Teresa A. Downing

GORHAM, MAINE — The sun has risen and set without you for first time in 58 years and, at once, the house feels so empty. So quiet…

There is sound. Only tonight it’s not music. The noises inside these walls are just that. Noise…

But listen. Like the slow crescendo of an unfolding rainstorm, noise gives way to a faint rhythm. The house warms with family and friends and swells with memories and, at once, the house doesn’t feel so empty.

Like a lightning bolt from the sky, she was given to us.

Terri was born in Oswego, N.Y., to Peter and Ellen Raby. There she grew up with her brother, Peter M. Raby, her sister, Maggie E. Colligan, and countless cousins. She attended St. Mary’s School, Oswego Catholic High School, and then Ithaca College.

Terri’s adventure with her husband, Mike began in Ithaca, N.Y., at a Donkey Basketball game. In Maine, she nailed the Katahdin ‘worthiness test’ leading the way across the Knife Edge and down Heylon Taylor trail to the VW bus at Roaring Brook.

She is survived her husband Mike and the family the two created, Kevin and (Jen) Downing, Peter Downing, Michael Downing, and Megan Downing; her two grandchildren, Ella and Maia; and also the family she grew up with in Oswego, N.Y., Peter and (Carol) Raby and Maggie and (Charlie) Colligan.

After years of living in the home that they built in Somerville the growing family moved to Gorham. Terri has been at the heart of neighborhood life in Fort Hill Farms, leading kid’s games for the annual block party, organizing TGIF events and many theme parties, and starting a neighborhood book club.

The Ya Yas were her dearest friends, and she filled every occasion with joy and laughter. Whether running a road race, bicycling in the Trek Across Maine, or tackling home repairs like a pro – Terri knew no limits.

And with regards to the disease that finally took her from us, ‘It’s really not a pink, courageous battle. It’s just life.’

She is my mother. She is my sister. She is my wife.

She is my best friend. She is my gramma. She is my life.

And, at once, the house doesn’t feel so empty.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Main Street, in Gorham. Arrangements are by the Dolby and Dorr Funeral Chapel, Gorham.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: The American Cancer Society, Inc. Breast Cancer Research New England Region 1 Bowdoin Mills Island Suite 300 Topsham, Maine 04086 or to The Jimmy Fund.

Please make donations to The Jimmy Fund payable to: The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 10 Brookline Place 6th Floor Brookline, Massachusetts 02445-9924