So Long, Alice

On Thanksgiving day, I flew down to Phoenix to see my step mom who was in failing health. (the tremendous benefit of Jean’s job at the airline). At just over a month away from her 94th birthday, Alice was quite perky and cheerful. The only signs of anything being wrong were the oxygen mask she was wearing, and the fact that she was in a hospice facility. They had found an ominous mass in her lung, and due to her age, were not going to treat.

“Everybody gets something” she said with a pragmatic shrug.

She was happy to see me, since otherwise she was alone for the holiday. We watched a football game on the tube and chatted about family stuff.

Today, I got word that Alice passed away last night. Everyone was surprised, because she seemed so full of life. Despite the dire news from the medical world, she still had a sparkle in her eye, and absolutely no fear. It seems she decided when it was time to go. She was loved by many and will be missed.

I was 30 when she married my dad. We never had a mother/son relationship, or even Step-mother/step-son, for that matter. She was my dad’s wife, and made him happy for 19+ years til he passed away. We don’t get to choose our parents, or our step parents, but we get to choose our friends. Alice and I chose each other as friends. To me that was preferable.  I’m glad I got to see her 2 weeks ago. I’m blessed that my visit made her so happy.

So long Alice, we’ll see you again.



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