Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sad News

My mother died yesterday, ten years to the month after Alzheimer's Disease claimed my father. Margaret Ann Akers Zipp was 84 years old. Her last ten years were hard ones. She was sad and lonely, with a sharp mind in a body under siege by all manner of heredity- and age-related ailments.

Mom loved it when my brothers and I, and our families, visited her, but those visits often ended badly. After Dad died, she embraced the notion that her age and station entitled her to say whatever she thought to whomever she wished. Her commitment to rigorous honesty sometimes alienated the very people she loved the most. I suppose it was up to us to overlook the hurtful things she said, but I found it easier simply to avoid them ...and her ...altogether.

My wife Raschell reminded me last night that we should have made one more visit to College Station. Our last visit was for the rededication of the old chapel at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. That chapel has a lot of wonderful memories for our family. Mom underwrote an expensive renovation of the chapel, but put my dad's name on the plaque.

I talked to Mom on Christmas Day (she sounded happy) and exchanged emails on almost a daily basis. But I kept putting that last visit off, and now it's too late. That will remain one of my great regrets.