crash

May 4, 2007



It may not be easy for the owner of this crash to see the beauty in it, but Liza did.

Likewise it is difficult for us humans to understand why bad things happen to good people. Like my (high school senior) nephew’s good bud who landed the double leg fracture in one of the last soccer games of his high school experience. Tough to understand.

Or why babies die.

And old people don’t and sometimes suffer and linger.

And war heros (although I am not pro-war ever… I certainly am pro-hero and don’t understand how they can die with such brave and honorable motives).

How can a pianist loose a finger, or a singer loose her voice. How can an artist loose his sight or surgeon loose his nerve.

It is hard to find gratitude in these things. It makes me feel very human in the not understanding. Very helplessly human.

But Liza gets it. She is not ruling out any possible source for beauty and joy. She knows it is not about asking why, but about just going on anyway. Each time STARTING OVER after the CRASH with greater wisdom in this constant search for joy we call life.


E.C. Rest in Peace

April 25, 2007


EC’s family and friends gave her a terrific send-off. Almost 30 strong, this big Irish Catholic family came together to celebrate EC’s life and to mourn her passing.

There are mental impressions that I will take with me always: the old stone St. Anne’s church; the smell of the incense as Father Tim, in his long white flowing robes, rocked the bronze incense holder to and fro above EC’s wooden casket; looking at all the sad faces of the loved ones seated below as I stood behind Father Tim’s podium to deliver the reading; the sound of the church bells ringing as Father Tim sang and the family marched behind the casket; respectful autos stopped and waiting along the roadway to the cemetary; and the helpless pain of seeing her casket lowered into the earth.

EC’s family gathered at our place after the funeral where love food had been delivered by my mom, my aunt and other friends of the family. And just as EC would have wanted, there was music and drinking and story telling. Photos were passed around while hugs were given and received randomly.

After thinking about this process of letting go and starting over yet one more time, I ask for each family member to examine their hearts and give me a few words to describe their feelings about this family time together. With a wide range of ages (11-73) and personalities present, here is their list of words:

bittersweet
reflective
sad
exciting
birthdays
insightful
mourning
celebration
comfort
laughter
a new beginning
strength
tears
joy
affection
emotional
sadness
thankfulness
scrabble
Oz not word
late nights
thank you
Grandma Ziz
Bear
satisfying
peaceful
rememberance
live life daily
appreciation
yesterdays
gift
heart
love
troublesome
happy
depressed
life
family
continuation
regrets
memorable
partly sad
here, there and everywhere
loving
stressful
mom
Johnny Carson
Camels
Elizabeth
food
smile
Neil is cool
overflowing recycleables
hard to leave
not long enough
Schaffer
grateful
togetherness
good-bye

and here are mine:
rest in peace dear EC

The family has asked me to give special thanks to Aunt Helen and girls for making a long trip to be with us, and to middle daughter’s boyfriend, Jerry, for the nerves calming family boat ride and cook-out. Thanks to the love food providers, the flower senders, the phone callers and e-mail senders, the Hospice workers, the family photographers, the airport transportation givers and the clean-up helpers. It is your support that sustains them now.

What I know is that we are all starting over. Starting over again. Starting over without EC.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com


Goodbye E.C.

April 21, 2007




Liza usually takes the photos for this blog. But blame me for the less than perfect quality of the one here.

EC passed at 1:58 am today. Peacefully and quietly with all six children and myself attending. Hospice provided a lovely setting with space and understanding services.

Future blogs might include such topics as: “A Week at your Regional Medical Center” and how Dad used to always say he “didn’t care much for hospitals… filled with sick people.” Or maybe one called “Great Nurses” that honors skilled health care providers, then another called “When Good Nurses are Over Worked and Under Trained”.

I’m definitely going to write about dying with dignity and without it. I may blog about the patients we saw without any family or friends by their bedsides. I should blog about how having an advocate in attendance is mandatory in hospitals today. Or a blog about the generally broken health care system and my frustration at not knowing what to do about it.

I could blog and blog and blog about missing EC and Dad. I could blog about the gut wrenching pain of loosing loved ones. But for today… I will not. I will just say Goodbye EC.


More about E.C.

April 20, 2007

Instead of going to rehab, today E.C. is being moved to hospice. The second stroke was devastating to her already frail body. She can not see or speak but she is a fighter and just not quite ready to leave us yet.

All six children are by her side and trying hard to help her passing to be comfortable, preserving her dignity as much as possible.

I will be taking my own mother’s love food to hospice this afternoon. Good southern woman… thanks Mom.

Thanks to all who have called, commented or e-mailed. Wishing Liza and EC peace as they begin their “Starting Over”.


Another stroke!

April 19, 2007

To all of you who are keeping up with our family emergency… EC had a second stroke (in a week) last night and is not expected to recover.  Liza’s brothers from Ft. Collins, Denver and Fayetteville are in the air now on their way here. Her sisters are already here and with her.  Baby sister flew in from NH this morning.

I will wrap Liza in the good wishes from you all. As for me, A.D.D. I am just numb. Today is 10 months since Dad passed. We will make it through this sadness somehow I know. We will just be Starting Over one more time.


Starting Over for E.C.

April 17, 2007





Aging sucks. Seeing your parents struggle with aging is even worse.
Liza’s mom, EC, is recovering from a stroke. Above are Liza’s hospital pics (as promised). One looking out, one looking in. I can smell the bleach and the illness.

Eighty something EC made it through another round of tests today and was given the OK to eat solid foods (that would made me feel better). Discussions have started about rehab.

EC knows about starting over. Mr. EC passed away years ago (a big starting over) and since then she has recovered from several surgeries including hip replacement, the first stroke, and intestinal blockage. If she can recoup from this I am giving her an honorary degree from the University of Starting Over.

Warm wishes. anitamorrell.wordpress.com and dailyart.wordpress.com