Loving StoriPosted: October 24, 2022
She was a new girl my junior year of boarding school at the Ethel Walker School. New Juniors were a tiny group, usually spectacular students and people to be able to elbow into our small school late in their high school careers. Stori was placed in a room with two friends of mine so we got to know her quickly. Stori was bright, but not nerdy. She was most often silly.
There was hardly anything that we had in common that would lead you to think we would become fast friends. She rode horses and was good at every sport, I was not. I started a supper club with a house parent so I could cook, food was not her thing. She was a diligent student who would work late into the night perfecting her assignments, I would quickly finish my work and talk my way through class. As an oldest child in my family with a father who told us we could do anything I was overly confident in my abilities. Stori had many more abilities than she gave herself credit for. Despite all these differences we shared a sense of humor and a love of art and crafts.
Stori was the friend I would bring home to spend weekends with my family. She would go on vacation to Pawleys Island with us. She was folded into my bigger family, spending weeks with my Aunt and uncle in North Carolina and their three children. When my cousin Leigh was a teenager she went to Boston to visit Stori.
I would visit her family in Massachusetts and her sister Lilea came to Walkers as a student in our senior year. Stori’s Mom Deicy helped me with my Walker’s senior project letting me stay with them while I was photographing workers in Newburyport and Boston.
For 46 we have been friends. We always made sure to go to Walker’s reunions together. There were busy years when our daughters were little when we did not see each other, but then when I started driving to Maine each summer she would insist I stop and visit her on my way north. We needlepointed together, would practice bridge hands, go on walks and talk and laugh.
I got to know her husband John and her fabulous daughter Sam. Every visit was as if we had never been apart. Every time I went to Boston to see Carter in college Stori would insist I come see her too, no matter how little time there was. This summer Stori came in to Boston to spend the day with me while I was visiting Carter.
I never thought that the walk we did through the public garden and the lunch we ate on Newbury st would be our last. I figured we would be teaching each other new needlepoint stitches forever.
A week ago Stori was riding her beloved horse. A loud noise spooked her house and she fell off, hitting her head, but she got up and went on. She had no idea that it was such a bad accident. At lunch she told her husband she didn’t feel well. Rushed to the hospital it was bad. She was not conscious for her last week and she was finally freed from her hurt body on Saturday, October 22.
It was a terrible horrible week. Lilea kept me in the loop as we rehashed all the story’s of the years. We cried and laughed.
I eventually let our Walker’s friends know the sadness that Stori, who brightened every reunion with her silliness, was gone.
The realization has not settled in me. Losing someone you loved for 46 years does not happen easily. Stori Stockwell Cadigan was a bright star who will live in our memories forever.