, her daughter Ariel, her son Morgan, two sisters and 6 nieces and nephews.


Photo by Gelis of Balweary
(mka Adriane Urband)

Teresa le Marchant was a member of the Orders of the Laurel, the Western Lily, the Rose Leaf and Leaf of Merit, the Silver Nib, as well as the Principality of the Mists awards of the Corolla Vitea and Corolla Aulica, and held a Princess' Favor.


Reminices/Thoughts:

   

"I see my beloved daughter healthy and full of vitality; I see her whole and strong again, walking again with her dear daddy. Perhaps they are going fishing on some secluded lake where they will sit and talk quietly for hours on end, never really caring if they ever catch a fish, just enjoying each other's companionship.

"I see her dancing and enjoying the company of old friends who have gone before, and I hear her singing with the angels in her deep melodious voice. She does not lose her breath, and she does not feel weak. She's happy. She misses her children and sisters and friends but she can see that they are cared for and knows that one day we will all be together again.

"As her mother, I miss her dreadfully, but I'm also relieved that she was able to go without having all those cables and tubes and wires and things stuck down her throat. I'm glad she was able to meet her God quietly and peacefully. I am happy that her last week was spent in happy contentment and hope instead of the desperation and pain that she's had to suffer so often these years.

"I give thanks that she has had so many wonderful friends and that her memory will be with us in so many wonderful ways."

   

-- Constance Lymnour (mka Connie Schulte, Teresa's mother)
(Photos provided by Connie Schulte)


"It's hard to find any words. Teresa has been a shining beacon for years of the always up-beat friend, who, despite any hardship in her life, of which she had much, was always positive, friendly, easy-going, and fun to chat with and be around.

"The thought that after all the health issues she's gone through, and all the hard fights she's had to maintain her health, she's gone, is just ... hard to grasp. I can't say a lot, but surely hope others will have more to say.

"Teresa was always friendly, open, and a nice person. She was nearly always positive, as noted, despite anything bad happening in her life, she tried hard to find something good or happy to smile about. She was a member of my acting troupe for years, until her health stopped allowing her to put in the energy needed to be on stage. Even so, she supported us in whatever ways she could, because that was just who she was.

"Things were really starting to look up for her, and it's a shame that she is now gone. There's another hole in our lives, and it's a big one." -- Hirsch von Henford


"I am very sad at the news of Teresa's passing--she was a very kind woman and a talented scribe, who loved to teach and share her knowledge with anyone who wanted to learn. She was there for me at a very difficult time in my life, with friendship and encouragement, and I will always be grateful to her for that. The SCA has lost so many good people, especially in the past few years. Don't wait to reconnect with old friends or fail to appreciate those around you--it might be too late.

"With a heavy heart,"

Morwenna of Tintagel


"Lost a friend yesterday. Just found out about it a few hours ago and I'm still pretty upset. The name by which I knew her was Maestra Teresa le Merchant. What I remember best about her is her radiant smile.

"I met Teresa through the SCA. Although we only knew each other a few years and weren't nearly as close as I would have liked, she and I shared an unusual kind of bond. We were Spoon Buddies. Good spoon buddies are rare and hard to come by. They support and encourage each other through the difficulties of surviving long term illness in a world dominated by healthy people. It's sort of a mutual "if you can do it, so can I" kind of thing.

"The death of a spoon buddy means not only the loss of a friend, which is hard enough, but also leaves the buddies who are left behind feeling that their personal foundations are somewhat less than solid. The manner of death doesn't really matter, only that they are gone...that half of the "if you can do it, so can I" statement has proven false.

"It makes you wonder about the other half.

"Knowing that Teresa died in her sleep and is now free of her medical issues is scant comfort just now. She was well-loved, and knew it, but that doesn't help much, either. It only means that many others are taking the news much harder than I, and I feel for them as well. Compared to them, I barely knew her. Their grief will be so much worse. :(

"I feel a bit hollow and like some of the light has gone from the world. I keep thinking there must be some mistake, that I'll see her the next time I can attend an SCA event. That she'll come sit in my Cassandra Crafts booth to chat and count spoons together, like always. That she'll laugh and smile that great big smile. And we'll talk about our little miracles and share plans for making more.

