My mother, Marcy, would have been 62 years old today.
I wrote that linked-to piece sixteen years ago; glancing over it again today, I think the first half may be largely incomprehensible to non-Swarthmore people. Sorry about that. I suppose I ought to write something new, but that probably won't happen this year.
Marcy died, of leukemia, on November 11, 1980; Peter's 41st birthday. I suspect Nov. 11 will be particularly difficult this year.
It just struck me that I'm now a couple of months older than Marcy was when she died. I'm trying to come up with something worthwhile to say about that, but I'm not getting anywhere. My gut feeling is that she was too young, that it wasn't fair; but then, people of all ages die all the time, and it's never fair.
We don't get any guarantees. Death can come after five years of struggling with illness, or unexpectedly and violently. Or, for that matter, after many decades of living; one way or another, ain't a one of us gonna get out of this alive. (Peter used to say something like that, but I don't remember his exact phrasing. Jay, do you?)
I'd like to be as accepting as whoever from Pogo said, "Don't take life so serious, son; it ain't nohow permanent." (Was it Porkypine? Or maybe a couple of characters said it at different times.) But I'm afraid I'm more of the "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" school. (If you have Flash, you can hear Dylan Thomas reading the poem on that page.)
I think the photo of Marcy here is the one I was referring to in "Distances and Directions"; Jay sent me an electronic copy of it back in March. Thanks again, Jay!