It's been a pretty horrible week... it started with a road trip to upstate New York to attend a wake, and it continued with the death of another dear family friend. Previously, I'd written:
In other horrible news, an old grammar school friend of mine recently called to tell me that his mother had terminal esophageal cancer. She decided to forgo chemotherapy, and will be receiving hospice care in her home. She traveled extensively in her youth, and she saw her children marry well and start to raise kids of her own, so she decided (with her characteristic Yorkshire stiff upper lip) that she didn't want to buy a few more weeks at the expense of her quality of life. Her door was always open, so I'll be sure to visit her when she needs support.
Mrs Pauline Stoffel of New Rochelle, New York died in her home on Wednesday night. She was a tremendous individual, and her unfailing hospitality, wit, love, and support meant a lot to me throughout my life. Her door was always open, and she embraced an enormous, diverse extended family, of which I was a part. Her complete lack of b.s. was a salutary thing for any kid to experience- if she thought you needed to "come correct" about anything, she made sure you knew (which is something a lot of people are afraid to do). She was as fearless as she was generous. She raised three incredible children- John, Kate, and Peter, who I have had the privilege of knowing since I was in grammar school, and had a coterie of beautiful, brilliant grandchildren. News of her passing hit me particularly hard... I had planned to visit her on Friday, after a terrible, terribly busy week.
It's been a rough time lately... thankfully, the extended family is incredible, and we'll get through this.