"But no. She's gone. And I am only one of many who will miss her." -- Cassandra Rossignol


"I will miss her smile and her lovely sense of humor. We were so looking forward to the Disney trip - it will be much lessened with her loss. It feels so odd to have just written one of my first bardic pieces about the Company of Saint Teresa a couple of weeks ago...and now she's gone. I'll post it here in her memory in the morning when I can pull out my copy. Many hugs to all of us hurting for her loss." -- Gillian Trenowyth


"O Teresa. I did not have enough time to get to know you more, to laugh with you, and our Disneyland trip this winter will be much sadder without you there

"As sick as I am, as horrified and saddened as I am, I know my pain and sorrow is nothing compared to those who knew her far better than I. JIMR, Toni, all, take care of yourselves.

"God bless you, Teresa.

"Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord.
"And let perpetual light shine upon her.
"May she rest in peace.
"Amen." -- Bella Caterina Malatesta


"I can only be numb now.

"While a mantra to pilots, that's what she was - a pilot of happiness through whatever life throws at you.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF

"I love you, Teresa. Missing you cannot even describe how I feel right now." -- Aaron of Buckminster


"Today we lost a treasured and beloved friend. Duncan and I are beyond words right now. I am numb and in such pain and I am not sure which is worse.

"I have been crying off and on since word reached us.

"Teresa was something very special. Her joy and passion for life, her family and her friends is a lesson to us all.

"My last conversation with her was sinfully funny and when I am ready I will share that memory.

"My memories are of a woman of strength, unbelievable character, humor passion and poise. I can think of very few who lived life with the joy despite the tribulations she faced every day.

"Duncan and I hurt and will continue to do so for a while. I look forward to Crown when I can see my beloved friends and hug them for a moment and laugh through the tears while we all share precious memories." -- Moira Ramsey


"I dreamed about her last night, and her image is before me still, Teresa with her all-encompassing grin, made of equal parts of fellowship, compassion, pure mischief and boundless humor. She danced joyfully among us, with seemingly endless troubles dogging her heels, but herself two steps ahead. She always knew that just being with the people we love cures almost everything that's wrong with us.

"When we got the call last night, I felt as if some essential part of myself had been suddenly cut from me, but this morning I feel some of it restored: I'm proud that Teresa was my friend, and I'm grateful to have her example with me always.

"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any Mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee." --John Donne
-- Aldith Angharad St. George


Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.

"In the San Francisco Zoo, there is a touching quotation... and I will do my best to recollect it... that when a species has become extinct, there must come to pass another heaven and another earth before that species may return. In short, when one species of animal becomes extinct, it is gone for the rest of time. For all of our power, our science and our knowledge, we cannot re-create life.

"When it comes to an individual human being... the same is true... once a person is gone, we travel the rest of our days without them... they simply do not come back nor do they get replaced. No matter our power, our science or our knowledge, we are forced to go one without them. This is a very bitter concept for me to swallow. I do not like the idea that people can be taken from us and yet, as we get older, it happens more and more. I have had a hard time losing people... e.g. the death of my mother some 18 years ago. I miss her very much even to this day. She may be alive in my heart, my mind and my memory, but she is gone... I miss her so much, it hurts.

"I did not know Teresa well, but recently at last Mist Investiture, we had a really great chat. I had a chance to get a glimpse of how sweet and neat she was... how strong she was and how she had battled cancer... how she had adult children and in particular, an adult son... a son that she loved very much with all of her heart and a son who loved her so very much in return. With sincere empathy, I pray for her children and friends... especially the son that she spoke of to me... for she has left him too soon and I can only imagine in my own heart how his heart must be breaking inside of him at this very moment.

"I truly believe that there is a better place that we will travel to when our time upon the earth is at its end... and when it comes to pass that our time has come, we will be reunited with our friends in this wonderful place where there is no pain, anger, disappointment or frustration... but for now, we go on without those who have gone before us... and being without them truly hurts. To all who loved Teresa, I grieve with you for I know that she was a very special person." -- Antonio Giordano da Sicilia


"I will miss Teresa. She was a wonderful person with a magnificent sense of humor. Who else could laugh at my son's gaffe? (Ask me and I will tell you the story)

"Kelvin never remembers who anyone is but when I told him, he stopped and looked at me. Then he said that we would miss her.

