Barbara StaleyMy mother died on November 4th after a protracted year long battle with lung cancer – she expired at home with family surrounding her, and the end was not painful as we were using hospice services for palliative care. In the end it wasn’t the cancer that killed her, but rather the pneumonia that the tumors pressing her air passages closed encouraged.

She was the woman who performed dramatic readings of Edgar Allen Poe poems and who read “A Stitch in Time” to me… and I miss her dearly.

Her death is one reason I have zero beef with the proposed new graphic warning labels on cigarette packs; for in the end all of the conservative catechisms about “everything causing cancer” and other cantrips that downplay the probabilities of cigarette carcinogens killing you did nothing for her. I recommend to all of my friends and family to stop smoking right now if you are.

In a few bouts of manic energy interspersed among the pain we did manage to finish the back patio, and now we will move on to building a retaining wall for the flowerbeds in front which are sagging downhill.

The past year things have dimmed but now that mom’s pain and ours has passed, color is returning to a world that was somewhat gray. There are still moments but now there is once more a future to plan as best we can for the rest of us.