Friday, April 18, 2008

Danute: We mourn another passing

Grazina called yesterday and left a message that Danute Strout had passed away. We had visited her in the hospital last Sunday, realizing the gravity of her condition.

Danute had been living with cancer since I first met her three years ago. Sometimes she wore a wig, sometimes her own hair. Sometimes she had a rattly cough. She did not let these things diminish the pleasure she took in life. She joined in our protests and social gatherings and graciously offered us hospitality. She was very proud of her heritage and was eager to share its riches with initiates like me. I remember sitting across the table from her last spring in Kenny's Broome Street Bar as she spoke enthusiastically about her upcoming vacation in Lietuva.

Last November, after our committee to save the church had met, Danute invited us to her home for a snack. She proudly served us her zeppelinai and mushroom gravy, hardly a snack but more of a special occasion meal.

I will miss her smile, her fortitude, her kindness and her love of life. Whenever we gather she will always be with us and in our prayers.

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