Tempus Fugit…

Tempus Fugit…

Spring break 2011. I was knee-deep in the final stages of editing my MFA thesis novel and we were driving around New Orleans visiting random cemeteries, looking for my wife’s grandfather’s grave. Relatives had given us the vaguest of directions as to where it might be located, but our search was the wildest of wild goose chases. Not sure if it was after we’d found the plaque, high up on a mortuary wall, sun dazzling our eyes, the name barely legible. Maybe it was before we tracked down her grandfather. Memory.

There was an email from Jim Wilcox, head of the MFA program at LSU, and the world’s nicest man. It began, “Regrettably…” or something to that effect. “Our colleague, Jeanne Leiby was killed today in an automobile accident…”

One of those “bottom of your stomach” moments.

Vibrant. Alive. Argumentative. Opinionated. Passionate. Frustrating. Loyal.

Jeanne and I met weekly to go over the pages of my manuscript. She told me I couldn’t write metaphors. She was right. We got along famously. Then she was gone.

Seven years ago, today. Close my eyes and I can see her outside the Old President’s House at LSU, puffing away on a cigarette, dark-rimmed glasses, leather jacket. No bullshit.

Gone. Not forgotten. As Allen Weir put it in his tribute the day we gathered to remember her, “In my life, Jeanne lives radiantly.” 

jeanne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *