Learn From Margaret

534. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Margaret died today. She had an epic and courageous journey through Alzheimer’s and just before dinner she closed her eyes and passed. I met her 10 years ago, 5 years into her disease long after she was capable of living on her own. She was in the phase where she put magazines in the toaster and if left to her own devices might wander off into the Tucson desert. Even so, she still had a wicked sense of humor and was filled with mischief and this was true long after she was in the advanced stages. I loved her immediately because, even in her ravaged state, she had more life than most people have in their prime. When I met her she winked at me and with her eyes filled with mirth she told me to “leave the babe (her daughter).” She was a remarkable flirt.

I learned that everyday of her life, at sunset, she stopped what she was doing, went outside and watched the sun go down; a ritual of gratitude and appreciation of life.

Now that she has passed into memory I will keep her life burning in my remembering and these are just a few:

In the Arizona Wildlife museum she vigorously rubbed her breastbone trying to make herself purpose-burp. She’d done it earlier and I’d howled with laughter. She got such a rise out of me that she spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get me to laugh again (I am an easy mark and her endless attempts were more precious than the initial burp. I laughed louder and louder at her misses – we created a lovely feedback loop).

Near the time when we could no longer take her out we cruised the streets of Tucson, Lora and Margaret in the front seat of our rental car singing; Margaret no longer had the lyrics but her commitment to sound was prodigious. Every time she saw a red car she’d stop her song and say, “Now, there’s a red car!”

I will always carry those few luscious gem moments when, as we watched her slowly slip farther and farther away, she would, just for a moment, came back, her eyes sparkling, and exclaim, “Really!” as if her simple joy of life called her from the depths because she simply could not contain her awe.

2 Responses

  1. Thank you, David, for such a beautiful and loving tribute to my mom.

  2. Thank you David for sharing your memories in such a poignant and insightful way. Your loving words bring peace and hope. We are are so blessed to share our lives with you and happy to know that you are there for Lora, now and always.

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