And this is about a Scarlett with two “T’s.” Early on in our relationship, long before pregnancy or even marriage, Cassidy suggested we spell Scarlet with one “t.” And yes, we had her name picked out years before she came to be. And that’s why Cassidy just knew she was a girl long before I did. I had to think about the spelling and write it down several times before I knew he was right. Our Scarlet was to have one “t.” We had to set her apart from the only other Scarlett (or Scarlet) that we’d ever known. It’s pretty much only in spelling that we wanted to set them apart.
The other Scarlett was beautiful, smart, kind, elegant, peaceful and one of the greatest people I’ve ever known. I didn’t know her very well but you didn’t have to know her well to be pulled back regularly to her quiet bed & breakfast up in Calistoga, California.
I think it was Cassidy’s mom, Ruth, who first found the B&B maybe ten years ago, and Cassidy first took me there only a few months after we had gotten back together and I had flown out to California for a long, romantic weekend with my new (and old) boyfriend. After that we went any chance we could – to celebrate our engagement, to get away from the city, to say goodbye to California, to say hello again to California last fall when we flew out for a wedding. The first time I was there, Scarlett made us the most delicious french toast I’ve ever had and gave us advice about running a B&B. She had a new puppy, a Pomeranian and he was named Chewbacca of Kashyyyk. If that isn’t fate, I don’t know what is.
The second time I went there she had rescued a beautiful bird that had been left for dead that she believed to be a Stellar Jay. She named him Stella. She nursed him back to health but he always hung around, eventually becoming wild enough that she couldn’t always tell him apart from other Jays. We have pictures somewhere of him on our hands and shoulders and heads. He still hangs around there, I’m sure. How could he not?
The third time I went there, I believe she had two more dogs than the previous time. Her mother had recently passed and she had inherited the dogs.
The fourth time I went there she revealed, rather shyly, that she had rescued a tiny field mouse that had been left for dead. She kept him in the house and fed him with an infant dropper. She held our Scarlet in her arms and we told her she was part of the reason we gave our baby that name. I wrote about that a few months ago here.
A few days ago, Cassidy excitedly called her up to make a reservation for this September since we’re going to wine country for a wedding. Then we found out the tragic news that she passed away three weeks ago in a car accident. With everything going on with Scarlet and Stormy and my birthday and houseguests, it’s been near impossible to wrap our heads around the news. Scarlett was one of a kind and I always wished for an (at least) annual Scarlet/Scarlett get together. At least they did meet once, and as I process this true tragedy, I at least know she had a long life that must have dramatically touched the lives of everyone around her. I’ve only seen her four or five times in my life and I believe I’m a better person because of it.
Have you ever taken a picture of someone or with someone and known it’s the last chance you’ll get to do that?