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As time passes by more and more of the authors I read as a child are dying. Mr. Ellison is one of the last authors I remember reading as a young kid. I encountered him on a couple of occasions. One of the benefits of going to SF conventions. What I remember is that although his reputation would make one think he was difficult to be around. He certainly was capable of verbally eviscerating anyone, but I never saw him be angry or disrespectful of people in general. He saved his fights for those in power. He didn’t “punch down”. Now, I didn’t really know him. I just have a couple of personal memories. He wrote the scariest short story I’ve ever read. I genuinely enjoyed his nonfiction and feel very sad for the authors that would have been included in his third volume of Dangerous Visions. It’s a real shame how that project ended. His version of a Star Trek episode was fascinating, and he should have known it would never make air exactly as he wrote it. He was a huge presence, an occasionally brilliant, but always interesting writer. He will be missed.
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About 9:20 AM this morning, my mother came to the end of her life. It was not unexpected and I think she went as peacefully as possible. I signed the paperwork to have my mother given hospice care on Wednesday. Friday, my sister Cheryl called saying that the doctor didn’t think Mom had much longer. [personal profile] loracs and I went to see her and stayed most of the afternoon. She recognized me when I arrived and immediately asked where [personal profile] loracs was. (She happened to be right in front of Mom but it hadn’t registered for some reason.) As the afternoon wore on she slept more and more. By the time we left late afternoon, she wasn’t interacting with any of us much. The hospital room wasn’t large and there was plenty of family around. My two sisters, my baby sister’s husband, my brother, [personal profile] loracs, my niece and both nephews and even my great-niece. I had felt largely in the way most of the afternoon. I could’ve stayed longer, but I felt like I’d said my goodbyes to her Wednesday and staying didn’t seem helpful to anyone.

I don’t know if my mother was ever really proud of me, but she did love me very much. She loved [personal profile] loracs and I even think she was fond of [personal profile] serene (even though I don’t think she liked the whole arrangement. :-) She was given the impossible task of raising a severely disabled, stubborn child along with three other children and managed as well as she could. She was a keypunch operator, a bus driver, factory worker, and hotel housekeeper. She did what she needed to keep us safe and healthy. She lived through long lectures from her son on his homework or latest interest. I’m sure that many of those conversations she could barely follow or care about. Yet she always seemed genuinely interested in my silly schoolboy theories and passions. I know I put her through several kinds of hell. Hopefully, she's somewhere arguing with her mother and petting lots of dachshunds and Boston Terriers. Drinking hot cocoa, bowling, working on jigsaw puzzles and watching television. I will miss her so much. I love you Mom.

My Dad

May. 17th, 2011 11:04 pm
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Died about an hour ago, of course I'm sad, but I'm also alright about it. He's been sick for quite awhile now, and not really himself this last six months or so. I'll miss him. Now he's not in pain or scared. He was a good man but mostly, he was my Dad. I love him and the last time we talked I told him so. He told me he was proud of me. I'm lighting a candle and pouring him a glass of water to ease his way. After awhile, crocodile.
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I told you all that I'd lost my morning attendant awhile ago. She had been having some continuing health problems for awhile now. She'd work when she felt up to it. she'd needed to be hospitalized every now and then because of the pain she was in. Her doctor never seemed to find out what was actually going on, he would just discharge her after a while with new pain meds. I felt like they were not treating her properly. Another middle aged African American woman not being treated right by the medical profession, but she had faith in her doctor and I didn't know what to do. About two weeks ago she told me she'd have to quit, she just couldn't deal until she got her health problems taken care of.

I got a call from her this evening. [personal profile] loracs talked to her. They finally gave her a diagnosis. Its cancer, very advanced. Terminal. They are keeping her in the hospital to find the best drugs to handle her pain and then she'll probably move to hospice. I'll spare you all the rant building in me about the health care system in this country and what I'd like to do to her doctor specifically. The bastards!

I've known Stacy for about 8 years. In all that time she was late to work maybe once. Every morning as my Grandfather's clock chimed eight times, I'd hear Stacy's key enter the lock at the front door right on time. She took care of her disabled mother. Raised her adopted son to be a fine young man who has been accepted to go to college. She's one of the kindest, people I know. A faithful christian who took comfort in her religion, but never judged others. She doesn't deserve this kind of end.
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No more Mongo! :(
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