She had failing health for a few years now, and 4 hours ago, she passed away. All three of her kids were by her side, young grandchildren mere feet away. I always said that she was the person most prepared for death. Calm, not denying it, ready for the next journey. She truly lived her life the way she wanted too, enjoying it. She always knew it would end, and she was ready, darnit. When I visited her for the last time last Christmas, she had great fun telling my brother George and me about the difference between hospital staff and Hospice staff. She joked ‘The hospice people come in and say ‘Here’s your Morphine!’ Still in pain? Have some more!”‘.
I got very close to her when I was in graduate school (University of Minnesota) living in the same town I saw her at least once a week. We shared a common passion, Jiffy brand Corn Muffins. Whenever I visited, I made them for breakfast for us. She always said they were only good straight out of the oven, and boy was she right. When I first moved to Minneapolis she let me ’live’ on her front porch for a few weeks until I got my own apartment. When I had to come back for 5 weeks in the summer of 1999 to defend my thesis (I had already moved to Wyoming for my first job the fall previous) and teach a course at the UofM, she let me stay with her with open arms.
She lived in a huge house build at the turn of the 20th century. She prided herself in telling people she moved into the house the same day the JFK was shot. That house was a rock, always there, with her standing guard. I remember being a very small boy visiting her for Christmas and sleeping on the back porch with the windows open, even if it was freezing outside. It was just the ‘cool’ place to sleep.
I would have to say she is the closest family member to me outside my immediate family, hands down. Her stories and sense of humor were so enjoyable. I will miss her very much.
A sad day for me and my poor under-read blog. Her spirit will always live here, though. As long as I run and blog, I do it for her. Take care Nanc. I miss you already.