JWG (jwg) wrote,

Today, in memory of my mother

Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of my mother. She was 92 at the time of her death. The cause of death was congestive heart failure, but all in all she was in pretty good health. She'd had several episodes of CHF during that year and her last trip to the hospital was about 2 weeks before. I was with her at the last time she was conscious that day - she had specified DNR, having always detested the idea of a long illness and often mentioned how fortunate my father was to die almost instantly from a massive heart attack. She was cremated the next day and her ashes tossed at sea by the Neptune Society (she having prearranged that) - these wishes were partly based upon the lots of family history about care of graves and visits to them. She had said that you are not really dead until your obituary appears in the New York Times, so I did that.

She lived alone in her manhattan apartment, walked with canes or a walker, and used Access-A-Ride (MTA van by appointment) to go distances of more than several blocks which she did a few times a week. Her apartment building had a nice garden between the two buildings and she hung around there a lot in good weather talking to friends.

She played Duplicate regularly and had played just a day or so before her last episode. I chose to hold her memorial service a few months later at the Manhattan Bridge Club, which was her regular place to play. I'd asked her how she wanted to handle this - she didn't want it in a temple, and when I suggested the bridge club she thought that was a great idea and the owner/director was fine with it.

She was a fine lady, a good mother and wife, and I really miss her.

These are a few things I talked about at the service.

Hobbies and Interests
Crossword Puzzles
Reading (Pride and Prejudice, mysteries, short stories, and the New York Times)
English History and Literature

The last few years
Independence and mobility
the league, bridge club, garden and lobby at 30 West 60th St.
always managed to go to the hairdresser by self (walker, … cane, occasionally taxi)
reading, silly TV, and crossword puzzles
telephone to friends and me
The infirmities of age: arthritis, broken hip and finally: heart valve

A few other characterizations
a proper lady - dressing “right”
a sense of humor (silliness especially)
stubborn, outspoken and forthright
a sense of what was right and what was fair
indignant if thought not treated well or fairly
took care of own health and diet
an excellent memory for events through her whole life
cooking, machinery and the vacuum cleaner

The bit about the vacuum cleaner is that she thought it was too complicated to operate so she never did. She did know how to use a sewing machine. She learned how to cook while I was a teenager (I helped teach her) - she was brought up in a home with servants and until I went off to MIT we always had them.

Tags: mom, personal

  • Cambridge Organizational Involvement

    I have lived in Cambridge in my house since 1966 + 4 years in Baker House while a student at MIT in 1956-1960. From 1967-1986 I worked in a ~40…

  • Memorial Day

    Today is Memorial day, Of course I am young enough to remember when it was called Decoration Day. You have to give a lot of credit to those who did…

  • Martin Luther King Day

    Today is Martin Luther King day. A very incredible person who was a constructive activist in the civil rights movement in the 50s and '60s…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded