Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rest in peace.

Leroy's first professorship was at the University of Rochester, in New York, where I was with the local public television station, WXXI. Our closest friends were Matthew and Sabine Marino. Their children Colin (left) and Klaudia (right) spent a fair amount of time with us in those years, particularly when Cassandra and Sabrina were with us in the summertime. I think this is a photo from either late 60s or early 70s, perhaps in Michigan, before the Marinos moved to a farm outside Rochester.

Our friendship has remained for nearly 40 years. Even though divorced, Matt and Sabine remained parents of two wonderful people. Matt and I drove to Tyler last spring when I was staying in Austin, so that I could spend time with Sabine for what would surely be the last time. Sabine had a brain tumor, the same sort as Senator Kennedy's. It affected everything she had previously been able to do as an independent spirit. I had about four good hours of conversation with her. We were able to reminisce, but also to talk about what was surely to come. She was so proud of her grown children and regretful that she never could seem to say that to them properly. With cancer, she learned about patience; and her sense of humor was often directed at herself.

Colin is an ER doctor at one of the finest trauma centers in the country, in Tyler. Klaudia is a marketing executive based in Austin. Sabine continued to live outside Tuscaloosa since the 80s when she and Matt divorced, teaching part time, and living on the farm where she took care of around 20 horses, many of which were her own. She has lived in Tyler with Colin for the past year. The loss of her physical capacity and the boredom that comes from resting all the time had to have been hardest on her. She could not envision giving up the farm or the horses, even with a brain tumor. On the other hand, she was happy to be taken care of by her children.

She died last night, outliving the statistics for the tumor by nearly a year. I hope that her restless spirit will now rest in peace. And every time I take a walk, I will continue to think about her and the others also gone because we do not yet have the tools to eliminate cancer.


Klaudia Flanigin said...

I love you Annie. What a wonderful remembrance of my mom. Thank you for the kind words about her. We Marinos have loved the Searles for decades and are better to have you in our lives. Much love, Klaudia.

Penny said...

Beautifully written Annie. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Tracy said...


I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful friend. I hope she is resting in peace and her children find comfort in their memories of her.

Anonymous said...

Dear Annie,
It is very comforting for us to see that Sabine had so many good friends in America! Thank you very much for this wonderful obituary notice.
Sabine`s sister, nephew and niece from Germany (Berlin.)

anna said...

Matt directed us to your blog site. I am sad that I saw so little of Sabine after the divorce--often thought of her and Klaudia and Colin (whom I got to see at Yale once). Sabine's energy will always infect Tuscaloosans who knew her.

Anna Jacobs Singer