Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Call

It came just after 7:00 this morning.  RN Mike made the call.  My mother had slipped away  only moments earlier, shortly after a  bath and shampoo.  Both nurses were at her bedside holding her hands, assuring her that she was not alone.  When the time came,  it was quick and peaceful.   It was just a struggle getting there. 

Here are two of my favorite photos of my mother.  I believe the earlier photo was her University of Hawaii graduation portrait.  She graduated with a degree in Food Science in 1935, and went on to teach for several years in the Home Economics Department under the mentorship of Carey D Miller.  She earned a small pension which provided medical coverage for both my parents once she reached retirement age. 

The second photo was taken at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (now the Honolulu Museum of Art) where we celebrated her 96th birthday over lunch at the Pavilion Cafe.  At 96 she was still ageless and sparkling, with a quick smile and a keen memory.  She told us that day of her experience as a teen giving loom weaving demonstrations at the newly opened Art Academy.  The Academy opened in 1927; she couldn't have been more than 14 or 15 when giving those demonstrations.  At the time she was an honor student at Kamehameha School for Girls.  

1935, age 21

 2010, age 96

My mother was the last of her generation.
She was the last of her siblings.  
She was the last of my father's siblings and their spouses.
In her own generation, she is survived by one first cousin and one high school classmate.
She counted as descendants a granddaughter, a grandson and 5 granddaughters. 
Ian and I are now the kupuna in our line -- the elders.
That's scary! 

If you are so moved, she asked that
memorial contributions be made to the
Helen Yonge Lind Scholarship Fund
University of Hawaii Foundation
2444 Dole Avenue
Honolulu  HI  96822

Our mother was a fighter,
a heavy contributor to what to her are important community causes.
Ian and Meda have a favorite card which expresses her philosophy.
It is attributed to labor and community organizer
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones  (1837-1930)
Mother Jones said, 

Pray for the dead.
Fight like hell for the living.


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE YOU Bonnie as you struggle with your mother's death. It takes a while - not only remember to pray, but also remember to eat!


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