Bones Theory

Remembering Mary T.


Hello everyone,

I’m taking a day off from Rock the Vote to pay tribute to a special friend, Mary T, whom you may know of as Brainysmrfs here, and other places on the internet. I am sad to report that she passed away yesterday, after a battle with cancer and many other medical issues. I don’t want to go into her entire medical history, but I do want to say that she’s an amazing person, she has survived much, and I’m proud to have known her!

Mary was one of my first Bones friends ever. We met at the original Fox fan website, now affectionately called The OBY or “Old Boneyard”. That site is buried deep, and there aren’t records of old conversations (that I know of), but after searching through an old email address, I found emails dating back to the late spring of 2008. I joined the OBY in March of 08, so my math tells me that I only had about two fandom months of not knowing her. That is a fact that is both comforting and hard to process when I think of the future.

Mary, and then two other women, Steph and Lauren, and I became close friends very quickly. We had Bones to connect us at first, but soon realized we had a lot more in common. I am reminded of the (I think) Jerry Seinfeld joke about how kids become best friends so easily. “YOU like Kool-aid?! I like Kool-aid! You ALSO love summer vacation? I TOTALLY love summer vacation! LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS!”   We loved Target, Arrested Development, the muses on Angel (oooooh, Angel!),  all agreed that Weezer’s Blue Album was by far and would always be their best, writing stories, etc.  I’ve talked before about how I was miserable teaching, etc., and again, without telling too much of anyone else’s story…it was a great match for all four of us. We needed each other, and we found each other. There are many, many other wonderful people from that time as well.

The four of us then became “The Collective”, a club we formed and named ourselves, haha. I like to think we were a kind, generous clique, but it’s possible we weren’t. I don’t remember. We would stay up chatting way too late, thinking about stories or trying to figure out future episodes. I spent the summer of 2008 in California. Lauren is in Utah, Steph in Atlanta, and since Mary could never sleep (she had narcolepsy, which kept her awake for long periods of time as well), we had great times.  Someone (not me) tagged our talks as Vampire Standard Time, or VST. It was an amazing summer of fics and pics and fun. Afterward, we stayed in touch, though it was tougher as each of us sort of had life intruding on us. Over the past five years, we’ve laughed, cried and cheered one another on through relationships, new jobs, marriage, divorce, new marriage, new babies, stories, and a thousand little moments in between. I’m grateful the four of us did one last chat a few weeks back. Whenever one of us would lose touch, another would send an email or text basically saying “So, are you dead or something, or what?” Which may not seem funny now, but the truth is that Mary had the darkest sense of humor of all of us. She made me laugh all of the time; she was both sweet and hilariously morbid and above all, fiercely loyal.

Eventually, I started the 100 Days of Bones, and then BT here, and while you all may not have seen her fingerprints on these sites as much as others (for example, Bonesology, of which she is a founder), I feel them. She was often my number one go-to person when I had a new idea, whether it was for a post or blog idea or just to talk about an episode. I feel her thoughts and her sarcastic sense of humor in so many of my Bones memories. It’s all very intertwined, and in this moment, bittersweet.

She and I did not always agree; that’s for sure. I am no angst-bunny, a label she wore with pride (over her black heart, she’d say), haha, and sometimes we’d fiercely disagree about a Bones episode. At one point, she said “Maybe we shouldn’t talk about Bones for a while”…and she was right. I so appreciate her saying that, because it made me realize that she valued me more than the show (and I her). That idea of valuing people more than opinions is absolutely a tenet of this site. Thank you, Mary, for that legacy.

Honestly, over the past few years, we rarely talked Bones, but we had things that were between us, or at least they felt like they were (haha, don’t tell me if not!), like when we declared in Season Four that Booth was made of “savage goodness”, our love of tall boot pins on Pinterest, and Warren Zevon’s Keep Me In Your Heart For a While, which she played at her dad’s funeral. I know many of you also have special things with her. She had that way about her…of making you feel like you were her favorite. She is also the first Bones person I was friends with on Facebook. I was the person who would never have revealed my real name to anyone online, but she just brushed that nonsense away, haha. Then she had my phone number, and she was the first Bones friend I ever sent texts with. And then she called me on the phone, and she was the first Bones person I ever talked to on the phone. She just had a way of punching through the BS and yanking out the true truth of things. It was intimidating at first, but now I’m grateful she did that.

She loved Sweets, and (at the very least the idea of) Hannah (which we did not agree on—- but it caused her to write one piece here for BT, called “It’s All Good”, and you can read that here. ). Like I said, she loved angst. Oh, the angst!, especially angsty Booth. She loved Ernest Hemingway, Bruce Springsteen, her dogs (especially Frank, named after her dad–a dog that basically found HER and wouldn’t let go…an amazing story), Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson (and Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, but then again, we all do. We all do, Rob!), smoking cigarettes, Shamrock shakes, Zooey Deschanel— waaaaaaaay before she was popular and on tv, Eddie Vedder, Neil Finn (so imagine her love when Eddie and Neil put out a live album together!), Portland, Wonder Woman,…she so, so, so loved Jon Hamm, and a ton of other things, including me, and so many of you, and especially her beloved husband and daughter. I could list 100 more things it feels like, and the more I think about it, the more the memories keep flooding in.

