In which we wish a happy birthday

October 4, 2012

Hello, everyone, Becky here.

Today is Turquoise/Violet’s birthday. To mark the occasion, I am posting the link to a PDF that contains all the wonderful remembrances you were so kind to send; a copy of the memorial program, copies of all of the readings, and the wonderful eulogy that Don Wood wrote and delivered.

Please let me know if you sent a remembrance and it is missing in the online copy; I will remedy any mistakes that I inadvertently made.

A note to those who could not attend the memorial; an unexpected freeway closure kept several people from making it to the service, including Melitta, the officiant. She made it to the gathering afterwards and made her remarks there; it was nice since there were quite a few people that were similarly delayed, so they got to experience a bit of the service, too. I am remiss in not asking Melissa for a copy of her remarks; I will try to get them.

Here is the link to the downloadable PDF. (caution, large file)

Thanks, and I hope you are celebrating our wonderful friend in your own way today.


In which we celebrate and remember and mourn

June 19, 2012


Memorial for Turquoise Taylor Grant
aka Violet White

Sunday, July 29, 5pm
Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula
740 E. Main Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060

A gathering will be held afterward at
Glen Tavern Inn
134 N. Mill Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060

– – – – – – – – – –
Special note to friends:

We are gathering writing/musings/remembrances about Turquoise for a binder that friends and family can peruse at the reception. If you’d like your writing to be included, please send it to Becky by July 20.

If you are able to attend the service and/or gathering in person, please email Ethan so that the organizers can have an idea of the number of attendees. Thanks.


In which we celebrate the fox, and the foxy

June 6, 2012


Hello, Becky here again.

If you’d like to honor Turquoise’s memory with a charitable gift, her family has chosen the Nature Conservancy as a cause that befits her well. In addition to the Conservancy’s worldwide efforts at protecting ecologically important lands and waters, they are also involved in saving none other than the Santa Cruz Island Fox, a small mammal (pictured at the top of this post) that lives on Santa Cruz in the Channel Islands — only about 20 miles from Ventura, the city in which Turquoise lived.

At just four pounds and the size of a small house cat, the Santa Cruz Island Fox has historically been the island’s top predator for thousands of years. However, history changed as introduced species and human disturbances took their toll on the island, driving the native fox population to near extinction.

The Nature Conservancy—together with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game—engaged in an intensive, science-based recovery project to save the island fox. In less than a decade, the fox population has made an unprecedented recovery—heralding it as one of the fastest and most successful endangered species recovery programs in U.S. history.

More about the fox and the Conservancy’s efforts >

You can make a Memorial Gift to the Conservancy here, and any amount can be indicated. Her full name was Turquoise Taylor Grant. Under “Person to be notified,” you can provide Turquoise’s brother’s information:

Ethan Upper
596 Poli Street
Ventura CA 93001
Email: eupper@gmail.com

From the Conservancy site, you can even send an e-card to Ethan’s email address, which he will forward to the rest of the family. Of course, paper cards and letters are also appreciated.

The family is still working out the details for the memorial service; I will let you know as soon as the date and venue have been set.

Although I hate having to take over her space here, and for the saddest of reasons, I am finding such joy and comfort reading everyone’s comments, visiting blogs, and getting to know more of her electronically-based (but no less important!) friends. I hope that we all are finding solace in each other.

— Becky


In which we say goodbye

May 30, 2012


Turquoise, also known as Violet. Lost to us May 29, 2012. Here she is, always the life of the party, in 2007.

Hello, this is Becky writing, a friend of Turquoise/Violet. With the permission of her brother, I am posting an update here.

As most everyone knows by now, our dear girl passed on yesterday — Tuesday, May 29 — at dawn. She waged a long and brave war with cancer, outliving her diagnosis by an impressive amount of time. She was at home, surrounded by family, music, peace — and, of course, her fierce and faithful cat, Kong.

