And may perpetual light shine upon you.
Nancy's mom and my beloved mother-in-law died peacefully Sunday morning, holding the hand of her husband of near 59 years. We arrived at the hospital moments later and while it was inexpressibly sad and quiet in her room, it was good to see her finally at rest.
A child of the Great Depression, born in 1923, Mary was a true daughter of New England, a fierce and funny Yankee, an old-school Irish-American Roman Catholic Democrat who proudly filled out her absentee ballot days ago while in her hospital bed. She worked for Navy Intelligence during World War II and had her children convinced she was America's own Mata Hari. She raised those children, Tom, Jane and my own Nancy, to work hard, buck up and expect the best in people.
She was rare and I'll miss her greatly. She somehow combined an unshakeable faith with an open and questioning mind, a life-long curiousity and hunger for other viewpoints and new information. We'd sit at the dining room table, the two of us, talking about God and evil and the Church and tradition and the inability of a finite thing to grasp the infinite and I don't think one of us ever convinced the other of a thing, but that never seemed the point.
The funeral mass is Wednesday morning at nine, in the church Nancy and I were married in seventeen years ago, Holy Trinity in downtown Greenfield.
We'll be back in the city over the weekend, I suppose.
We're all MMMQ winners today. The question is:
What is the song that will remind me always of the mother-in-law?
And the answer is:
1. Ave Maria
Thanks all for the good wishes and support over the last week, they mean the world to Nancy and her family.