Trisha Smith Creekmore passed away on October 18th, 2012 at 8:25 am.
I’m thankful that she and her husband, David, were so open and sharing about their lives and her illness. I know from my own experience that, during troubled times, it’s important to let people know about the trouble. We’re social animals. We need company in both good times and bad times. In the 21st century, some of that company comes via the internet. It doesn’t replace spending time in person but it can add to it.
Through their posts and more direct Facebook exchanges I got to know a person who could have remained just an old memory. I got to know a living, amazing person. That was priceless.
I posted this cartoon for Trish on Facebook with the caption: Heaven Can Wait. Unlike Trish, I don’t have cool taste in music but apparently the caption was appropriate. Iron Maiden, a band that she liked, had a song by the same title.
When I was a senior in high school I made an effort to give a card and, often, a rose to every girl I knew on her birthday. I drew the cards myself. The rose was usually stolen from out of a yard somewhere in our town of Sebastopol.
I don’t remember what I drew for Trish’s card. I do remember the look that Trish gave me when I handed her the card and the rose. I can’t tell you what the look meant. It looked to me like a mixture of curiosity, disbelief and appreciation but I really have no idea. Like I said, we ran in different social circles. We didn’t hang out or have conversations. She said thank you. I said you’re welcome.
Trish was born October 6th, 1964. I wanted to do a special illustration for her birthday this year but I didn’t think it was smart to wait until her birthday to deliver it. She was in hospice card and had been given a limited time to live. I posted this cartoon on Facebook on October 3rd, 2012.
While I was in Colorado, I got the news that Trisha Creekmore was no longer able to get treatment for her cancer. I’d known Trish, as Trish Smith, since 7th grade but we hadn’t run in the same social circles. The most interaction we’d had in high school had been when we were in dance class and in theater productions. I started catching up with her when she friended me on Facebook in 2009. For an outline of who she was, please read her husband’s eulogy of her.
I wanted to do something for Trish. Sending flowers seemed redundant. I was pretty sure she was getting enough of those. A drawing however, some kind of cartoon, that I could do. This was the first of a series of cartoons that I drew and posted to Trish’s Facebook account. One of the things that Trish had wanted to do before she passed was to swim with a whale shark. I’d first thought to draw a depiction of that but then I thought, “Why stick with the possible?” Trish was going so she might as well go big.
I didn’t hear what Trish, herself, thought of the cartoons. I didn’t expect to. I hope that, if she saw them, that she got some amusement out of them. I do know that they gave her husband comfort. After Trish passed away he asked me to send them to him. I gladly did so.