Tuesday, July 20, 2004

My Mom

My mom passed away at 4am this morning at 69 years old. It was not unexpected; in fact it was a relief. Her body had been failing her with accelerating regularity for the last several weeks and now her pain is gone.

My Mom can be blamed for this weblog. She taught me to speak out for what I think is right. She served the Human Relations Council in Portland in the 60s helping people less fortunate. She taught SE Asian refugees English and American life skills in the 70s. She was a tutor for Oregon Literacy in the 70s and 80s teaching the Laubach system of reading to many adults including a former Portland Trailblazer. She volunteed for the local grade and high school in the 80s and 90s and helped bring children into the Information Age. I got my start in the computer biz by volunteering at the high school and learning about DOS, networks, and library information retrieval software. It was my mom that arranged it.

She got lung cancer about seven years ago. They didn't expect her to survive through her first radiation treatment. She did. It would not be the last time she was told to get her affairs in order and yet each time she proved them wrong and blessed us with her determination to survive and improve. When things finally did get bad and she lost weight and became weak, our sometimes fractious family rallied around her to provide comfort. My dad and brother took wonderful care of her during her decline and my sisters joined in for the last few days and helped my mother expire peacefully this morning. This was her last gift to her family; to bring us together to work and help each other to make her comfortable in her final days.

I am so proud of them and her that I thought I should speak out about it. Just like she taught me to.