My dear friend Anne Fraser lost her fight with breast cancer last night.
I've known her for at least fifteen years, starting with the old vampyres@guvm list. This was in the old Bitnet days before yahoogroups, before AIM or the web. Along with a group of friends, we collaborated together on "A Rip in Time", a story of time travel, Jack Ripper and vampires. Anne and I joined forces later for part of the Joshua Chronicles, adding a few more characters to her already cast of thousands. We'd even found a way to link that dratted actor fellow to one of my characters, but never had a chance to put it into story form. People bandy around the term prolific loosely these days, but Anne was definitely a prolific writer. She was always working some project or story idea. Even when the muses weren't firing, she'd still be tinkering with something. Not many people would be willing to revisit a mammoth saga like hers and revise it. But she did. I just wish she'd lived long enough to see it in print. Or write more adventures of Gideon and Joshua and yes even Adrian. She complained about him mightily, but I think she was rather fond of him all things considered.
Anne and I met on two occasions. Once my parents and I decided to go to the Stratford Festival to see "The Mikado". We needed a stopping point choosing Kitchener by some weird coincidence. Anne and her mother met a couple of complete strangers for dinner. Then another year Anne had the chance to show me around Toronto, mostly disappearing into this bookstore or that one. We snarked over vampires or figure skating or any other random topic that came to mind.
We've written together, we've corresponded, we've exchanged cards and presents, we've traded library stories. She used to send cards filled with glitter or confetti, making opening them without spilling the contents an adventure in themselves. It's hard to believe that won't happen ever again. I just can't imagine her not being there. It seems like she's always been there -- to listen, to kvetch, to offer advice or sympathies.
I can't even begin to describe how I'm feeling right now. I've never really lost anyone I was close to. I feel like part of me has been ripped out. The only good thing is knowing how much she was loved and appreciated in the end, surrounded by all her friends. She had so many people pulling for her, from all over the world. She wanted so much to keep going. To her credit, she fought this illness every step of the way. Most people would get discouraged by the next setback, but she'd take it with humor and grace.
If anyone tells me Internet friends aren't "real", I'll point at the ghouls and the jyg. I've known these women for years now. Some of them I've never met in person, some I've seen maybe once a year, but they're always there for me. Always. How are they any less friends? The most frustrating part about Anne's illness was the distance, not being there. Honestly I wish I'd been a better friend near the end, trying to call or sending that card I always meant to. I hope she knows she was never far from my thoughts.
Please please everyone get those mammograms and physicals, even if it seems like a bother or something that can't happened to you. sarajlarson
has posted her own memories
of our longtime friend. She expresses a lot of the things I wish I could find the words for right now.
I will so miss you. You were one of a kind.
Rest in peace Anne. Friend and writer. Fraser's Fractured FictionCentre Stage"You think it takes courage to do what we do? Face another immortal with a sword knowing only one of you will live? You try being her! You try living one year knowing your time is running out. Knowing that when it comes to the final fight, however much you train, whatever tricks you have, you still lose. That's the way it is for them. So little time for them to see anything or DO anything."
-- Methos, "Methuselah's Gift"