If you’re not one of the newcomers here, you may remember that I spent two weeks in July and August of this year in Vermont, in part to visit high school friends and family, but primarily to visit my mother. Mom had a serious stroke in early July and her 80th birthday was July 31st. We weren’t at all sure she would make it to celebrate that party, but she managed to hang in there and beyond.
This morning I got the call that I knew was coming one of these days. My mother passed away quietly sometime before noon, with family at her bedside.
It was bittersweet news, if not a surprise or a shock of any kind. Her overall condition had been trending steadily downhill ever since the stroke. That trend had accelerated in the last two weeks and we had been warned that she could go suddenly. It’s a huge loss to have her finally gone and we’ll miss her every day of our lives. But for a woman who had raised eight kids and was always on the go, active, happy, and involved, being unable to walk, talk, move, or even feed herself led to a marginal quality of life.
Enjoy the pictures from her party last July, but know that these pictures show who she truly was.
Mom at her home in California before she moved back to Vermont, with my youngest brother and his wife.
Mom, the Daughters, and the Long-Suffering Wife.
Mom and The Son.
Mom, the Older Daughter, and the Younger Daughter.
Mom and The Son when she happened to be on this coast and he happened to be home on leave.
Mom and the Younger Daughter at the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Stowe, Vermont, wandering through the graveyard of failed ice cream flavors.
Mom and The Son.
Mom and the Younger Daughter.
Mom and Lucy in her backyard in Vermont
A partial family picture with me, Mom, the Long-Suffering Wife, the Younger Daughter, two of my sisters and one brother, and one brother-in-law. (Not in Vermont – the palm trees are a dead giveaway.)
With the Younger Daughter clambering around the top of Stowe in Vermont.
Mom with us, her youngest great-grandson, and my niece just after Christmas last year.
Mom was always suspicious of me when I had a camera. The Long-Suffering Wife just ignores me when I have a camera.
This is the last picture that I know of that gathered half of “the kids.” When I was back in Vermont in June, 2014 for my high school reunion, the four oldest kids in the family (in order, starting with me) were together, with the younger four in Texas and California.