My mother died last night.
At age 92, she couldn’t recover from the anesthesia needed to pin her broken hip. Dad did her a last kindness, and declined that she be re-intubated. She was tired, and stuff finally wears out.
Mom’s life crossed many big transitions in the world. When she was born at home in the mining hills of Pennsylvania in 1919 to a blacksmith/coal miner and his wife, an airplane passing overhead brought everyone outside. She led her high school class, but young women rarely attended college; the Depression sealed the deal.This was a tough woman, who married a kind, steady rock of a man just after the war. When she went in to labor with the last of us six kids, he walked her the half-mile trail he had shoveled in deep snow through the farm fields to the car he’d parked up on Ox Hill Road.
Mom had a mule for a pet as a girl, and she gave us kids our heads, as they say. She and Dad didn’t seem to even swallow hard when I said I wanted to learn to fly, just asked me how I was going to pay for it.
She found the Church in DC before she met Dad, and they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, the closest one at that point. They scraped and planned and placed their hopes on real estate, sometimes good, sometimes not. Meanwhile, she raised dogs and kids, sold goats’ milk to visiting Saudi kings, and held things together.
So here at the end, how to sum up a life? I’d call it a quiet success.
She and Dad were honest to a fault, raised good kids, and did it on the foundation of the Gospel. If “by their fruits ye shall know them,” then those awaiting her arrival on the distant shore will early recognize the glow of a good woman headed their way.