Our good friend Boo Hubbard passed away last Monday from her final round of cancer. She’d had several bouts of it, and beat it back with a stick and medical help. At 73, she passed away with her family at her side, remarkably peacefully for a woman of her temperament.
In our world, Boo came to help us in the office, calling many of you to remind you to order, suggesting wonderful items that would surely complement your other offerings, answering phones while we wrangled with pallets stuck on trucks, and filing when we were in the freezer packing orders.
It’s hard to describe her properly to those who haven’t met the tactile force of her personality, but Boo may have aged, but she wasn’t aged. She would come to the Crown O’ Maine office and set to work calling her customers, stop at lunch to lean back in her chair as we’d raft up and jaw over the past week’s doings. She was a saving grace for Marada when I was out of the country and Marada had just had Ivyn and was trying to ride the bucking tiger that was Crown O’ Maine’s growth. She took time off when she first had cancer, and came and scrapped her way back through the recovery period of fatigue and memory gaps.
You may not have known on the phone, but when she first came back she used every ounce of her wits to juke and jive, to find methods to sidestep sudden holes in her memory, to keep the conversation in the air and focused. She talked and worked her way back to health, and all of us admire the effort, the grace, the agility, and the will it took to come out the other end.
I share these photos with you because while she wouldn’t so excited to see them on the internet, she didn’t sweat the small stuff. What I like about them is that they capture her pretty well. Boo stayed in motion–her tempo was high, even in illness. The vibrancy of her character meant that she didn’t worry about foolishness (which is a good thing around here).
Boo had the admirable quality of being able to sit down with anyone, in any conversation, and take it at face value, accepting the set-up and assumptions, then listening and hearing with an open mind. It’s not that she was unthinking; to the contrary, she also had a strong ability to form her thoughts and opinions, independent to the nth degree.
She and I had conversations about faith, and the gifts of trials. I told her that my trials had really shown me my own strength, that there are moments when no one can help you, and it’s then that the angel is shown, as Emerson put it. She told me she wasn’t afraid of dying.
Anyone who knows her wouldn’t be surprised by that.
People hesitate to say certain things out of politeness, but one of the things I admire most about Boo is that her whole person was intact–her joys, her enthusiasms, her angers, and her bitterness. Don’t get me wrong, she was not a bitter person, but neither was she smoothed to blandness by time. Like any young person, she still had passions and retorts, and stubborn pride, and fierce loyalty. There was a woman who burned bright.
We loved her dearly, and will miss her fiercely. Love you, Boo.