There was a ten minute break in my Sociology Class, enough time to check my email and see some very distressing news about my beloved mentor and friend.

Darlene and Meryl on McKenzie Outing

Darlene and Roe on McKenzie Outing

Darlene came into my life a little over five years ago when I began to fly fish.  I remember walking into the Caddis Fly Shop and learning about this women’s fly fishing club that met the first Thursday of each month called the Damsel Flies.  Not knowing what to expect and coming into this arena totally blind, I was swept up as if I was a long time friend and fellow fly-fisher by Darlene who was the member representative at that time.

She has a smile that lights a room, a laugh that makes you laugh and the sort of holler that you don’t normally hear from a lady when she has a fish on the end of her line.  Her enthusiasm for life and fly fishing was so very contagious.  She had me within the first 30 minutes of class and well the rest is sort of history.  I went on many outings with her, but the most memorable was my very first fly fishing outing at the Metolius River.  It was open to the whole group, but only three of us attended Joan, Darlene and I.

Joan, Darlene and I Camp Sherman 2010

Joan, Darlene and I Camp Sherman 2010

This was the first official outing I had ever attended as a single, newbie fly fishing gal.  Well Darlene swooped me up and told me everything I could want to know about men, life, marriages and of course fly fishing.  The next day out on the river, she was never far from my side.  Instead of really hitting the water hard, she took the time to show me how to read the water, how to wade safely with a staff and what to look for on the water.  It was mostly foreign to me what she was saying, but she didn’t give up helping me out the entire day.  Not really taking much time to cast her own line out.   Truly always a giver and that wasn’t only the sentiment from me, you could ask anyone at any fly shop, or any guide in town and they would tell you how amazing of a person she was.

The last time I saw her was about six weeks ago at a Damsel fly meeting.  Roles seemed to be a little reversed, because I was on the speaking end and she was on the audience end.  We had a lesson on rod building and I was asked to say a few words about it.

She was diagnosed two years ago with lung cancer and went through very aggressive treatment that caused it to lay at bay.  Soon after the news of her treatment working her dear husband Lloyd passed away, which was a true heartbreak.  But in usual Darlene fashion, she was positive, upbeat and didn’t want to talk about her, she wanted to know about you.  Her questions to me, how much have you been fishing?  where did you go last? when are you going next?

So tonight, I get an email from Joan addressed to the entire Damsel fly group about Darlene’s condition.  She was admitted into the hospital last Thursday as she was feeling very weak.  They found that her lung cancer has come back more aggressively and now she has brain cancer as well.  She has opted for no treatment and will be going home with hospice in the next few days.  Even as I write this, I am so heavy-hearted  and wish that there is not some way I can send her some good cheer or love as she often did for me in my tough times.

She will never be forgotten to me.  She was and will always be my mentor, my friend, a Damsel and a Saint.

Damsels fishing the McKenzie 2013

Damsels fishing the McKenzie 2013

About m

blessed in life. Nature lover, fly fishing enthusiast, school girl, mother, grandmother, wife, dog lover.
This entry was posted in Fly Fishing, Friends, health, Peigahi, Thing That Matter, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Larry Graves says:

    I’m very sorry to hear such horrible news. I know how much she meant to you as a friend & mentor. My thoughts & prayers are with you, her & her family.

  2. charlypriest says:

    Sorry to hear about your friend, she sure seems like a strong and caring person and upbeat, we all have out time in this planet and she seems to have lived it to the fullest even with all the bad things that happen in life including facing death,which I myself have faced in several ocassions and is not like my life expectancy is very high, so we might as well enjoy the day to day. Again, sorry to hear the news. And staying facing reality and staying positive sure seems to make life easier, although is easier said than done, but it can be done.

  3. niasunset says:

    I am sorry too dear Maryam! My prayers and thoughts with you, Love, nia

  4. renxkyoko says:

    I’m sorry to read about your friend.

  5. banatxx says:

    So very sorry to read this Maryam. Such a beautiful woman has obviously blessed you. I know you will pay it forward.

    • Maryam says:

      She has just past. Tonight as the rain pours, I hope I can somehow be the same or even a smidge of the beautiful woman she was.

      • banatxx says:

        You already are. Never forget that. She saw it and everyone else does too.

      • Maryam says:

        The get together for her on Saturday was just a testament of how much she had done in her lifetime for others. Hundreds of people came into her home to honor her one last time. She had a box of pictures and quite a few she had set aside to mail me her best friend told me. It was truly touching and magical. I hope someday I can understand why our universe takes the ones who are so loving and leave others behind. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Much better profile picture this time 🙂

      • Maryam says:

        Glad you have been out on the water. Place of peace and wonder

  6. Happy Bare says:

    So sad for you Maryam. Be strong.


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