In 2014, I ran a series about Valerie Rowley, her husband Chris and their lovely home, garden and pets.
I was impressed by Valerie and Chris’ relationship – their obvious love and respect for each other.
I also liked this fact about them and their home: despite being an interior designer herself, Valerie didn’t renovate her home all at once. It took 20 years of patience and work. And though she created a beautiful home, it was above all, designed for comfort.
When Val’s illness worsened recently, my heart hurt for her and Chris and their family.
I remembered how she and Chris generously shared their home with my blogging community, and your warm responses to the series. So, knowing that Valerie loved flowers, I asked some of you to send a photo of your favourite flower for her. Many of you replied by Facebook or directly to my blog.
Valerie was very thankful for those flowers.
Valerie died yesterday. She was surrounded by Chris, her daughter and son and grandchildren, and other loved ones. We wish and pray for comfort and strength for them at this tough time.
Some people have a special touch for creating beauty — in one’s surroundings, and in one’s heart. Valerie touched people in this way. In addition to being a gifted and well-known designer, she was a very positive person who had a way of lighting up a room with her sense of humour, frank talk, unpretentious ways and that beautiful smile.
“Have I ever told you how much I love your spirit?” I wrote in what would be my last email exchange with her. “You draw people to you because there is a kind unpretentiousness about you, and an interest in others. I took to your presence like a duck to water … the warm look of welcome on your face, and the delight when you laugh, are lovely.”
I am thankful to have known you, dear Valerie.
Prayers for Chris, Tamsyn, Jon and all who love you.
75 thoughts on “Valerie Rowley – Beauty Inside and Out”
My heart goes out to Valerie’s family, friends and community. Wishing peace to all at this difficult time. Valerie will have a perennial planted for her here on our farm.
Thank you, Lavinia. What a kind thing to do.
Thank you so much for sharing this story, Cynthia.These are the moments that take my breath away – the precious stories of beautiful people and the way they love so fiercely.
Thank you, Diane. I appreciate your reply.
A beautiful, profound tribute to a person who made a difference. While I have only connected with you in recent weeks and did not meet Valerie through your posts, I celebrate a life that is well lived. In the end what is remembered is the love we give and receive in turn. My thoughts are with Valerie’s family and friends.
Thank you, Clanmother, for this kind and caring response.
I’m so sorry to hear that. A second blogger who I’ve heard about that has died recently. I thought your flower idea was inspirational, and you garnered a beautiful selection from your blog readers. I do hope it gave Val and her family some pleasure.
It did, and I thank you for your contribution. You chose well.
Some years ago, a blogging friend had lung cancer, and CPOD. Another blogging friend suggested making a thousand cranes for her, so I contributed my 100 (OK, so I liked origami) and sent them. Don’t know if they helped or not, but Claudette lived two or three years after her initial diagnosis.
Little things can help.
Cynthia, My condolences to everyone who loved her. Seems we lost another great spirit.
We did, Amy. I know her family and friends appreciate your warm condolences.
My condolences on the loss of your friend. From what you had written, she sounds like a lovely person indeed.
A lovely, lovely person, Rose. How fortunate we are to meet such souls on our earthly journey.
Cynthia, this is a beautiful tribute, like Valerie, like you. I’m sorry her time was cut short on earth, and I’m glad you were able to share your heart and the flowers with her. I love the picture of her with her chickens–cozy and kind. Hugs. Thank you for letting us in on the bouquets. You’re a good friend.
Blessings ~ Wendy
Thanks for contributing to the bouquet, Wendy. Such a lovely flower you dedicated to her.
What a beautiful tribute to your friend and fellow blogger, Cynthia. My thoughts and prayers are with Valerie’s family.
Thank you on her family’s behalf, Jill.
I am sorry for you loss Cynthia, Valerie sounds like a wonderful person. This is a little extract from a poem I found once called “Farewell my Friends” – Farewell, farewell, my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.
No, shed no tears for I need them not
All I need is your smile.
Thanks for that tender poem. Valerie was a wonderful person.
I’m sorry to hear that you’ve lost a friend.
Thank you, Allan. Val is a beautiful spirit.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” —Thomas Campbell
That’s so true, Cynthia. I always say we live in two dimensions– in our selves, and in the hearts and memories of those who love us.
I am so sorry you have lost a dear friend. My prayers are with you and all Valerie’s family and friends at this most difficult of times. What a wonderful memorial to her you have written!
Her children and grandchildren came from Australia and Valerie was so grateful to have them with her in these last weeks especially.
That is so good to hear. Families need to be together at times like that.
