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Our 10 Months with Mom

Mom in her chair in our living room -with the new drapes behind her

Mom came to live with us here in Ohio in April of 2005.  She said she wanted to see the daffodils one more time.  It was a huge undertaking to travel across the country. She ended up staying. 

During her stay with us, she had many ups and downs, including a terrible fall, which really ripped up her leg.  She recovered from that and she continued to play the piano, in spite of the fact she couldn't see, and she continued to do crossword puzzles with us - She insisted on making curtains for our living room, and directed me in the cutting, hemming, hanging and display... and maintained her style and unique wit throughout. 

Mom brought a great deal of joy and courage into this house and she showed all of us how to bear up under the worst of circumstances - always gracious, always smiling - always living as fully as she could under terribly difficult circumstances.

My girls got a chance to get to know her really for the first time.  Mom loved Tommy and looked forward to the evening and his arrival home.  The cocktail hour was the same institution here that it had always been for her and Dad.  She laughed and told jokes (some of them a little raunchy) and kept us all on our toes. 

I took her to visit her old stomping grounds.  The Lee Road house; the old farm in Aurora; Mather College; Lake Erie; The Cleveland Museum of Art where the Turtle Baby statue lives; Severance Hall for a Cleveland Orchestra concert; and drives through the countryside to see the Fall foliage. She had a pretty good ten months.  I know I did.

She died early Sunday morning on February 5, 2006.  I was with her holding her hand.  The whole family had been sitting with her the evening before as she began to slip into unconsciousness. Merrily sat with her and brushed her hair.  They said the Lord's Prayer together.   I sang some songs to her and read her some Pooh stories and poems.   Her little gray kitty, Tootie, was on her lap. It was peaceful, quiet and painless, and filled with love. 

She had been getting herself ready to die for a couple of weeks.  She told me the week before that she felt that, all in all, she'd had a "good long run" and wasn't afraid of dying.  She said that she had a suitcase packed with all of her favorite memories, poems, and music.  Her plan was to get wherever she was going (a devout agnostic to the end!) and have a lovely time unpacking.  I'm quite sure that's exactly what she's doing.  As Peter Pan said, "Death will be the greatest adventure of all!"

She left a little of her own special Pixie Dust here in our house.  The magic of her lingers and comforts me.  What a grand lady she was and I'll always be glad of her.

Peter,Wendy,John,Michael and several faeries