I know I’ll cry the first time I see Sweets again on a new episode, every year on her daughter’s birthday (March 19th, which happens to also be my sister’s birthday), and every time I hear Thunder Road for the rest of my life.  But I won’t remove it from my iPod, because I want to remember. Yes, I am sad. I’m sad and crushed a just a little bit lonelier, but underneath all of that, swelling up higher than ever before is a tremendous amount of gratitude for having had the experience of knowing her.

Thank you, Mary. It’s been a privilege!


25 thoughts on “Remembering Mary T.

  1. I’ve cried more tears than I knew I had. Your description of Mary is perfect.
    Springsteen, cigarettes, OBY, what’s up tricks? And so many more fantastic memories.
    I’m living intentional from this point forward.

  2. What a beautiful tribute. Rest in peace Brainysmurfs.

  3. I did not know her, but now I wish I did! What a wonderful description of a dear friend. I am late in the blogging game, as far as Bones goes, but I have loved getting to know everyone and sharing experiences beyond just the show we love. If I haven’t said it before, I appreciate all of you!

    Today is also my mother’s birthday, who passed away when I was 16. It’s just a day of remembrance all the way around, isn’t it? Let’s all hug our friends and family today! 🙂

  4. What a beautiful way to celebrate the friendship you had. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Sarah, I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of Mary, she was such a great presence and fun person to have in the Bones community. Your tribute to her is wonderful, and I’m very sorry that you’ve lost your friend, and I’m sending my thoughts and love to you, and everyone who knew and loved Mary, especially her husband and little girl. I can see that she had a wonderful impact on a lot of people’s lives, and was very much loved.

  6. Well said. She was all those things and more. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We will all miss her so very much.

  7. That’s a beautiful post. I didn’t know Mary well, followed her on Twitter and she spoke a lot of sense. I’ll listen to The Boss on my way home from work in her honour.

  8. I rarely spoke directly to Mary.. I was one of those twitter/facebook “friends” who liked posts, laughed at things, cried at things, gazed in awe at her amazing little person, commented occasionally, and followed her short, but extremely moving blog…. she clearly was independent, strong, brave. Oh so brave. And feisty, and I think had I met her, although I’m way older than her, I would have really liked her. There’s nothing I can say that will mean anything to her family. They don’t know who I am. But I will say, she touched my heart and this news made this tough old bird tear up and choke on the lump which is again, in my throat. RIP beautiful girl.

  9. Reblogged this on Just Joolzac (minus jazz hands) and commented:
    beautiful words about a beautiful soul…. RIP Mary.

  10. Thank you. This is a wonderful tribute to a strong and courageous woman. You know you were my first Bones friend so I feel this loss ever more deeply. (MJ, you’re the first one I ever spoke to in person and that means the WORLD to me!)

    I appreciate and value all the friendships I’ve made here as part of the Bones community. Thank you for providing this wonderful place for us to all gather and get to know each other just a little better.

    And in your best Booth impersonation possible please repeat after me, “I’m so sorry for your loss.” I hope others who read this will smile a little, because that’s the best tribute we can offer Mary. To remember to laugh while we cry.

    Now if my eyes would just quit leaking today …

  11. Beautifully said, Sarah. I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss, my friend. Love you.

    • Jen, I’m so sorry for your loss as well. You and Mary were the first two Bones buddies I followed on Twitter and the tweets between you two were sometimes more exciting than the action on the screen. I remember when her father died and you pulled together the online card that we all signed, and I remember when you Tweeted along as she was having her daughter.

  12. What a stirring tribute! Thank you for sharing a truly beautiful life in Mary. You have blessed her a thousandfold.

  13. Precioso comentario, me has dejado con un nudo en la garganta. Gracias por compartirlo

  14. Un beso muy grande para Mary, esté donde esté ahora y para tí mi mas fuerte abrazo. Lo siento mucho.

  15. Mary was also my first Bones friend on FB and via chat/text. I’m still in disbelief, and so so incredibly sad for D and Chloe. Mary got robbed of her last good year, but she definitely made the (far too little) time she had left count. She was incredibly strong, never gave up and I admired her a great deal. I’m so sorry you’ve lost your good friend, Sarah.

  16. Sarah, those are wonderful thought wonderfully expressed. RIP Mary.

  17. ‘She had that way about her…of making you feel like you were her favorite.’

    That sums Mary up perfectly.

    A wonderful tribute to her, and I am so incredibly sorry for your loss Sarah. ❤

    Rest in Peace Smurfs.

  18. That was a beautiful tribute Sarah. I didn’t know Mary, but she sounds like an incredible woman. I’m truly sorry for your loss, and for her husband and daughter, and for all those who were fortunate enough to have had Mary in their lives. My deepest sympathies.

  19. Beautifully said Sarah.

  20. I read this this morning, but didn’t have time to respond, and now, so many hours later…the heartbreak just keeps coming in waves, particularly for those of you who knew her longer and more deeply than I did.

    I love so much of this but I think my favorite part is the line about her loving you more than the show. She truly did get that people are more important than opinions, and that’s only one of the reasons the world is a much poorer place for her no longer being in it.

    Hugs and much love as we all find our way in a Mary-less world.

  21. Dear Sarah, what a beautiful tribute to a friend. I am never been on Twitter, I am not on Face book, but I have a few times been on your website and talked a little bit about an episode. But I always read everything. I only know Mary from FanFic stories, which I liked very much.
    You let us know what a wonderful person she was and I hope we all get away of this knowledge and try to do more to better our lives and the lives of the people we love and even our Neighbors. Thanks!

  22. She was a pretty cool chick. We all feel her loss.