"I am finally crying." -- Leticia de Scocia


"What can I say about her that so many others have not? Her engaging smile which wreathed her whole face? The fact that she survived disease after disease, and still carried on? The children who have grown to adults that any parent would be proud of?

"I remember the times we drew close, during adversity. The bad times when we discussed the joys of divorce, betrayal from friends, and the gory details of medicine. The times we shared a condo during the debacle of 9/11, and how the Stags as a unit grew closer. I remember the good times as well -- laughter as we sometimes shared the gory details of medicine, of performing together on stage, exclaiming over the beauty of something that she made as she explained it to me. She made it seem that if you had enough will to survive, you would.

"I will miss you, Teresa. May your remains rest gently here, and your soul fly where it may." -- Original Nightshade


"Damn it all ...

"She had no right to leave. After so many health battles won again and again with her own brand of dignity and humor, this is simply not fair. Teresa should still be among the living.

"My last interactions with her were to help carry things for her to make her life a little easier and to pour her a Chocolate Duchess from my secret stash of ingredients so that she could have the chance to try one despite the sugar content. She loved it.

"Maybe it needs a second name? To be a St. Teresa as well?" -- Juan Santiago


"Maestra Teresa was the woman I rode around Austin with on the morning of Sept 11, 2001. She was a member of the Golden Stag Players, and also someone that I saw on one of my California visits recently. She was charming witty, lovely, considerate, very smart, and very talented. She had been quite ill for a very long time, and even back in 2001, the thought was she had dodged a bullet already, but didn't have long to live. I am very happy to have known her." -- Anton of Winter Oak (Carolingia, East Kingdom)


"I am just stunned that Teresa has passed away. I just saw her at Coronet. She and Branwen and I had a very funny naughty conversation and she was all smiles and full of impish good humor and life, like usual.

"I knew she has many health issues. Her mom and I had talked a few times when I was autocratting about accomodating some of her needs (like an outlet to plug in apparatus etc), but she never mentioned what they were. I think she was too busy squeezing the fun out of life dwell on them much. Her son fought out of the Bellatrix corner at June Crown for Branwen, her best friend. He was a great kid and I know she was crazy about him. I just can't beleive she is gone, we were just talking and she looked great! It's so unreal.

"I know many of my friends, like Branwen and Hirsch and Gillian, have hearts breaking today in sorrow for this fine woman. Lots of love goes out to all of you from Brion and I." -- Ysabella Dolfin


Teresa
I do not wish to say goodbye
or spend my days with naught but tears
the joy you brought enriched our lives
your smile bright throughout the years

when we met first, I can't recall
with Josselyn's choir we did sing
I was lost and new that fall
but you took me under your wing

you loaned me clothes, you fed me meals
you freely gave all you could give
when you instigated; i was at your heels
like serenading Josselyn in the priv

I miss you more than words can say
my love for you will always stay

--

"Rest in peace, Teresa. You've left a hole that can never be filled. But thank you so much for all the wonderful times." -- Alys Sheffield


"OMG

"I have no words. A dear friend of mine from many years ago...long before we knew about internets and MP3s...I am certain has died.

"I've never really liked those euphemisms: "passed away," "crossed over," "gone to a better place." Dying is dying. It's final. Never really saw a need to sugar-coat it, not even when Harri died. Dead is dead. Despite what you believe happens afterwards, for those of us who are still living won't ever know, will we?

