Mom died yesterday afternoon, 11/2/2011. She was 87 years and one month and one day old, and I loved her very very much. It was a long battle, as she'd been ready to go for quite a while, fighting off the things that encroach on most people's lives when they reach that age.
Mom was a softie with a steel core. A swede, she toughed it out when I was five and she discovered that her son had cancer, and that she was also about to become a divorced mother of two. We all survived that, and she saw my sister and me though our childhoods and out into the world as her own world contracted down around her condo. In the end, she was housebound, bored, and, as she put it, "over it." The last days before her death, she was occasionally feisty, somewhat mobile, played her beloved piano a bit. She went quietly, in her own bed, just the way she wanted to.
She was my friend. I recall the exact conversation when that happened, when we evolved past mother and son to become friends who could speak their mind to each other, keep each other honest, support each other, and love each other.
Most of all things, I will miss you, my friend.