There is not much I can add that hasn’t been said here in the comments, or on Facebook, or on blogs, or in person. She was a sweet, complex, beautiful star and we’ll miss her forever.

Her family would like to let you know there will be a memorial in approximately one month, in Ventura County. I will post details as soon as they get finalized.

If you have any questions, please email me and I can put you in touch with her brother.

Love to all, Becky (aka hambox)


In which I am calmer

May 4, 2012

That fruit tart that arrived yesterday was easily the most delicious thing I’ve had in weeks! Wow. I didn’t eat the crust, because anything crackery tastes like bark, but damn, the rest of it was ridiculous.

Anyway, I attribute it with healing powers. I also had some big surprises in the form of my awesome cousins who showed up from Massachusetts and North Carolina to, well, surprise me! I love them so much, and there was much intense laughter and, once my brother arrived, more intense laughter. He just adds spice to the proceedings. I should call him “Mrs Dash.” (yeah, I’m a little worn out at the moment)

Anyway. I will just mention that these moments represent the upside of cancer. The part where friends and family rally around you. I maybe sound spoiled sometimes, but I am genuinely grateful for so much. And that includes every one of you sending love. I am unfairly blessed.

Cancer does suck, but it also reveals every aspect of the human condition.

I’m grateful today that my mother, whom I sometimes think is overly concerned with appearances, encouraged me to get dressed and put on some of the 3,000 pounds of cosmetics I have on my dresser. Superficial, but I felt a lot better with a little mascara.

And, Maven, I have to let you know that a giant pool of laughter erupted when I explained your wardrobe concept of “Denim Circus.” you are ingenious.

So, that’s all for tonight. Let’s all sing “I feel love” by Donna Summer as we drift off to sleep, counting our blessings. Count! Sing! I demand it!!

here’s a picture of my cat napping with me.


In which things shake out

May 4, 2012

So, after some really intense fighting yesterday, I think things have shaken out a bit.

For which I am grateful.

I have never embraced the pink bracelet culture of cancer fighters. It just didn’t really jibe with my vision, or whatever. But my friend Mickey came down to visit, giving me a pink rubber bracelet like the one she was wearing. It reads, Cancer Sucks, and I was like, Yeah. Pretty much. So I’m now wearing the bracelet in her honor.

And this arrived:


So that’s a big plus. Things are looking up.

Today is better than yesterday. Let’s hope that’s a continuing trend.


In which I hit a new low

May 3, 2012

Fuck. I have been trying to keep it together but of course, today, my mother frustrated me so much that I lost it and ended up yelling and now she is sulking in the kitchen, yes, sulking. Because I “used exasperation” in my tone in dealing with a stupid conversation. She is like a dog with a bone. She gets in there and really gets her teeth into a subject of acute stupidity and won’t let it go.

In this case, the turning point of the case rested on the idea that she needed exacting directions to drive to a certain pharmacy to pick up a prescription I did not ask her to refill. The driving directions, and this is in the days of gps, amounted to “take the exit, then turn left on the next street, which is clearly marked.”

She turned it into such a clusterfuck of idiocy, like, but what lane will I need to be in??? that I finally lost my shit and started sobbing and she was all, well, you’re using exasperation on me and I have trouble navigating your unfrozen cave man roads, so you should be kinder to me.

That she has been to this pharmacy before made no difference. That she can navigate these roads all day long if she’s going to the healing rooms, is of no consequence. I used exasperation, and I think we can all see that that is the major crime, here. My evil failure to acknowledge her intermittently crippling Traffic Anxiety.

And so I am back to my drugs, and she is sulking in the next room because look how much she has done for me and I don’t appreciate it.

Here is the ovoid face today:


You want to see what cancer looks like? It looks like that. A stupid argument and a lot of rage and since I can’t get up and grovel in the next room, some frosty silence until She decides to forgive me.

Trust me, this is the ugliest side of the disease, when politeness has been smashed into bits and the real feelings come through. And it is inevitable that they do. And I hate every second of it. Every motherfucking second.