Of Juice and Thrips and Ceiling Wax
Year's Endings, December 31
December went by in a blur. Denny's mother was very ill, and passed away just after Christmas.
Myrtle was 92 and until the last few years, had been active and involved with life. She didn't give up driving until her late 80s. She was of staunch Norwegian blood, very practical and down to earth. She saw a lot of life, even though she didn't go far from home.
When we took her out for a drive in the country around Lake Park, she still knew who had lived in which farms and who had taken them over, where the families had moved, all the details of the area. The last time we were out we picked wild asters and black-eyed Susan for her by the roadside, so she could take them back to the nursing home with her. She loved them even more than the "boughten" bouquet we had gotten her.
Her favorite place to eat was a certain truck stop, so that's where we went on Mother's Day these past several years. It made her happy.
She was a good lady, a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother.
The family was with her 24 hours a day the last couple of weeks, making sure she was as comfortable. Denny says his two sisters and their daughters were heroic.
We'll all miss her. I was proud to know her.
The day before Myrtle passed away our dear old cat Dover died. He was ill for a few weeks before, and I kept shuttling him back and forth to the vet for tests and X-rays. At first we thought it was just bad constipation from eating something silly, but alas, it turned out to be cancer, and it had spread.
At one point we had been to the vet three times in five days and I was taking him home, thinking, this poor cat, what can I do to make him not so afraid of going in the car?
I saw the sign of a fast food place and went through the drive-in. Dover, in his carrier, stared with wide eyes as one set of windows flapped open and I handed the person inside some money. Then we moved forward; the second set of windows flapped open. An arm delivered a warm paper sack to my waiting hand. His eyes got bigger. The woman inside saw him and grinned. She knew who was getting the treat.
I let him smell the bag. From the look in his eyes it was clear Dover had just had a religious experience: he knew where fish sandwiches came from, at long last.
Once we got home he and Nelly feasted. The birds outside got the bun.
Dover was a sweet cat. We miss him, even Little Nell misses him, in her crotchety way. But he lived a good life for more than 13 years. He guarded the perimeters, told us when the laundry tub overflowed and when Nelly got locked in the garage (although she never returned the favor). He was a good pal.
Next spring we will plant his ashes out by the compost heap under the lilacs so he can keep watch on the mice and the birds in his favorite lurking place. Brave, brave Sir Dover.
And Saturday, to cheer ourselves up, we went to a memorial party for an old friend Scott Imes, who died suddenly a few weeks ago while everything else was going on. Scott was the manager at Uncle Hugo's, a local science fiction book store. His vast store of knowledge and ability to steer people towards the next good book were legendary. Sometimes he'd called an ask for "The Oracle", meaning Denny, to help with the few questions he couldn't answer. Scott was a kind, very smart person, the glue that held much of local fandom together.
He wasn't rich in material things, but his mind and heart were treasures. It's still hard to imagine that he's gone.
There was food and music and talk at the party. On the wall were pictures of Scott, and pictures he had taken: beautiful pictures. An amazing person. It was a great party.
So now let's look forward. I wish you all a happy, fulfilling New Year, abundant with color, laughter, good stories and love.Terry
Copyright © 2001 by Terry A. Garey.