April 24, 2015, Prescott- A friend of twenty-three years passed on, last night, after a three year battle with cancer. She had brought our then homeless family into the loop of our community’s activities, in the harsh winter and spring of 1992, while not lowering her standards of decorum and good taste. She never wavered in that regard, over the years.
An Anglophile of the highest order, M. kept her home immaculate, knew and practiced the art of High Tea, on a regular basis, and always served refreshments in/on ceramic ware, to be enjoyed using either silver or stainless steel, never plastic. We were all made well aware of the distinction between the first two, as well.
She spent all her adult married life in the same house, not far from where she grew up, though she was well-traveled and had familiarity with just about every place I mentioned I had been. She felt as much at home in Tokyo as in Prescott, or Savannah, GA. A daughter of a military man, she nonetheless shuddered at the carnage amok in the world, and would not suffer crudeness or profanity in her presence. Her own speech was clear, concise and polished.
M. could have been viewed as an anachronism, but she mastered technology, and was a regular presence on Facebook and my e-mail network. I felt I could discuss virtually any subject with her, as well as with her husband of nearly forty years.
She weathered the vicissitudes of her disease quite well, all things considered, and would be aghast if she were to hear anyone cast blame for her condition upon the physicians, support staff, or her family members. Her family were exemplary, and as far as I can tell, so were most of the hospital and medical staff.
M.’s last great enjoyment was connecting with her newborn fifth grandson, and the last photograph of her that was shared by the family showed her and the infant reaching towards one another, and holding hands, as they lay facing one another, at opposite ends of her in-home sick bed.
The impact of such a soul, on each and every person who entered her presence, was one of abiding reassurance and confirmation. I feel that now, as ever I felt it over the past twenty-three years. As we lay her body to rest, tomorrow afternoon, I will also feel another soul at the side of my wife, gone homeward, at the appointed hour.