Tributes to Carol
Carol loved Halloween. If you knew her, you'll have no problem figuring out why. It
was this mutual love that first introduced me to the drama that was Carol Buckley. The
day this happened will forever be engraved in my mind. There she was, short red hair
glimmering under the florescent lights, black cape swirling behind her and then the thing
that make it all so wonderful, she turned around and flashed those vampire fangs and
gave an evil little hiss. Sweet. How could I not love and admire her after that? Problem
was, I had no idea who that vampire was the other 364 days of the year.
"That was Carol Buckley."
"Who's Carol Buckley?"
"She works upstairs at the Circ. Desk."
Alright, I decided, I need to really pay more attention and figure out what that chick was
because she is obviously just too darn cool not to know! Of course, it didn't take long
after I got my nose out of my book and started listening to the conversations going on
around me at lunchtime in the Staff Lounge at Olin Library to find her.
Her laughter and the way it infected those around her soon became a part of my daily
meal. She told a story with everything inside her. Her eyes would light up. Her hands
would gesture with emotion. Her voice would lift and lilt and dance through the
conversation. Never interrupting. Always enhancing and encouraging of others to share
in the joy of story telling.
Carol told her stories, and the stories of countless others, through her acting and her
beautiful voice. I tell mine through prose and poetry. Although I do enjoy being
theatrical at time, the written word is to me what the stage was to Carol, home. When
that sad day finally came and I heard of her passing, I knew I had to honor her in some
way. Naturally, it would be in writing, a poem. For some reason I still had a picture of
Carol and her Circulation co-workers from the previous years Halloween. There was
Carol, the Red Queen, trying to look haughty and cruel through the smirk and twinkling
eyes. That was it, "The Queen of Hearts".
It seemed appropriate that my first memory and final tribute to this wonderful friend
should center around Halloween, a day we both loved. And so, without further adieu I
give to you "The Queen of Hearts".
You went softly into that Sweet Night,
With Grace & Poise & Dignity,
befitting a Queen.
'O quiet night and even quieter days,
Await us while you Sleep,
Stretched on your lounge,
Served with a wave of your hand
and your impish smile and wink.
The Song that was taken from you in those final days,
Returned to you now as you take your place
in the Choir of Heaven.
Heaven will never be the same.
I do hope God has a sense of humor.
You have exited this stage,
You have taken your final bow.
Your final lingering notes still hang in the air,
as does the applause of the crowd.
Only this time,
You've already left the building,
blowing kisses behind you,
And made your Entrance elsewhere.
Befitting of a Queen,
With Grace & Poise & Dignity,
The Curtain has fallen.
I'd like to talk about what went on in my life during the course of Carol's illness. For the past four
years my husband and I struggled with infertility. During that time, my close friends have known of
the ups and downs of this struggle and have been very supportive. Carol was one of those people
who encouraged me to continue trying to have a baby after each failed attempt.
I started the final round of fertility treatments last October, right around the time that it was evident
that something was terribly wrong with Carol. Yet when I told my girlfriends that I was pregnant with
twins, they were thrilled and hopeful that all would go well despite the hopeless situation we were
facing with Carol.
Over the following months, I participated as a Caroller as much as I could, even though it never
seemed like enough. I was pretty tired and got sick towards the end of my pregnancy. Sometimes
I would come for Range of Motion exercises and would do more laughing and visiting than
The week after Carol died, the babies came in the middle of the night - two months premature and
I felt Carol's presence when they were born.
The hospital ward has just been newly renovated in a
beautiful leaf motif and I was sure it was so I would know that she was with me. But more so,
when they rushed me to the operating room for an emergency c-section, I experienced the same
fear that Carol must have felt of being swept up in a medical process over which I had little control.
Right after, I was paralyzed from the waist down and got just a glimpse of what it must have been
like for Carol to suddenly be totally reliant on other people to move her around and keep her from
Although I felt Carol's presence so vividly, I regret the most that I was unable to attend her
memorial service. I was so sad in the hospital on that Sunday envisioning the service going on
without me but I hoped that having had the babies just the day before was a good enough excuse
and that she would forgive me.
I've always believed that life comes and it goes - People we love die and new people are born who
we can love with equal passion. It's this balancing act that we struggle with when we lose someone
we love. It makes me chuckle to think that Carol's spirit was so huge, so animated, so alive that I
had to bring not one, but two human beings into this world to restore equilibrium. She never got to
see the babies here on earth, but when I look in my babies' eyes and I'm certain that they came
from heaven, I'm sure that their paths crossed along the way.
I'm proud to introduce you to Trevor and Grace Walden.