"I met Maestra Teresa at least 20 years ago. She and Harri are irrevocably entwined in my memory. He loved her. He could see colours, at least shades of blue, and he made a point of choosing her lap at Flieg's fire whenever she wore blue. When Harri died, she quickly responded, "Oh, Koshka, I'm so sorry! I am very glad that you were able to be there for him, holding him, and reminding him of how very loved he was. He was a truly magnificent creature, and you gave him a wonderful life. {{{hugs}}}"

"So in two entries from two friends, one whom I've known longer than 20 years, and one I'm not sure I've ever met, I learn that this wonderful woman will never post again. I don't know the details, all my knowledge comes from some friends' posts and her memorial webpage. Her last post, made only last Wednesday(!) said, "Reply to this post, and I will list three things I love about you. Maybe more than three. Then repost to your own journal and spread the love." Tangled in the web of my life, I hadn't had a chance to respond...until today, too late.

"I always say, "You only really regret what you don't do," and it is so true in Teresa's case. She spent several weeks in NYC this summer, and while I wanted very much to see her when she was on the east coast...somehow I never managed to, for one reason or another, and she returned to the West. Stupid how little things manage to assume importance, scary how there always seems to be time to do things later.

"I've spent a lot of time in medical facilities in my life, having asthma. In the past 7 years since moving to Boston, I've turned my affliction to an advantage, participating in several studies for asthma research. I've probably spent more time at BWH than most places in Boston; apart from home and work, it's probably the place I'm most familiar with. I went there yesterday, thinking as I made my way through the underground passageway called the "Lower Pike" to the cashier's office how well I know these hallways.

"The cashier's office is located next to the chapel. As I passed it, an older woman was on the phone, speaking to someone, and crying. And with a kind of jolt I was reminded of something I tend to forget when I'm in the hospital: This is a place of endings. You think of babies being born, routine check-ups, annoying lab tests...but people die here, too. Loved ones are lost. Goodbyes are said...or, tragically, not said.

"And now I have a goodbye said too late of my own.

"Goodbye Teresa.

"My heart is with the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today." -- Oksenja Venäläinen


"Oh god, I just read about the loss of another friend yesterday. I had my first conversation with Teresa exactly a week ago at the Mists Coronet tournament. It was a long conversation full of excitement about her academic work, her kids, her career plans, and only a little about the health concerns that I know have been plaguing her for years. She was so fun and easy to talk to; I looked forward to enjoying this new friend. By Sunday she had friended me here on LJ [LiveJournal], and I was really happy about that.

"Just last evening I had a conversation with my best friend about how tired we are of losing all these amazing women friends to cancer, and we made plans to participate in the next Walk for the Cure that we could find in the area. It's so painful to add another name to the list of people we hope to honor this way.

"Here's a picture I took last weekend." -- Alison Saint Loup


"Memories of Maestra Teresa, mostly muddled:

"We either met her through Crosston or the house that is now Sippel. I don't remember. It was a long time ago.
"The few times we camped with Crosston, she was up early on Sunday cooking bacon. Lots of bacon. Cynthia du Pré Argent and I did dishes. We all talked.
"Spiwit. Bwavado. Dewwing-do."
"Watching her in the face of continued adversity, and being determined to not buckle.
"Raising two children to become adults.
"Flirting with her onstage with Bonefinder.

"Her humor. I don't remember whose idea it was to name our camping group the Company of St. Teresa (patron saint of replacement body parts) - I'm pretty sure it wasn't mine. She loved the idea.

"I didn't want to be the Company of St. Teresa of Blessed Memory, dammit." -- Wulfric of Creigull


"Even knowing a friend is terminally ill does not prepare you for their passing. I was not close to Teresa, but had known her since my early days in the SCA. With every friend we lose it makes the old days a little more distant. She was a good person, cared about others, and worked to make others more comfortable. Condolences to her children and friends."

"Good journey Teresa, second star to the right and straight on till morning."

-- Caiomhin o'Fiodhabhra, crying once more.


"I am so sorry to hear of Teresa today.

"I can't tell you exactly when i met her or if she has just always been around but, I can tell you she touched my life in many, many ways. As others have said she was a light and I can still hear her laughing. She seemed to come and say just the right word the I needed to hear. That word of encouragement to keep going when you were so discouraged you wanted to give up. She was the "cheerleader" even tho' she was going thru tough times. She was the one that keep telling you that it would be better soon. She was also, "just there" when you needed help with anything that she could do. She truly was a "Good Fairy" and enjoyed life to the fullest! I will always be grateful for her just being around and being the example of graciousness, kindness, grace, caring, looking out for others, fun, joy, peace, patience, goodness, and most of her Love. I hope that in my life I can follow her example and pass on to others all the greatness that she choose to show me. I want to be one to "Pass it Forward" for you, my Friend! You will be missed!"

