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Page #9

I donít mean to get sidetracked on these issues but it is important that you understand how interlocked all these natural processes are in MAís world. When you speak to her you hear a very tidy understanding of our place in time and space.

She does not believe that God/Nature micromanages every aspect of life - but she does firmly adhere to the belief of a predictable future.

MA insists that human development is directional and purpose driven.

This leads me into the heart of our discussion and brings the circle back to epidemiology.

August 2008

As we sat in her garden overlooking the most beautiful body of water on earth we chatted about the SARS days and about her current life and what she was working on.

Having long ago retired from the medical profession MA now occupies herself with her gardening in the summer and, of all things, playing video poker in the winter.

I explained that a lot of people were curious about her because of the SARS threads - and she seemed amazed that anyone would care about something so trivial. I tried to explain my work and how important I believe those original treads were to the development of the media. But, I believe to this day, she considers it a bit goofy.

Nice polite chatter - two strangers putting on their best manners. Mine were forced hers were polished and elegant.

When the talk slowed and the sun became a little slanted, I ventured into the realm of H1N1, H5N1, Ebola and AIDS.

I am not certain how many hours passed as I listened to MA. I should have taken notes or recorded the time or something but I just sat there slacked jawed as a yokel seeing his first Unicorn.

Never changing her manner she proceeded to tell a riveting tale of current and future events that left me physically weak and emotionally empty. I don't really remember what I felt except numb. Very numb.

Strangely I wanted to leave. For the moment I had forgotten all the trouble required to get me in that garden and why it was so important to me. I just wanted to leave.

But the sun was fading and the air was getting that alpine nip so when offered a real drink I quickly accepted. I went to the rent-a-car and grabbed my jacket and gathered my soul just a bit.

The problem was that I believed her - every nuance of her reading of events struck me as absolutely accurate. Somewhere in my business brain a little synapse was asking a very important question "how in the hell can you ever tell that story?"

A drink, a cordial goodbye and promise to visit again and I was gone. Now driving down that stupid mountain I reflected on my decision to visit and my absolute resolve that I would return. Then I remembered something I had written two years ago (having called her by her given name all day) - and it was not the night air that sent the chill up my spine

"She signed on as Mother Abigail"