Long Ago and Far Away, When I Was Young...
I'm 24 in this photo; it's less than a year before my mother would pass away after living on and off with cancer for the previous 11 years. When I look back at it now, I realize that my mother was ill for most of my adolescent and adult life.
Not that any of that stopped her from living: she traveled around the country and the world, earned two masters degrees, one in art history, a second in social work, and set up a small practice where she saw a few patients.
And she got to see her three children grow up: all three of us graduated high school and college, my older sister was married, and I was starting on what would become my career in teaching. My younger sister had just finished college and was just setting out on her own.
I received a call in the late afternoon, after I had come home from work. "Mommy's very sick, you have to come to the hospital," my sister said. I called my dad. "She's very ill; you should come to the hospital now."
I drove to the hospital, met my sisters, and we saw her her for the last time.