I'm fascinated by Eva Markvoort, an online friend that I have known for a few years now. Eva is a lot of things I'm not: she's one of those expansive, almost grandiose people who make you understand where magical realism comes from. Eva is so outgoing and generous, and so brightly colored - most photos of her show her with crayon-red hair and lips. She also wanted to be a theatre makeup artist and practiced by doing face-painting for children when she worked as a summer camp leader. Eva is open in a way that I'm not, that most of us are not. Not only on her blog www.65redroses.livejournal.com, but on camera; there is a documentary about Eva called 65_RedRoses about her wait to get new lungs as her own began to fail because of her cystic fibrosis.
The other thing that Eva is, which I am not, is dead.
Eva died almost exactly one year ago, on March 27th 2010. I can't believe it's been that long already, and unsurprisingly, I'm crying again writing this.
The documentary about Eva's wait for new lungs ended with her getting them. She went on to get to do many of the things she'd always wanted to do - run, travel further than a short distance away from her doctors and hospitals, meet other friends with cystic fibrosis in person. She broke up with her first love and met her second. She continued to raise money for CF research, and awareness of it and of organ donation. And then her body rejected her new lungs, slowly and in stages. And Eva shared that with the world as well. She blogged from her hospital room, which got covered in cards and letters from around the world from people who had seen the documentary or read her blog. I sent her a letter on stationary covered with vintage sewing patterns. She posted videos of herself and her family from the hospital. She was as open with her death as she was with her life.
One year later, I'm still fascinated by Eva. And I still miss her.
This is an image from her celebration of life program, from her blog www.65redroses.livejournal.com. 65 Roses is Cystic Fibrosis, the way a lot of little kids say it. When I was a nanny, the kids would sometimes watch Mr. Polly do his nebulizer and ask about it, or ask why he coughed so much, and I would explain about the Cystic Fibrosis and how kids get to call it 65 Roses. Eva chose red roses, and they suit her so well. Eva is missed.