Damn #2 this week.
We just learned that Seattle blogging pioneer and a friend of ours Anita Rowland has died after a long battle with cancer. Bill Humpries, who works in Silicon Valley and is another guy I know and like a lot, met her through her other love: Science Fiction.
This one hurts. Anita was one of those people who gave, and gave, and gave, even while cancer was taking and taking. You can already see that in the comments on her memorial page that Jack put up. She came to several of the parties we threw at our house and always had something nice to say, and always stayed and helped out. She never asked for anything in return.
Those of you who came to geek or blogger dinners at the Crossroads in Bellevue will remember her or her trips to the Northern Voice conference (here’s a picture that Chris Pirillo made at one of those blogging dinners with Anita holding court. Jack and grandson Riley are in the background). The last time we saw her we gave her a ride home from Northern Voice and we’ll always treasure that memory of her. Her husband worked as a software developer at Microsoft and a variety of other places.
She was one of those people who would always show up with a smile. Even after she had to do treatments for cancer she’d keep showing up, always with a great attitude.
She was dedicated to grandson Riley, who went everywhere with her and Jack. They were taking care of him because his mom wasn’t able to care for her, which is a tragedy of its own but not one I’ll document here. My thoughts are with Riley this morning. Some of us just win lots of life’s lotteries and this kid just isn’t winning many of them.
This week is turning out to be pretty sucky. Anita is one of my heroes and someone who I try to pattern my life after. I hope I face life’s challenges with the same smile and attitude she did.