Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is home from his hols up tah Maine.  Normally in this apres-vacatione post, I’d go on about the relaxing time I had and various quirky incidences thereto, but I feel compelled this year to go straight to a more somber note.  You see, my mother died last Saturday, and if the hols weren’t exactly overwhelmed by this, they were certainly affected.  Private burial on Wednesday, Memorial service on Thursday, and of course, the general topic of discussion in between.

Yes, although “only” 81, she contracted Lewy body dementia some time last winter – a condition my brother (the doctor) tells me is 100% fatal and also incurable.  I knew something was wrong earlier this year (and perhaps began bracing myself) when she started repeating herself during our weekly phone conversations and then later seemed increasingly disoriented about various basic facts.  What I didn’t know is that her motor skills were also cutting out and that she was taking tosses.  The last one, two weeks ago, resulted in her landing on her head.  They rushed her to the ER, but she never really regained consciousness.

The good news is that all our family were planning to congregate for the hols anyway, and that we all got up tah Maine in time to see her before she went, even though she was unconscious throughout.  The grandkids all spent time in her room Saturday morning, talking to her and to each other.  My sistah, brothah, and I eventually shooed them and our spouses out, and spent the last hour or two quietly talking to her and each other.  I’m pretty morally certain that she waited to hear all our voices before slipping away.

Requiescat In Pace.

Anyone who has hung around here over the years will remember that she used to comment regularly under the handle of “The Mothe”.  She was the strongest person I’ve ever known, and grounded me in everything I’ve learned about life, humanity, religion, and civilization.

For some reason or other, an anecdote about her keeps popping into my braims, perhaps because it is so illustrative of her character:

Some time in my misspent yoot, early on in my Awakening to the Outer World, I said something to Mom about how unfair “sex discrimination” in employment was.  I don’t remember exactly how I teed it up, but I vividly remember her explosive response:

“The first woman to get her medical degree in this country, Elizabeth Blackwell, did so in 1849.  Since then, no woman who really wants to be a doctor has had any excuse not to, dammit!”

Yet for that, she often used to say that she’d gladly give up her right to vote if it meant no other woman could do so.

I guess you had to be there.

A remarkable woman.  And that’s about all – in the end – I’ve really got to say.

UPDATE:  Thankee very much for your kind words, my friends.  I truly appreciate them.

 

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