My mother passed away a week ago tomorrow, after a two year fight with pancreatic cancer. She was a feisty one. She’d had a heart attack, three back surgeries, and the cancer, and yet she kept pushing forward.
She was a relentless genealogical researcher, and found family traces back four centuries. She also located her two long lost brothers, whom her birth mother had given up when they were babies. The first passed away (also from cancer) just after she reached him in about 1983. The second she found just recently, before she passed. She never got to meet them.
She loved writing, although she didn’t have much of a formal education. But that didn’t slow her down. She used to write articles for the local newspaper in Oregon City, before they closed. It is now a parking lot.
And she loved to paint and etch.
She wasn’t the greatest mother when my sisters and I were kids. She had a nasty temper and shared it with us often. But when someone close to you passes, you focus on the positives. I’ve wondered for a long time what I would say if I was asked to give her eulogy. For a long time I held on to some of the things about her that made me angry. But now that she’s gone, I realize why we say the nicest things about people when they die.
We want to take the best of who they were with us on our journey, and leave the negatives in history.