-- Sarah Elizabeth - Now in the Meredies, but my heart will always be in the West!


"Teresa was one of those people that once you met her you immediately liked her. I have known her for more years then I can remember. She will be missed in so many ways. My heart goes out to her children as I know what it is like to loose a parent much too soon. It just seems so unfair for the really good people to leave us way too soon." -- Norinna O'Shaughnessy


"Teresa had to be the strongest person I'd ever met. Let me tell you about her life, because only then can you understand just how amazing she was.

"Teresa lost her dad when she was young. When Teresa was 17 or so, she came down with leukemia or hodgkins or something like that. She and her family were told she was going to die. But then she got into an experimental program, where they used high dosages of either chemo or radiation (I could never remember which). This study was very valuable in that it both saved Teresa and helped doctors understand how much of the treatment was needed. But medicine has since learn that you don't need as much of chemo or radiation or whatever to be effective.

"On the plus side, Teresa went on and was able to live her life. She went to college, got married, and had two amazing kids who she brought into adulthood. She had a career as a physical thereapist.

"On the very minus side, when Teresa hit a certain age (I'm guessing it was around 30) her body started to try and die on her. She had major heart problems, and at one point had a valve put in. She became diabetic. She suffered breast cancer and had a radical masectomy. Eventually she could not work anymore and had to go on disability.

"But when Teresa became too sick to take care of her husband (who had been unemployed for a while), the ******* husband dumped her for another woman. Yes, I know, there is a lot more to that section of the story, but that is the essence of what happened. Teresa and her now teenaged kids were left with nothing of their own. Her friends were able to put her up, and eventually enabled her to get a place of her own.

"Throughout her whole *life* of trials and tribulations she aways had the most amazing and inspirational fighting attitude. Teresa never gave up. She was the Queen of Suck Up And Deal, and that will be one of the greatest lessons I have learned from her.

"So Teresa, being Teresa, determined to re-invent herself. She went back to college and got a second degree, a BS in psych. Then she went on to grad school in a human factors in tech-sort of program. All the time she had to deal with more health-fu. She had her lunges keep filling up with fluid, and last year had to deal with lungs filling with blood. Let me stop here and point out that last year, while she was in Intensive Care, she did most of the work on a school project. Despite all the time she spent in intensive care and the hospital she still pulled straight As. If life was fair there should have been a f'n ticker-tape parade for her for that accomplishment.

"More health fu occured. This summer, *just* before she was to leave for New York for an internship with IBM, she learned that she had breast cancer again. But since a month or so delay wasn't going to make a big difference she went to NY. She triumphed there -- they liked her so much they continued her internship when she got home. She got to play at living in NY. She told me that the time in NY put her at peace, because she knew that now she would overcome. She was on the home stretch and she was winning.

"She came home and within a week had her surgery. Had to go back in a week later for the drain, but that did not seem like a big deal. She now seemed to be over her health fu and was feeling better. She had one class this semester and it was proving to be easy. She was employed and for the first time since forever she had disposable income. She booked a trip over Xmas with her kids to celebrate.

"I went to dinner with Teresa Wednesday night. Much of our conversation was her telling me how happy she was. How she was getting validated in her work, that she could see the light at the end of the tunnel. That, really she was *shocked* to realize that she was now relaxed and happy. We giggled and strategized our Disneyland trip. Silly hats played a large part.

"But Teresa died in her sleep sometime Thursday night/Friday morning. I am unspeakably angry at the Universe that Teresa did not get to enjoy the fruits of her hard work, of her perserverance, her strength. I take only the tiniest bit of solace that she died *after* she knew she had won.