It is sad to hear of this loss but her spirit will live. A very fine tribute to her and peace to her family.
Thank you. Her spirit will live indeed.
My condolences to Val’s family. It sounds like she was a loving soul who touched many people as you do. Thanks for sharing and supporting them in your own way. blessings, Brad
She did touch many lives, Brad. Thank you.
Oh too sad, too sad. But what beauty and loveliness we have to remember her by. And I so love the way Lavinia plants a memorial plant for those we lose from our blogging community. Blessings and Hugs.
So well said, dear Gallivanta. Thank you.
i wish those who loved her comfort; may their and your sadness be lit by good memories. She left the gift of a life well-lived.
Thanks for this lovely comment, Margaret.
I’m so sorry you lost your friend. This is a nice tribute to her. I wish you and her family comfort in grief.
They are such a loving family and surrounded by friends. Thanks for your comment.
Valerie and I shared two Belgian Tervuren, and I was blessed to have known her love for these beautiful dogs. I too enjoy chickens and I photograph flowers daily, so we were kindred spirits. I too will plant a memorial flower in memory of this inspirational lady.
My condolences to her family and all who mourn her passing.
Such a lovely testimony, Patrice. Thank you. Kindred spirits indeed.
Such a lovely smile will be missed. I’m sorry for her loss.
Thank you, Jo.
Sorry for your loss, Cynthia, but glad you had the chance to have such a lovely woman as a friend.
She had great relationships with her friends, Helen. At her memorial yesterday, in the family’s garden, there were many remembrances and hugs and smiles shared.
Oh I’m so sorry Cynthia. Valerie must have been a very special person .. Love to you all
Shew as special, Julie, and you would have liked her. She too, had a lovely farm and gardens and chickens and dogs and loved photographing them.
Oh, no! I’m so sorry to hear this.
So very sorry!
Thanks, Laurie. Once of the nicest moments yesterday was hearing her grandchildren talk about their “Nana”. It was lovely and touching.
Sounds like she was a wonderful woman. And, as I once heard, to be mourned is to be loved.
So sorry to read this! Prayers for peace and comfort for her family.
Thanks for those prayers, Tina. The family appreciates them.
She sounded like a great friend, Cynthia. I know she will live on in your heart. Condolences and blessings to all who need them.
I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost a friend and I’m sending healing thoughts to you and all who loved her. Looking at that photo, I have no doubt Valerie’s smile continues to throw light both here and beyond.
Well said, Jeanne. So many of her family and friends at her memorial yesterday mentioned that brilliant smile.
I am so sorry for your loss. Before I typed this, I said prayers for both her and you.
Ah, Cathleen. How lovely of you. Thank you. Valerie and I met through our mutual friend Jean who loved her very much and I’ve been very aware this week of how much friendship matters.
i was sad to read this news, however what a lovely tribute to your friend. it is always heartening to rub shoulders with people who enrich life’s journey by their presence, and who just by being there, make our own loads feel lighter. thank you for sharing.
my heart goes out to her family and loved ones in these tough moments and in the days ahead.
So well said, and thank you for doing so. She has enriched the journey, for sure.
I am so sorry for Valerie’s passing. Thank you so much for introducing us to this wonderful person.
Jason, you are welcome. Thanks for your comment.
I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s passing Cynthia. You’ve written a beautiful tribute to her here. And I hope many flowers will be planted and flourish in the spirit of Valerie. 🙂
Thank you. I believe several individuals will be planting flowers for Valerie.
A beautiful tribute. 🙂
So sad. It is just such a loss when nice people have to leave us prematurely.
Yes, indeed, Inese. Thank you.
So very sorry for your loss, Cynthia. Such a beautiful soul, and inspiration for everyone who knew or even heard of her. Hope she is in the place where all the beautiful things are born, all the flowers of the Universe, and all the eternal love.
She was definitely a beautiful soul, Inese. Thanks for your lovely message.
Oh…dear Cynthia…I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute that made me cry and I hold you in my heart💙🌸
Thank you, Lorrie. So kind of you, my dear.
Cynthia, I wish you many lovely memories of your friend. I would send her a bouquet of daly lilies if I could, but I have just found your blog and am too late to send a flower to make her smile. I’m so sorry for your loss. Clare
Thank you for your kind thoughtfulness, Clare.
I chanced up your blog and saw Valerie’s flowers and sighed.
Then I saw that Valerie has gone to share her spirit and beauty elsewhere.
How blessed you all were to be touched by this soul!
Blessed indeed. Thanks for your kind comment.