We've been in New Jersey this week sending my dearest friend to her final rest, my mother-in-law, Mae "Peanuts" Fisher. She was a cancer survivor who made it through open heart surgery two years ago, but a very aggressive new cancer could not be beaten. She was the mother of four sons (my Jim is the eldest) and when we married, she embraced me as a daughter. The picture above was taken at Christmas in 1976, the first time I met her. I always felt sorry for my friends who didn't get along with their mothers-in-law. We shared so many interests--she was also a cat-loving librarian and an avid reader who enjoyed needlework. We both adored the Harry Potter books and mysteries especially. More importantly, we could talk about anything together.
Mae was a unique blend of brilliant intelligence and limitless compassion. At the wake, one woman said, "When I heard the word 'lady', Peanuts' face would appear in my mind's eye." In addition to friends and co-workers, her handy man and plumber both came to the wake as well. We all heard wonderful stories of her kindness and generosity and saw the genuine emotional toll of her passing on people other than family.
Family was everything to Mom and she was especially devoted to her grandchildren and they to her. (You may remember that our Anna did the Susan B. Komen three-day walk in Boston several summers ago in tribute to her Grandma. This is Dan's tribute to her on his blog.) This photo is from her 80th birthday party last summer. A few weeks ago, when she was so ill, the grandchildren all began to change their profile pictures on Facebook to photos of themselves with Grandma. We of the older generation quickly followed right along. The kids called it Grandma Solidarity. In a perfect tribute to their grandma who had carried all of them so many times, they were her pallbearers.
"Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion." Dylan Thomas