Monday, December 20, 2010

Dribs and Drabs

Scott and his sister Tanya with her grandchildren

Scott's biggest smiles are seen when he's got a lapful of small children. He should put on a few pounds and get a job as a department-store Santa.


Watched Heaven on Earth last week, a Deepa Mehta film that turned my stomach. I cannot watch a program depicting physical abuse of women without feeling sick, and very angry, because I know this shit is still going on, and legally, all over the world. Scott too gets upset: “Guys like that should be taken out to a field and shot. Backwards bastards.” I agree. Intellectually I’m against capital punishment and will never support it, but emotionally I can be a redneck.


I’ve been thinking lately of the day we got the news that Mom had terminal cancer, how shocking and horrifying that was, how the phone call announcing it was short, and after a couple hours of weeping and trying to pull myself together and breaking out in hives I called back and asked to talk to Mom herself. And she said something like this:
“I don’t want you to be too freaked out. I have to die sometime, and this happens to be the when and the how for me. At least I’ve had the opportunity to watch my children grow up and to know my grandchildren, which is more than many have. I’ve had a very good life, I’ve been lucky. And now that I know my end date, I can spend the rest of my time making the best of it. It’s a natural thing, death. It will happen to you too, you know.

Life ends in death. That’s a fact. It’s a wonder we don’t walk around depressed all the time.


Remember Henry Winkler, a.ka. The Fonz in the series Happy Days? He gave a pretty good talk that a blogger posted about here.


  1. "Intellectually I’m against capital punishment and will never support it, but emotionally I can be a redneck." Me, too.

    Your mother had so much wisdom. I've seen this amazing type of wisdom so often once the end date has been verified. Thank you for posting about it...this will help many.


  2. Marion,
    My mom was a very wise and positive person. I never realized how much until that last year. She wasn't afraid to ask us for what she wanted, and I'm glad of that, but I suspect she and Dad also went out of their way to make the whole thing as easy on their children and on each other as they could. You really do see what people are made of when the chips are down. My respect for both of them grew a thousandfold.

  3. Your mum was a wise woman...
    So true her words are.

  4. We can all learn so much from your mother's words. In response to your comment about being depressed all the time, I think people's attempts to deny our mortality causes a lot more unhappiness than facing it.

    I have outlived my two older brothers and many friends. Every tear I've shed just waters my growing determination to make every day count. It's not always important what we accomplish, but how much love and care we put into our words and actions. Accepting death can put such a spring in your step.


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