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Asenath (Sena) Scallan (Weaver) VIEW PROFILE

Asenath (Sena) Scallan (Weaver)

Sena passed away on December 28,1996. She lived in Damascus, MD.

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03/01/09 10:10 PM #1    

Elaine Orr

Sena, as she was called, was brilliant, witty, and funny. We were in KJH for a year, and I was thrilled to find her in 12th grade English, with Mrs. Baker; I'm not sure where her family was in between. I think her family was from Louisiana, and her dad took us down to the old Sheraton Park Hotel one day. Plans were underway for some sort of big state society event that night. My parents were both ill, so I rarely did much that was not routine -- her dad made it a really fun day. For a time they lived in an old house in Kensington that was next to Safeway (what we would have called the 'new' Safeway, before they built the one that opened recently). The house was drafty and not elegant -- I think her family did not have a lot of money either. We were kindred spirits, and we had a heck of a good time in Mrs. Virginia Baker's English class -- really. We tried to make her laugh. Sometimes we did. I always thought that Sena would be a great writer or actress. I'm so sorry she has died. If someone knows when or how, I would like to know.

Elaine Orr

03/01/09 10:58 PM #2    

Elaine Orr

I looked on the SS Death index, and it said she died December 28, 1996, and had lived in Damascus. Her married name was Weaver.

09/04/09 12:28 AM #3    

Cristina Finney (Cassidy)

Oh this made me so very sad. She was a lovely girl. We were friends. If I remember correctly, she was a Bahai, at least when I knew her. We actually double dated once. She was my future husband's "date." How I would have liked to have seen her at the reunion. Blessings, dear Sena. You are etched in my memory forever.

09/04/09 12:29 AM #4    

Cristina Finney (Cassidy)

I was in Mrs. Baker's class, too. Now I realize that that is probably how I knew Sena. Thanks for helping me make that connection.

09/06/09 12:12 PM #5    

Elaine Orr

Yep, that's how we met, Chris. The three of us would try to sit near each other, and she would sometimes separate us for giggling.

03/17/14 09:09 PM #6    

Elaine Orr

Thanks to the WJ Reunion website, Sena's sister, Marilyn Scallan, saw Cristina's and my notes (on Sena's birthday) and wanted to let us know more about Sena. Here is part of what Marilyn said (she said OK to share).

I’m not sure when you last spoke with her, but Sena got married to Steve (Weaver) when she was 22. She graduated from the University of Maryland, worked for a while, often as a temp, where she worked for NEA and in the Old Executive Office Building. But she wanted to be a writer, and she stayed home to write. She was working on a novel for many years, which she didn’t finish before she died, and she wrote short stories as well. Before she had kids she was in a writing group.

She had three boys: Tom, Mike, and James, and eventually settled in Damascus. She was very active in the Baha’i community, and I think that and raising three kids kept her from writing (or even reading!) very much. She also did a lot of volunteer work, which was part of being Baha’i, but also very Sena. She was very lively, very outgoing, and was often on the phone and very much on the go—particularly with three kids. In the last few years of her life, she had started drumming; she liked the blues, particularly.

She was getting a little nostalgic for her Louisiana roots as she got older, and our parents died in 1990, six months apart, and that was very hard on her.  It wasn’t long after that that she got sick. So, in 1992, she started getting various symptoms, the first being a kind of blindness in one eye, about four years before she died. Symptoms added on…but none that the doctor(s) could diagnose. The main symptoms, that eventually debilitated her, were dizziness and nausea. They eventually became constant. I think it was about two years that she couldn’t drive anymore, and about a year before her death that she couldn’t sleep in bed or walk without falling.

And the doctors did not know what was wrong with her. She went to Johns Hopkins about six months before she died, and the neurologist there didn’t know what was wrong with her. So, the internists, endocrinologist (she was also diagnosed with diabetes, which is rampant in our father’s family, but not related to her death), neurologists, etc., didn’t know what was wrong with her. It was pretty awful—the constant dizziness. She lost a lot of weight and couldn’t do anything.

Sena was phenomenally strong and weathered this…it was really amazing, really, how she weathered it. I truly never heard her complain. She worried, she wondered, but she never complained about how very bad she felt. Not being able to do things for her kids really bothered her.

Shortly before her death she was put on steroids and antibiotics and she felt better. They still didn’t know what she had, but they were treating it as they treat many autoimmune diseases. (And no one, not even the doctors, had any idea she would die.) The last day I spent with her was Christmas Day, and even though she fell twice, she said she felt better than she had in a long time. But two days later she was brain dead, and the day after that we took her off life support and she died on Dec. 28, 1996; she was 45.
She died of CNS vasculitis, and we only learned that by autopsy. (You may have seen that Harold Ramis recently died of vasculitis.) It’s not a common disease, and there are various forms of it. Hers was one of the fatal types.

Her sons were 15, 11, and 8 or so. Now they’re all grown, and Tom is married with three kids in Chesapeake Beach, Md., and is a lawyer. I always think Sena would be so pleased. Mike is married and living in Ohio, and James is in Rockville and working.

On a personal note, well, I think she was the best big sister ever. She was really a second mother to me. She was an extraordinary person, truly. And I’ve truly never met anyone like her. She was so, so smart, so emotionally intelligent too. Insightful. Phenomenally warm. I also thought her extraordinarily cool: she had a zest for and curiosity about life and people, and she did so many neat things with me and for me: I used to spend weekends in her dorm at College Park and she’d even take me to classes with her (I was about 9 or 10 at the time—who does that? Sena!), she helped me get to Ireland (a passion of mine), and helped me write my essays for college. She was my biggest cheerleader and would talk with me, my sisters, or friends for hours at a time—whatever was needed. She was always there, and the only time she wasn’t was when she was too sick. (Although my last phone conversation with her , the day after Christmas, was about me and my credit card number being stolen, so even so sick, she was in supportive mode.)

It was so great to see your post with Christina on the WJ page—you said beautifully what she was even as a teen: smart, funny, witty.

Again, I’m so glad you replied to my query. I know I’ve written a lot, I hope not too much! And if you’ve any questions, I’m happy to answer.

03/19/14 12:17 AM #7    

Michael Loughran

Asenath sat to my left in Mrs. Baker's class - I called her by her full firstname because I thought it sounded cool and she didn't correct me. I must've had a crush on her, because every time our 6th-period English class comes up in this website's or, perhaps,  Facebook "WJ reminiscing", I think of her.

03/20/14 10:17 PM #8    

Elaine Orr

Sena's sister Marilyn sent this photo of Sena in her late twenties. Such a pensive look.

03/21/14 11:06 PM #9    

Michael Loughran

Thanks for the photo, Elaine . . . wow - somehow, I see more soulful attributes of Sena in this portraiture . . .

. . . beautiful.  

03/22/14 12:18 AM #10    

Paula Forrest

I didn't know Sena.  But these tributes are heartbreaking, yet also inspiring.  She was clearly a remarkable girl and woman.

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