To Liz Kreger with Love

Liz KregerLiz Kreger, our good friend and fellow Magical Musings author, passed away last Thursday morning, but it’s hard to write this in the past tense. She was so vibrantly alive, not a cancer victim but a cancer warrior. In all the years I knew her, she rarely complained, and when she did, it was with humor. In my mind, I see her with a smile, talking about her daughter, her ‘little darlin’—and still wanting to go over her manuscript for one last revision. Despite her long battle with cancer, she was happier than many healthy people I know. She didn’t focus on the bad stuff; she focused on living and the many people she loved.

Critique group 2007 DallasIt seems like it’s been longer, but I met Liz about thirteen years ago at a Milwaukee WisRWA meeting. We quickly became friends, and not because we discovered that we both had had a mastectomy, but we just clicked – though I think that anyone would click with Liz. She shone so brightly even then. I admired her writing, and when there was an opening in the online critique group that I belonged to, I invited her to join us. There were eight of us: Allison Brennan, Maya Banks, Amy Knupp, Janette Kenny, Karin Tabke, Michelle Diener and me. None of us wrote in the same genre, and it didn’t matter.

During this time, Liz’s cancer would return, and she’d have chemo and/or radiation, and then it would go away. For awhile, at least. She didn’t let it stop her. She didn’t give up hope. Even when the doctors finally told her a short time ago that there was nothing they could do, she didn’t want to stop. She told her sister Margie, “If I’m going, I’m going out fighting.”

I saw her two days before she finally did pass, and I said, “When you see God, he’s got a lot of explaining to do.” She laughed. I’m glad that I have the memory of her laughing.

Liz was an inspiration on how to live. She will be missed, yet she’s still alive in the hearts of the many people who loved her. Including me.


Liz NYC at Roxanne's Diner Aug 2011 smallLiz joined Edie, Karin Tabke and I in our critique group when one of our members left. We had a wonderful email loop of eight, with two groups of four, and some swopping around and overlap when needed. That was the first memories I have of Liz. Her work, and my discussions with her about it. Her commenting on my work, or our talking and sharing as a group. We didn’t restrict ourselves to talking about writing, we talked about our lives, and we became incredibly good friends.

It was amazing to meet Edie, Karin and Liz for the first time. I remember arriving at the airport in Dallas a few days ahead of the RWA conference and we went off and spent a couple of days at a bed and breakfast, and just talked and talked and talked.

Liz, as Edie said, was a woman who faced everything with a smile, a hefty dose of humour and a massive capacity for friendship and love. I will miss her so much. I was able to call and speak to her while she was in the hospital a few weeks before she passed away, and I love that while she was lying there, a couple of days after a major operation, she and I were talking about her coming to visit me in Australia. That was Liz, positive and making plans right to the end.

Some people leave a huge hole when they leave us, because they shone with such a bright light. Liz was one of those people, and I am honoured to have known her and called her my friend.


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55 Responses to To Liz Kreger with Love

  1. I was so sorry to hear that Liz had passed away. I remember meeting her and Edie in Chicago at RT a couple of years ago. She was such a lovely lady. She will be missed.
    Jennifer Estep`s last blog was …Black Widow, Elemental Assassin #12, up for pre-order …

  2. Mary Hughes says:

    Thank you both for this. Liz was a bright light at every place I saw her. My husband and I are saddenedby her passing. She will be greatly missed.

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. And the loss to the writing community. :hugs:

  4. Darnit, guys, you’re not supposed to make me cry before the funeral. Liz had so much beauty and love to give, and we’re lucky to have been on the receiving end of it.
    Liz Lincoln Steiner`s last blog was …The Writer’s Voice Bloghop

  5. Barbara Vey says:

    A beautiful tribute. Liz left a mark on everyone she met.
    Barbara Vey`s last blog was …Hot New Tuesday Releases

  6. Kathy Calarco says:

    Oh, Edie, I’m so sorry to hear about Liz. Have to say, my room filed with gasps when I saw your post on Facebook this morning.

    Liz’s journey was fantastic, and she always struck me as courageous, able to face the fire, at times laughing in its face.

    She’ll be sadly missed, but lovingly remembered. A beautiful tribute for a beautiful soul.

  7. joysann says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. For the loss to Liz’s family. For the loss to all who knew her. I am fortunate that I am one of those, and can remember those occasions when she brought bright light into my life with her joy and strength and beauty. I am saddened by her loss.

  8. I don’t know that I ever had the pleasure of meeting Liz in person. From what I know of her, I would’ve remembered! I did know her from the writing community and Magical Musings posts, and through her many friends. To me, she was, quite simply, a marvel.

    She inspired me with her writing, and with her courage. Blessings to her family and friends, to all who mourn and miss her.

