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    For the Friends of Stratofrog

    There are many here who likely remember Stratofrog from TPM days. Some have kept in touch. I bring sad news that Stratofrog has a glioblastoma - an aggressive cancer of the brain. Diagnosed 2 weeks ago today, symptomatic for about 6 weeks, it is estimated that she has only a few weeks to live.

    She is handling this with tremendous grace and strength, with love at the top of her priorities. She sends out an embrace to all her friends, including those who are in the circle of never seen but gladly met.

    As her spouse and partner of 20 plus years, I give the rather biased assessment that Kelly is special and the world will be a poorer place without her. But in these last days she is like a shooting star glowing brightly across the heavens, showering all below with a golden light.

    I ask for your kind thoughts and hopes that she makes the exit she hopes for, one with love, dignity, and as little pain as possible.

    I will update as time permits.


    This is very, very sad news indeed, Rowan. Respectful love from me, flowerchild, to Stratofrog, and to you, my dear, I send strength.

    I can only second flowerchild's words ... my heart is with you.

    I'm terribly sad to hear this, but thank you for letting us know. My thoughts go out to you and to Kelly. She has been part of our little community for a long time, and we will miss her dearly.

    Please know that you both are in my thoughts. You both have contributed so much to this forum. She will be missed. Thank you for sharing this sad news.     Jan Maugans

    We value you both so much and are distressed to hear this.

    Librewolf... My heart goes out to you and your love...

    Words totally fail but please ... keep the following in mind...


    Put another Banyan tree on the fire for me, OGD - 

    sorry Strato, sorry Libre - we're all blog creatures here of some form or other,

    and that bit might last for an internet eternity,

    but we're also the flesh and blood that moves the fingers and taps the keys til burns out.

    In this anonymity, like passing cars with virtual windows rolled up,

    we occasionally touch each other, share ideas, enthusiasm, even pain & frustration.

    I've known so many more net denizens who passed on than those in "real life"

    (wherever that is - seems like that hyphen we used to use in "e-mail").

    It seems this clannish stuff could make it easier to walk on,

    but in the end it's still a journey alone, no matter how many postcards you take with.

    May your knapsack be full of the bundles of interesting talks, jokes, excitement, passion, comfort, and even blessed silence.

    Wherever the Bardo leads you, may it be the path you choose to walk, the next story the one you choose to tell.

    Happy trails. Des/PP

    Stratofrog says often how lucky she feels in the love that has found her and how happy she is with the course of her life.

    As confusion from the tumor's stealing her language, she says that music is the only thing that still makes total sense.

    She is embracing her life with grace as she 'packs her bag' for this final journey.

    This: hopes that she makes the exit she hopes for, one with love, dignity, and as little pain as possible.

    Plus hopes and prayers for this: everyone in the medical and social system that she deals with is not just amenable, but eager, to help her get that. And that anyone that might want to get in the way or cause stress leave her and you alone. May it be a blessed time.

    oh, rowan; what mind and heart-melting news.  wendy and i offer this sublime an exquisite poet, and would read it to her twice a day if we could.  our love to both of you as she transitions, and we heartily accept her embraces.

    steve davis

    White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field

    Coming down out of the freezing sky
    with its depths of light,
    like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
    it was beautiful, and accurate,
    striking the snow and whatever was there
    with a force that left the imprint
    of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
    and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
    and the indentation of what had been running
    through the white valleys of the snow —
    and then it rose, gracefully,
    and flew back to the frozen marshes
    to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
    in the blue shadows —
    so I thought:
    maybe death isn’t darkness, after all,
    but so much light wrapping itself around us —
    as soft as feathers —
    that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
    and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
    and let ourselves be carried,
    as through the translucence of mica,
    to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
    that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
    in which we are washed and washed
    out of our bones.

    ~ Mary Oliver

    stratofrog. forever glorious. 

    accept no substitutes.

    we love you, darling.




    I shared your regards with Stratofrog, and she was very touched. She said to tell you that she loves you all and that you contributed to who she is. She spoke glowingly of your uniqueness and how wonderful it was that so many brilliant and caring people came together in space.

