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28 February 2015 @ 12:32 pm
"From whose bourn no traveler returns..."  
As the fleet data analyst at the new company I work for, I basically sit in the IT department, despite the fact I have no tech support or hardware function. I was worried about being the only girl in the department, but it's not bad at all-- it's often quiet, and its entertaining when the server/tech guys get silly. Sometimes, I heard bits of conversations floating out that make me laugh, or I playfully fuss at them like a preschool teacher.

Yesterday, one of the guys came in and announced that Leonard Nimoy had died. I assumed he was teasing-- they often randomly quiz me or test my sci-fi/science/tech knowledge. (I remind them all the time that just because I have ovaries does not mean that I can't enjoy science fiction, horror, or military history.) It turned out that he wasn't teasing, and we all became very sober. In an effort to lighten the situation, one of the guys stuck his head in the CEO's office and said that the entire IT department had to go home for a day of mourning.

... I'm not going to lie, I did end up crying when I got home. I know its foolish, but there are some celebrity deaths that hit you in the gut. I've never really had one effect me before, but my mother was very shaken when Whitney Houston died, and my uncle was distressed at Ernie Bank's passing.

I watched TOS all the time growing up, and Mr. Spock was my favorite character. So many people have already written far more eloquently about the draw of his character than I ever could. He's the outsider with his toes just barely in the circle of light cast by the street lamp-- always in-between. The opportunity to identify with that is what made Spock a sci-fi legend.

My brother and I also loved watching 'In Search Of', which Leonard Nimoy narrated. He had such a wonderful voice. I recall a very young Nimoy in an episode of The Twilight Zone and, while I have tons of philosophical, stylistic and narrative problems with the Star Trek Reboot, I was thrilled to see Mr. Nimoy reprise his role. He was a great supporter of Jewish education and academic preservation too, which never hurts.

I have nothing original, witty or marvelous to say, and it certainly isn't as if I knew the man. But his keystone character was always a titan in my fictional landscape, and a passing is one of those reminders that wakes up the little girl inside.

Farewell and safe travels, Mr. Nimoy. The world will be a less gentle and far less logical place without you.


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Emotional Temperature: sadsad
 
 
 
badly_knitted: Alonebadly_knitted on February 28th, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
Like you, i grew up with original Star Trek, and spock was always my favourite, so I'm deeply saddened, but his loss is having less impact on me than it would have some other time, coming as it does just a week after losing my mother. Maybe they'll run into each other. Farewell, Leonard. Spock was a big part of my childhood, he will be missed.
Meredith Bronwen Mallorygarnettrees on March 1st, 2015 02:18 am (UTC)
I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I know there's nothing that can be said that hasn't already be said, and I know it's a blow there aren't really words for. As small a thing as it is, please know I am thinking of you from my side of the pond. I know we were just talking about the issues with the caregiving agency...

Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you.
-Meredith
badly_knitted: Alonebadly_knitted on March 1st, 2015 01:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Meredith *hugs*

It was all so sudden, she went into hospital on the Sunday because of severe dizziness, but the hospital said it was probably a virus and I was expecting her home in a day or two, but come Thursday, she was just tired, didn't want to eat or drink and by midnight, she was unresponsive. My sister, her kids and I spent the rest of the night at the hospital, and the next day, I had to pop home in the morning to see to a few things, but then I spent the afternoon with mum and she passed away shortly after I left in the evening. Less than 5 days from being perfectly fine, chatting in the kitchen while drying the dishes, to being gone. Tonight it will be two weeks since she was taken to hospital, the last time I saw her awake and aware. It doesn't seem real, I keep expecting to wake up and find it was a nightmare. I complained a lot, looking after someone doesn't come naturally to me and I struggled with it, but I wish she was still here. The house feels empty without her.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: love2garnettrees on March 2nd, 2015 12:16 am (UTC)
I don't think anyone is ever prepared to let go of someone that special, but I know the unexpected nature lends its own difficulties and surrealism. I'm glad you got to spend the afternoon with her despite her condition, and I'm glad she had her family around her at the end.

. I complained a lot, looking after someone doesn't come naturally to me and I struggled with it, but I wish she was still here. The house feels empty without her.
Whether it came naturally or not, you did it, and that means everything. I think one of the hardest things is probably the role-reversal we have to handle at the end. I'm seeing it with my grandfather, who was actually fairly hearty until about a year ago. He was a Marine and a millwright, and he gets very angry at the world when he falls or has difficulty. When we had to call the paramedics in January, he was very cross and kept muttering about having to have young men come in his house just to set him on his feet.

