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Day breaks and night falls

That time I surprised Betty and Carl at the airport.

If you were expecting a recipe or the usual nonsense, click away now.

For many years, my mom dealt with the consequences of severe osteoporosis – numerous fractured vertebrae and debilitating pain. Recently, Betty developed emphysema, even though she was a non-smoker. It happens. Never pondered a connection between celiac disease and emphysema before. Cause and effect are difficult to determine, of course. The good news is that she’s no longer suffering.

Shortly after Christmas, nurses from Mercy hospice started making home visits. An amazing group – so kind and supportive.

During the last month, we watched Golden Girls, talked about people, laughed at vines, ate snacks, and drank her favorite gluten free beer. Betty enjoyed corny one-liners like, “You can’t be a meteorologist without passing Wind.” Honestly.

She loved seeing family members who visited. Betty replayed video messages like this one from Ben, who was out of town. One of her funniest remarks, “You were my favorite daughter,” made me howl. Sense of humor, firmly intact.

I’d already read (and had just been reminded by Amy, a hospice nurse) that some people experience a rally shortly before dying. Still, it tends to catch one off guard. About nine hours before passing away, Betty had a brief burst of energy. She wanted to eat bread, and as I sat on the bed eating pizza, she wanted that, too. Like a pro, Brad retrieved bits from her mouth that she couldn’t swallow.

Another brother, his wife, a niece, and a nephew were also there for last call.

“Let’s go!” Betty said.

“Where do you want to go?” Robyn asked.

“I want to go to garage sales.”

Brilliant. Hearing that was an unexpected gift.

Betty passed away peacefully last Monday morning. Around 4am. She always was an early bird.

googly eyes in sewing kit

Among her things, I found googly eyes in a sewing kit and a box filled with handwritten jokes.

What calamities happen every 24 hours? The title of this post.

Good one, Mom.


  1. It sounds like your mom enjoyed life right up until the end. I am very sorry for your loss.

  2. Sending you my deepest condolences, Linda. I just lost my own dad on Monday. I’m glad you and your mom had that time together. Such a lovely post.


  3. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories with us. You are all in my prayers.

  4. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your post about your mom made me laugh and cry. Such a wonderful remembrance.

  5. Jennifer Blome says:

    Linda, Sounds like your Mom was an original.
    So sorry for your loss. I know this. She did great work in the daughter department!

  6. Charlotte Smock says:

    Oh Aunt Linda! You made me laugh and cry at the same time. I’m sorry for your heartache.

  7. Again, so sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds like she was so much fun!

  8. Martha Valenta says:

    I’m just hearing this news now, via your lemon ice cream post. I’m half-smiling, with tears in my eyes. I know I’ve only met you in person a few times. But, between knowing you that little bit, and your wonderful way with words, it’s clear to me that you are 1000% your mother’s daughter. That sense of humor is a gift. I’m thankful that you share it so freely (along with your fabulous recipes.) I’m sorry for your loss.