The moon is slipping away, slice by silver slice. If I could find her pieces as they fell, I would gather them and make her whole again.

My friend Jill Midolo died last Sunday. She was doing better the Friday before and I took this as meaning she would be fine. After three good and happy days she fell asleep between the pages of an enchanted novel. I’ve been reading Kelly Link and those are her words. MJ and I both read fantasy, although I’m not sure if MJ ever read Kelly Link and she doesn’t really write fantasy, she writes weirdness, the best kind of story. A book MJ and I both loved was Liar by Justine Larbalestier. I borrowed MJ’s copy last year and because I got the cover dirty (trashing books being a talent of mine) I bought her another copy. I now own a book with “Jill 2009” written on the inside cover. I will cherish it more than any signed book I ever own.

MJ and I started the blog of the WA Branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia in January, but she only wrote a few posts before going to hospital. People kept saying it was my blog, which I hated. I looked forward to when MJ would start blogging again. Three years ago I was going to help her with the website of the CBCA. We made a meeting to get together, but I didn’t get off my lazy arse and get there. If I had, perhaps I would have known MJ better because I only just found out she was a Guide at Kings Park. She probably knew native plants better than I do. I now know why she liked reading my nature blog.

parrot bush When the season breaks I’m planting some native plants which have been waiting patiently in pots (and surprisingly haven’t carked it despite only being watered twice a week – the best thing about Perth’s native plants). One is parrot bush (Dryandra sessilis) which I will plant in memory of MJ. Along the edge of Kings Park closest to MJ’s home, the bush is full of parrot bush which flower in creamy yellow magnificence every spring. People don’t plant them in their gardens because the leaves are so prickly. Being prickly myself, I have quite a few prickly native plants in my garden (and I discovered today my prickle lily is flowering). Small birds and spiders can hide from the nasty cats which stalk my bird bath and the parrot bush will be right next to the bird bath. At the moment only big birds like wattlebirds, grey butcher birds, and even a magpie the other week, visit for a drink, but when MJ’s parrot bush grows tall they’ll be lots of prickly safety (and food for black cockies).

I guess I’m lucky to have been able to write a farewell card before the enchanted books took her but MJ didn’t listen when I said,

You are not permitted to leave – The Postal Service

MJ left with her loved ones holding her hand, which is more than many people are permitted.

My friend Garreth told me I need drink, Bowie and time. He can get drunk with Bowie, so that leaves me with time, and too many tears. So I consulted the magnetic poetry and found,

I’m lost somewhere because I’m missing the sunshine in your heart

Happy people shouldn’t be allowed to die.