    Nancy Haddock

  9. I’m so sorry to hear of Liz’s passing. I didn’t know her personally, but I was in the ENTANGLED paranormal anthology with her. It was an honor to be part of such a group and to help fight breast cancer. I know she will be greatly missed by all of you and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and her family.
    Michelle Miles`s last blog was …An Update From Beyond (with Giveaway!)

  10. Amy Knupp says:

    Well said, Edie and Michelle. Beautiful tributes to an inspiring, life-loving friend. Xoxo

  11. I know exactly what you mean by “sort of clicked”. Liz just had that infectiously friendly personality that made you feel like she was a long-lost friend, even though you had just met her. One of the things I loved most about her was she said exactly what needed to be said and in a way that always made you laugh or nod your head in agreement. Just look back at her past blogs here and you’ll understand. I can still see exactly how she looked at RWA in Dallas and it’s all because of that doggone hair and how she said she was never sure how it would grow back after chemo.

    That’s how I want to remember her. Smiling, bright, hopeful, and full of energy.

  12. A lovely tribute, both of you. Edie, I didn’t know Liz very well since we belonged to different areas (I think the first time I met her was the 2005 WisRWA conference in Madison), but I do remember how inspirational she was and strong of spirit. I’d almost started to think she was invincible. Or maybe hoped is a better word. Anyway, she will be missed by so many people…and conference just won’t seem the same without her.

  13. Dale Mayer says:

    Nicely said Edie and Michelle. I never had the pleasure of meeting Liz in person but was delighted to have been part of Entangled with her. Between Magical Musings and the anthology, as well as out and about in the writing community I knew her to be courageous and valiant when wearing all her hats – mother, woman, wife, author and cancer warrior and good friend. She will be missed
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Broken Protocols 3.5 – A Christmas story!

  14. This was a wonderful post, Edie and Michelle. Thank you for sharing a piece of yourselves as you remembered someone so special to both of you. I never had the pleasure of meeting Liz, but reading her posts here on MM and hearing about her from so many others over the years, I know she was a shining light in so many people’s lives. My thoughts are with her family and all her friends.
    Robin Bielman`s last blog was …Veiled Target on Sale!

  15. Sheila says:

    “Liz was an inspiration on how to live.” Edie, I couldn’t agree more. She inspired me with her positive attitude and her love of friends and family.
    I met Liz in 2001 and she was my very first critique partner. We became good friends and I met her family on several occasions.
    I saw her just a few months ago and we spent a couple of days together. I called her about a week before she passed and she absolutely planned on fighting until the very end.
    You’re so right that she was not a cancer victim, but a cancer warrior.
    I will miss her every day.

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Sheila, I’m tearing up reading your comment. She was such a force, and I feel lucky to have been her friend. And I have to say that she admired you so much, too, for all that you do. You don’t hold back.

  16. Karin Tabke says:

    I still can’t believe our wonderful Liz is gone. Such a wonderful bright light. I was cleaning out my office over the weekend and found the birthday card she sent me this year. In it she apologized for it arriving a ‘tad bit late’. Ah, Liz, always thinking of others. I miss you.

  17. I’m so saddened by the news of Liz’s passing. She was such a vibrant, valiant and kind soul. She always put life in perspective for me, there I’d be bitching about my crummy day and then go check out her blog and find her laughing off something much more serious and painful than what I was going through. She always looked on the bright side. And if there was no immediate bright side she’d look forward to when the bright side would appear again. I honestly can’t believe she’s gone. Her determination to fight the cancer off so she could remain with her family was so fierce.

    Edie and Michele, I know you and Liz were very close. My sincere sympathy to you guys as well as her family. But she must have died knowing not only that she was loved by so many people who would never forget her, but that everyone knew how much she loved them as well. My mother, when she died, said that love was all that mattered in the end.

  18. Beth Watson says:

    What a wonderful tribute. Liz was such a positive person, a true inspiration. I honestly don’t ever remember seeing her when she didn’t have an optimistic outlook and a smile on her face. I hadn’t seen her for a few years but was so sad to here of her passing.

  19. Edie Ramer says:

    Beth, she was very optimistic. Thanks for sharing your memories. 🙂

  20. Misty Evans says:

    Oh, dear. What a great person. We will miss her but her light will continue to shine and inspire many. She was one tough cookie with the kindest of hearts. Thank you for the beautiful tribute to her, Edie and Michelle.

  21. Donnell says:

    Magical Music Authors, I never met Liz, but felt I knew her through all of her blog posts and through you. I love that she was healthier than most healthy people and she was a cancer warrior. What a lovely tribute and you have my sincere and deepest condolences. Thank you for honoring her!

  22. Edie and Michelle,
    Your post brought tears to my eyes…
    Thank you for writing such a wonderful and heartfelt tribute to Liz. I’m so glad I got to meet her in person and to be a part of Magical Musings with you all when she was here. I miss her, too.
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Latest News!

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