"The only thing that I can think to do now is to somehow help the last fight that she was facing. Her children's paternal grandfather had died 2 years ago and left the kids a very sizable percentage of his estate. But Teresa's erstwhile bother-in-law has sat on these assets for 2 years now and there was no progress towards Ariel and Morgan getting what is rightfully theirs. I know that she was about to engage a lawyer, because reasoning had failed. Now those kids (well, young adults, really) *really* need that money. So if its not already being taken care of I want to start a fund for a Truely Ruthless Lawyer to fight on Teresa's behalf. Like I said, I am Angry and I want to make sure that the one thing I know Teresa would like to have resolved is resolved.

"My heart goes out to Teresa's mom and Ariel and Morgan, and Teresa's best friend Branwen, and her cats, Honor and Max, and her dogs, Bubbles and Shadow. I can only think that their fates will be resolved in the coming weeks. I'll be in touch.

"Teresa has lead the way. No whining at what life throws at you. Muddle through, never give up, keep smiling." -- Geneviève de Vendome


So many lines of poetry I've tried to write
of my friend's great life

And for each and every poem
and ending is lacking

For you will live in memory like
granite

Music and mirth were always present
now life seems so quiet without you in it

Art and drama you liked
now one less to help us in the drama of life

Wisdom, love and caring you gave
now what shall we do you soon in the grave

Our hearts so sad
our lives now empty
of one special friend
who gave us so many
thoughtful words of wisdom and advise

Now goodbye is what we have to say
along with tears and much sadness for us today.

-- Maria del Norte


"I answered the phone "Hi, Teresa!" like I always do, 'cause, you know, the phone tells you who's calling and everything. And when Branwen ferch Emrys gave me the news, I didn't believe it. And for a long time afterward, I kept telling myself I was mistaken, that I'd misheard, that it was all just a mistake.

"There's a Teresa-shaped hole in my heart.

"I keep thinking of the things that I want to tell her, or share with her, of the giggling and snarking that we always looked forward to. When she went to New York, I put her in touch with my sister so she'd have people to hang out with. She played with the babies, and my sister fed her dinner and wine, and taught her to gleek -- to spit between your front teeth and go for distance. And she saw her first fireflies and knew they'd come out just for her. And I believe it.

"The tears are still there, just under the surface, and I know they'll be there for a while. I know I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm selfish, and I want my friend back." -- Rose de Le Mans


"I couldn't write before about Teresa. I had to get past the initial shock that she is really gone from us and get to the point that my tears didn't blind me in my efforts to write about her.

"She was a talented scribe, insightful of others' needs, always ready to laugh, a gentle soul, with one of the sharpest wits I can think I've ever been around. I remember in the early days when Crosston was just getting to be a shire, the smell of much bacon cooking on a Sunday morning in camp, the wonderful yellow and black day shade she sewed in her living room so that Crosston could have a place to be together. Her silly remarks in choir always made me laugh.

"She was a remarkable woman who never whined, no matter how devastated she must have been inside during those bad times in her life. And she had more bad times than most of us. Not too long ago I commented on LJ about the fact that sometimes my joking about my own medical history offended folks, and her response was that it was one of the things she liked about me.

"Teresa, you are too soon gone from us." -- Cordelia Tosere


"Others have said good things about her already. I will only say that her attitude towards her health problems always reminded me that I should not be so down about my own. She lived through personal problems and came out on the other side. She survived illness that most of us never imagine.

"One knows, intellectually, that one day each of us will die. I just never expected that it would be this soon for her -- she had already cheated death so often.

"Her contributions to the West were varied and many. We are poorer now." -- Flieg (Frederick of Holland)


I'm not sure exactly when I first met her ... it was way back when: back before the birth of her now-grown children. For a lot of that time we were on a "say hi in passing" basis, but lately we've been having some interesting in-depth conversations and finding some unexpected points of intersection. No one has any business having the things thrown at her that life pitched into her path -- and when life pitches stuff like that, the world has no business expecting the target to keep meeting each new thing with her level of gumption, ferocity, and humor. How can anyone dare to give up with her example before us? I wish I could knock off some good original poetry for the occasion, but I'll just steal from Gruffudd ab yr Ynad Coch's elegy for Llywelyn ap Gruffudd:

Poni welwch chwi hynt y gwynt a'r glaw?
Poni welwch chwi'r deri'n ymdaraw?
Poni welwch chwi'r mor yn merwinaw'r tir?
Poni welwch chwi'r gwir yn ymgyweiriaw?
Poni welwch chwi'r haul yn hwylaw'r awyr?
Poni welwch chwi'r syr wedi'r syrthiaw?

