Ginny Duffy was one of a kind. I first met her when I was in high school. I was really close friends with her son (my some day husband). On this rare occasion I did not go to the art room for lunch, I actually got lunch and sat with Brian (the aforementioned some day husband). I remember saying to him.
“There is a lady back there with a huge laugh, it is like a party!”
He sheepishly looked at me and returned, “That’s my mom.”
Way to stick your foot in it. Good job, Susan.
Ginny Duffy had such an infectious laugh. She WAS the party. She worked hard, played hard and loved deeply. She was devoted to her family. She was devoted to the earth. She was devoted to hospitality.
I remember when we were first married my inlaws owned about fifty acres in Allegany County. It was a beautiful piece of property. It had streams and trees, hills and railroad tracks. It served as a gathering space for every season. It served as a place where we laughed and celebrated life. I remember each spring, my inlaws would order trees and plant hundreds of them. My mother in law was doing her very best to inspire the green of the earth.
At home, if she didn’t like where a tree was planted that wasn’t a problem, she would move it. Note: SHE WOULD move it. She didn’t call a child or grandchild. SHE WOULD. I admired that so much about her. She was self-sufficient and independent. She was strong-willed and yes, I will say it. STUBBORN. I admired her so much because of that.
My mother in law had a fierce loyalty. She believed in her family with unmatched tenacity. As an artist, mom has supported me through each phase of my career. Even when my work was less than stellar, she made me feel like I was downright brilliant. (of course it helps that I like to paint trees- see above)
Mom was an incredible hostess. When my children moved home ahead of my husband because my mother was so ill, we would often spend weekends with Mom and Dad. (we were gypsies in those days). One morning, I got up at about 7 am. It felt good to sleep in a bit, and there was
Her response was, “I didn’t know what kind of pie you would like, so I made FIVE.” (edit- I was just doing the dishes and rethinking this post – when I realized it was five not what I originally posted as seven. I guess the point is Mom wanted to make sure everyone had their favorite. She was a heck of a lady.)
No, this is not a typo. This is Ginny Duffy.
The last two weeks have been very difficult. Countless hours at the hospital watching this strong woman try to come back from a horribly serious stroke. In the end, it seems it was her time to leave this earth and make pies in heaven. That is what I’d like to think. I have no doubt that this very hard working woman will be working hard somewhere else. I have no doubt that we will feel her in the whisper from the trees and when we clink a glass in her honor.
Ginny Duffy changed the world in such a powerful way. Her laughter, her heart and her special way of giving. She is already missed.
Rest in sweet peace, Mom. I love you.