"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky of
night." –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Our tango community has lost one of its mothers. Margaret, and her husband Vance, were two of the first people I met in tango. Engaging and supportive - they both helped spread the 'gospel of tango' here in Austin and nearly everywhere they travelled. I had no idea at the time, almost a year and a half ago, how much they had done to support and expand this group. If you've ever traveled here for the Austin Spring Tango Festival, then you probably saw them - welcoming everyone, checking and double-checking details, and dancing when time permitted. Margaret was a graceful and very gentle soul. She had a gift for bringing people together. She had a soothing presence in stressful situations (an essential skill when organizing events like tango festivals).
And now she's gone too soon.
I thought I would have more time with her.
That's only part of it, though. The rest of it is simply childish, selfish. I thought if I avoided thinking too much about the cancer claiming her health, that I wouldn't really lose her. Denial . . . I didn't get to say goodbye, or to say thank you. I wanted to say thank you for talking to me when I didn't know anyone at the milongas. And thank you for inviting me to participate in, and become part of, this wonderful community.
When I read the news and told my husband, he asked if I was still going to the milonga that night. I think I just stared a moment. I had to go dancing - I don't know how else to cope with things like this anymore, but to dance. What did I do before tango? I don't want to remember. When things are good, I dance. And when things are too much to bear, I dance more.
Margaret had a healing, reassuring way about her. This community shares her beautiful, welcoming spirit, and for that I am so grateful.
"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the
love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they
Margaret's obituary is here.
Information about her memorial at Esquina Tango June 24th, 2010 can be found here.