Don't you see the track of the wind and the rain?
Don't you see the oaks clashing?
Don't you see the waves lashing the shore?
Don't you see Truth impending?
Don't you see the sun coursing the sky?
Don't you see the stars have fallen?

-- Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn


"I did not know Teresa as much as others did; she had her circle, I had mine, and that was just how our lives ran. She was, however, a Crosstonian, and I knew her through the shire and counted her in my greater Crosston family. I remember her as sweet and smiling, with mischievous humor just below the surface always ready to come forth.

"After the Dance Ball where I had taken up the seneschalate, a friend related to me what he had overheard her saying, that she was glad it was I who was taking up the office as I had the energy to get the job done. Later in my term when I had to deal with the unkindness of several people and I often didn't feel I had the energy to continue, I remembered her words and they kept me going. Even after handing over the office I would recall her words during times of hostility and they would give me strength.

"She probably said that one sentence off-handedly, and had no idea that I would hear it or what it would later mean to me. But that early moment of support turned out to be one of my more cherished memories, and taught me that the smallest amount of kindness can change a person's world.

"May her spirit find peace and joy in its next adventure." -- Aelia Apollonia


"I learned about Teresa's passing on Sunday via all y'all's journals [LiveJournal]. I've spent a lot of time since then reflecting on what I learned from her in the brief time I knew her... not to mention being sorry I didn't know her better.

"The first thing I noticed about Teresa was her smile. She literally had the widest smile of anyone I'd ever met. Discovering the mischeivous sense of humor behind the smile was a delight. Learning about her life made me admire her ability to retain that sense of humor after everything she'd gone through. It also shamed me that I've been fighting depression when my life, compared to hers, has been a pleasant afternoon stroll in the park. I'm going to try to take some of her attitude and make it my own.

"I'm not one to scream at the universe about unfairness in most circumstances. But it is patently unfair that she died just as she was coming into her own again. And I still can't believe I won't see that smile again in this life." -- Naadirah bint 'Ali


"I had the blessed fortune of knowing Teresa for only a few years. While I understand she suffered some, there is a small piece of comfort knowing her last moments were peaceful. I got to know her children, and Ariel even watched after my son Demetri a time or two. Teresa gave so much of herself to others that was her type of spirit. Loving, giving, sharing. She took pride in her work both in and out of our society. While loosing her hurts so much, I shall cherish the times I did have with her and what she imparted to me in wisdom." -- Alessandra Di Castellani


"I was so shocked at Teresa's memorial to be reminded so forcefully of her illnesses: I knew about them, of course, but they weren't really part of my mental image of Teresa. I feel it's such a wonderful testament to her life that "all that" wasn't who she was to me: my personal definition of Teresa is of an artist who was immensely talented and even more immensely generous with her knowledge, her coaching, her humor, and of course her smile. I wasn't close enough to her to be directly impacted on a regular basis by the toll I know such illness takes, and so I never really reconciled in my mind that "all that" was a part of her. What I saw, and admired, and counted on being part of the world, was everything bright and beautiful. " -- Eliška z Jihlavy


This is what I wrote for Teresa's eulogy, though I delivered it slightly differently.


Wherever Teresa is, you know that she's really mad because we're having a huge party, with all her friends and family, and she can't come to it.

Everyone here knew Teresa, but by a slightly different name – Teresa Schulte, Teresa McCartney, Teresa le Merchant. One thing she was always clear on, though, was that she was always the same person underneath, always Teresa, no matter where she was or who she was with.

She was wickedly smart – she got a 98 on her last assignment for school, despite, as usual, worrying about what a poor job she had done. Teresa always felt that her older sister, Dianna, was the smart one. Teresa was very pleased when one time her friend Susan, who had a Ph.D. in some esoteric science from Stanford, said, "She's the smart one?" Teresa always tried for vowels on her report card, and that's what she got.