*hugs back* I can't imagine what you're going through, but I'm here if you need to talk, or even just to be distracted.
badly_knitted: Alonebadly_knitted on March 2nd, 2015 01:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you *hugs*

Mum was able to care for herself until her stroke a year and a half ago. Even though she'd stopped going out alone when she reached 81, she still did everything else for herself. The stroke took that away, we had carers come in to help her wash and dress, but she still wanted to do as much as she could. She still got her own meals because my food intolerances meant we didn't often eat the same things. But I had to take over the finances and do all the laundry, and other house stuff. Not that I did a great job with a lot of it. My own health issues meant I didn't have the energy for a lot, but I did my best. It was stressful being responsible for her wellbeing, I was forever chasing her to take her medications. Now I keep forgetting tom take my own, I'm always taking them late. I still have most of the same things to do though, so my routines are helping. Just gets a bit creepy in the evenings, with no one here. I'll adjust in time, but it'll take a while.
(Anonymous) on February 28th, 2015 10:38 pm (UTC)
A loss for all of us
He lived a long life, and we can be happy for that (unlike the tragic end that met Robin Williams), but it was very sad to hear that he had went. I read it was the end stages of COPD, which is just the way our dear family friend went in 2012.

Spock was culturally iconic, and even our family was lucky enough to have a brush with him--my brother as a child had his picture snapped with Nimoy (who was trying to remain incognito) at an event.

I'm sorry that Nimoy is not around to continue his appearance with the resurgence of J.J. Abram's Star Trek, although I'm grateful we got him for the first movie--a wonderful way to bridge the gaps between the old ST generation and the new one, as well as a legacy.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: fleetgirlgarnettrees on March 1st, 2015 02:25 am (UTC)
Re: A loss for all of us
He lived a long life, accomplishing much for himself and leaving a rich legacy that will continue to impact others. I know we all have to go sometime, but there are people-- icons, as you said-- who seem so massive in their fictive presence that it's hard to imagine them gone. When they do go, it's a reminder of how fragile things are.

Robin Williams was an absolute tragedy. It struck a chord with me because there have been two suicide attempts in my family, and a general history of depression. Williams' death stunned many, and I heard a lot of commentary-- both insightful and phenomenally stupid. He was a brilliant man.

It's wonderful that your brother was able to have that little brush with Nimoy. And you're right-- having Nimoy to bridge the generation gap in Star Trek makes both the actor and the character more compelling.
gamesiplaygamesiplay on March 1st, 2015 08:20 am (UTC)
I wish I still had a TOS icon.
I woke up to multiple texts that day alerting me that he had died. I'm like you--I grew up on TOS, Spock was my favorite, and he was one of the earliest characters I ever identified with so strongly. And Nimoy himself was such a visible and vigorous public figure for so long... it's hard to believe he's gone.

(I saw that Twilight Zone episode too. I was thrilled about it.)

I think it's going to be a long, long, long time before I can rewatch The Wrath of Khan. It's always made me cry like a child; I can't imagine it now. I'm not even sure I can rewatch any episodes in the near future. Just thinking about it makes my chest ache.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: fleetgirlgarnettrees on March 2nd, 2015 12:08 am (UTC)
Re: I wish I still had a TOS icon.
Yes, but you have a Hamlet icon, and how many people can say *that*?

It's amazing because not only was Spock a character that many LGBT persons could relate to (I'll never forget the first time I saw Amok Time-- I was like, "Finally, someone whose sexuality is more confusing than mine!"), he had a huge impact on a lot of "on-spectrum" students and mentors I've interacted with. While Kirk was the necessary (and lovable) solar-hero cum maverick, Spock told many of us that we could be heroes in our own way, too.

I think it's going to be a long, long, long time before I can rewatch The Wrath of Khan. It's always made me cry like a child; I can't imagine it now.
That's what got me on Friday-- they played a clip from TWoK while talking about Nimoy and his accomplishments, and I was a goner. I can't imagine seeing the whole film, and just those few moments had me bursting into tears.

*hugs tight*
gamesiplay: miracle-free zonegamesiplay on March 2nd, 2015 11:06 am (UTC)
Re: I wish I still had a TOS icon.
not only was Spock a character that many LGBT persons could relate to (I'll never forget the first time I saw Amok Time-- I was like, "Finally, someone whose sexuality is more confusing than mine!")

YES. It took me many, many years to even vaguely understand why "Amok Time" hit me on such a visceral level, and I've never managed to put it this succinctly.

they played a clip from TWoK while talking about Nimoy and his accomplishments, and I was a goner.

ohhhhhhh I can't even.

I think that the next time I try a rewatch, I'll need to do it in sympathetic company. Because I will probably become utterly hysterical by the end. ;)