Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that every Monday is devoted to Monday’s Link Roundup. This Monday is different. Yesterday Mom died at Victoria Hospice at the age of ninety-three.
Mom always believed that when she transitioned to that other side, she’d be met by my Dad, Ed Curtis, who died in 1990. I like to think she was right. And whether by coincidence or design her death took place on their seventy-second wedding anniversary. They were married December 18, 1939.
Throughout my life Mom was one of my biggest fans and supporters. In many ways she introduced me to story telling at an early age. An avid reader, her favorite activity before going to sleep was to read a few pages from her latest book. Every morning I would eagerly run into her bedroom to sit by her bed. There, she would relate the latest installment – no doubt censoring some of the racy bits for the ears of an eight-year-old.
She also regaled me with stories from her teenage years when her family homesteaded in the wilderness of northern British Columbia. Eagerly absorbed by a young boy were tales of encounters with grizzly bears, hunting, and snowy winter nights, hunkered down in their log cabin.
People have remarked that it’s sad that Mom’s death came so close to Christmas. In part that’s true. I certainly haven’t had time in the past few weeks to think much about the holiday season. But central to this time of year is the message of peace, comfort, and joy. And I’ve experienced all of those in a personal and profound way. Mom and I were surrounded at Victoria Hospice by loving and compassionate care. Her final days brought her comfort and her death was blessedly peaceful. And we had joyful moments – reminiscing about Christmases past, enjoying cups of her favorite tea from her favorite cup, and laughing at this comedy called life. One of the last things she said to me, opening her eyes briefly was, “Having fun?”
I miss her dearly. My world has changed forever. But surrounded and supported by my loving partner, friends, and colleagues I’ll carry on doing honor to those values she tried to instill in me – kindness, loyalty, grace, and a good sense of humor.