The first thing most people noticed about her was her smile. Ariel has that same smile, the Cheshire Cat smile, that fills the room. Teresa smiled a lot when she was with her friends and family, because she loved us and would do anything to be with us. She came to Mists Bardic directly from the hospital, because she knew her friends would be there to play with.

She once sewed a giant sunshade, big enough to invite all her friends into, and named it Trouble, so everyone could get into Trouble together. She was kind, and friendly, and loving, but not exactly nice – she would hate to be thought of as nice. At the Heaven and Hell Halloween party last year, she wore a red dress, not a white one. I don't think she really fooled anyone, though.

She sang in the choir, both in the SCA and in church, and was surprised to discover she was a tenor. She loved to dance, and when her body wouldn't let her dance anymore, she danced inside. I've been a scribe here for eighteen years, and from the very first, she was there beside me, as we learned how to use gold leaf and research real period work. She was a beautiful artist, and was recognized for it, but she was always said her mother was the real artist, and was very proud of what her mother could produce.

She was most proud of her children, Ariel and Morgan, and how well they've grown up into adults. She loved them as the interesting people they've become, with their funny senses of humor, Ariel's mad figuring-out skills, Morgan's ability to plan for wanted and to get it. I'm proud of her children, too.

When I found out Teresa had left us, I wasn’t surprised. My reaction, I suspect, matched a lot of yours: Damn. It's finally happened. Teresa wasn't a saint, despite having the Company of St. Teresa named after her (she's the patron saint of replaceable body parts). She hated all the bad things that happened to her, and more bad things happened to her than to any six other people. What made her special was that after her anger and despair, and there was a lot of it, she dealt. She didn't whine. She didn't expect people to make allowances for her. She decided what she wanted, and she kept going. She knew that if she slowed down, she'd stop, and she refused to stop. She had people to see, friends to hang out with, family to visit, new ideas to learn, and she was going to do all of it. Her candle burned at both ends, but she revelled in the light. Let's remember her shining.


and this I wrote for her, and will present today as my last poem as Bard of the Mists:
Live life with glee. Hold close your friends.
Embrace the sunshine as you play.
Dance, dance, until tomorrow ends.

Abandon grief. All nature tends
your hurts with love, so that you may
live life with glee. Hold close your friends.

To weather storms that nature sends
saplings quickly learn to sway.
Dance, dance, until tomorrow ends.

As each concentric ring appends
the new oak nears its final day.
Live life with glee. Hold close your friends.

Time's ruthless finger points, then bends,
to beckon forth life's final pay.
Dance, dance, until tomorrow ends.

A mighty oak no longer bends.
Time steals the treasures of today.
Live life with glee. Hold close your friends.
Dance, dance, until tomorrow ends.

-- Branwen ferch Emrys


Photos:
Fall Coronet Tournament -- Principality of the Mists (October 9-10, 1993, AS XXVIII)
Westermark Madness (August 3-4, 1996, AS XXXI)
Twelfth Night Coronation (January 6, 2001, AS XXXV)
     (In the play The Tale of the Cotswold Lion)
Twelfth Night Coronation (January 6, 2001, AS XXXV)
Twelfth Night Coronation (January 6, 2001, AS XXXV)
Mists Games (June 8, 2001, AS XXXVI)
Mists Games (June 8, 2001, AS XXXVI)
Mists Games (June 8, 2001, AS XXXVI)
Mists Coronet Tournament (September 28-30, 2001, AS XXXVI)
The Crosston Ball -- Crosston (January 26, 2002, AS XXXVI)
The Crosston Ball -- Crosston (January 26, 2002, AS XXXVI)
The Crosston Ball -- Crosston (January 26, 2002, AS XXXVI)
Crosston Ball (January 24, 2004, AS XXXVIII)
Poacher's Feast -- Caer Darth (May 7, 2005, AS XL)
June Crown Tournament (June 24-26, 2005, AS XL)
Beltane Coronation (May 3-7, 2006, AS XLI)


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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).