    She is quite sincere in her praise. She has never been one for idle chatter nor gratuitous remarks. This is even more true in this closing chapter of her life.

    I am so, so sorry to hear this. What terrible news. I'll be sending you good thoughts.

    Along the water,
    light plays tricks upon shadows,
    like my clever friend.

    Moat, you have captured something here. For when I read it I burst into tears.

    Thank you.

    Read your news while eating breakfast at the Bluenose cafe in downtown Halifax. Sat there blubbering, an elderly waitress tenderly bringing me coffee and napkins and patting me on the back for the rest of the morning.


    Ah dear.

    How does the heart connect when all we ever see of each other on here are words... and a bit of music, of course. And yet, a person begins to form in our mind.

    But in your case, Strato, a person of... magic. Walking poems. Trees that talk. Colour jumping out when we were arguing black/white lines. 11 syllables and a smile after I'd been dropping a 3 day rant and glowering.

    Let me say it. Strange e-world this one we live in and fall through, and much to worry about within in. But also, sometimes, you meet people here, and they open their hearts, and a light comes out, and you just... fall in love.

    That simple. 

    That Strato.

    In my life, the true life forces - the life forces - that I have met, well, when I close my eyes I still see them. As a candle in my mind's map. Stratofrog my friend, you've been a candle for me for years now. 

    Your candle's not going out, darling. Just moving a bit further North.

    We'll meet you there soon enough. For us, a few more years to look at the leaves from below. 

    All my love.




    Strato would comment on my older stuff all the time.

    And I would comment on his, I assume.

    Strato was a regular at TPM and here.

    I shall miss Strato.

    One gets older and friends seem to slip by.

    I hope some remember me when I slip by.

    Dick, you ain't slipping by, no how, no way. You'll be begging us to let you go by the time it's through, and well, we just might, but don't think you're just gonna catch the night train and that's the end of it. Now belly up to the bar - you've got some rounds to spot for us, I believe, and btw, what'd your mum pack us for lunch?

    Signed, the abusive kool kidz in teh back of the Dagblog klassroom.

    Kelly and Rowan:


    Wendy Davis was kind enough to forward Rowan’s post advising those of us who love you both of your current and obviously heartbreaking circumstances.


    In real life, I’ve had two close female friends who have died of cancer. One of whom put her faith in western medicine and endured surgery and endless rounds of chemotherapy. And it was she who died miserably, in hospital, rallying her wit to quote Oscar Wilde: “…either I or the wallpaper must go.” The other, Deborah Bonnier, was my closest friend when I lived in Miami. She endured surgery and one round of chemo and, after that horrific experience, then decided that she would prefer to die sooner rather than later if she could be at home, surrounded by the people she loved. (I wrote about her on TPM, as I so admired her courage and dignity.)


    So. Given the disparity of their individual experience, I respect and admire you for having the courage that Deborah had to value quality of life over length of life.


    After she died, I rewrote my living will, to reflect her choices. So I understand your choices, with which I concur.


    Ti amo, je t’aime, I love you,



    I want you to know how much I value you

    In real life I have had a number of female friends whom I valued – whether for intelligence, or imaginative creativity, or whimsical/dry humor, or a level of empathy which engendered a desire and willingness to help others. But, until I encountered you, Kelly (and Rowan), I had never encountered a woman/women who combined all these characteristics into a cohesive whole.

    I think the Café At TPM was a forum that was a gift to writers of both genders. It is my personal opinion that you –Kelly/Strato - were, are, and will always be the best writer/contributor to the café, without exception. And, given our still sexist society, I rejoice that, on TPM, there was a female subset to you ….a group of talented, articulate informed women who included: Victoria R and Wendy D (whose TPM IDs, for some reason, I can’t remember), as well as C’Ville Dem, Aunt Sam, Flowerchild, Barefooted and a few others I would have to look at backup files to name.

    Wendy Staebler/Miss Manners

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