Friday, July 17, 2009


My stepmother passed away early this morning. She had broken her leg very seriously in a fall in her apartment around Easter, and she was never able to recover; it was just one complication after another. So it wasn't totally unexpected, but it was still out of the blue when her daughter called me to let me know as I was rushing off to work today. I arrived at work in a daze and promptly turned around and left, with my manager's blessing.

She loved her independence and was very unhappy in the hospitals and rehab centers she was bounced around in for the past few months, plus she endured a lot of pain.

She was a very smart woman, loved to read. She was a Special Ed teacher and supervisor in the New York public school system. She had a quirky sense of humor, and had survived a lot in her life-- who of her generation hasn't? She loved animals, even though she wasn't in a position to own fur-babies herself. (She was always asking how my "children" were.) She was very open-minded and accepting of my sexuality and wanted me to be happy.

She was exceptionally caring to my father during the last part of his life, and I've come to be extremely grateful that she came into his life when she did. They truly loved each other.

I spent half of today trying to figure out if I could make it back east for her funeral on Sunday, but it was an impossible feat-- both financially and logistically. I finally decided I would just honor her memory in my own way here at home.

The above photo was taken during my last visit to New York in 2007. Ellie and I were waiting to go see the film "Into The Wild" which was an awesome film, though her comment at the end of it was that the young romantic/naive protagonist was "selfish" to have left his family like he did. Spoken like a true Mom! :-)

Here's me on the same day with my little Pre-Retail belly. Well, we ate huge meals all week long!

Thanks for reading, whoever's reading.........


Blogger jennifer said...

I'm reading, and I'm so sorry for your loss.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Sydney said...

I am reading Grove. And thinking of your step-mom, who has sprung from the computer screen through her picture and your rememberances of her.
I think she'd be delighted to know you have honored her this way, and to most UNselfishly share a little bit of her with us. I will think of you and her tomorrow and send up a little prayer. I'm glad you took the day off... <3

11:37 AM  
Blogger Wil said...

I, for one, am sorry for your loss. Your stepmother sounds like she was a heck of a fine lady. She was fortunate to have you as a stepson. Who else amongst her family and offspring offers such a varied diet of amusement?

Your genuine affection and warmth came through your remembrance. As a step-parent myself, I can only hope to earn accolades like yours when it is my time.

1:44 PM  
Blogger cindy said...

Hi dear old pal,
I am just now catching up. You have my most sincere condolences on the passing of your stepmom. She looked to be a lovely person.

Since my dad died, I haven't been blogging. I just can't - don't know what - to write. My paper journal is just as empty. I guess I am fairly empty these days. No art, no cards, no glitter. I play on Facebook, keep in touch with almost everyone that way. There are a few old-time bloggers who don't seem to have been drawn over to the land of FB. If you ever decide to take a peek, you will find me there along with Liz, and Kat...both of whom I have seen in the flesh in the last 8 weeks.

Okay, rambling...
xo Phinney

1:39 AM  
Blogger Remo said...

I am so sorry for your loss, my friend. She was surely as gifted by your relationship and friendship as you were by her understanding and acceptance. We are "of the age" when many of our closest family and friends begin to leave us. Remember to "Live your dash".

6:52 PM  
Blogger Coy said...

I'm sure Ellie would consider herself duely honored by you in your own way ... I too am grateful that she came into your fathers life and was so accepting of yours. Thoughts and prayers are with you Alb.

PS I knew Remo still read you.

*** Coy ***

4:07 AM  
Blogger Mrs. L said...

What a lovely memory of your stepmother. And a delightful photograph too. Take care.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Connor said...

So sorry for your loss Albert.

6:09 PM  

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