Oct 062010


The day after my previous post, my 93-year-old mother, Mary Jones Quinn, discovered her recent hearing loss might be due to a brain tumor, and a few days later her physician confirmed that an undiagnosed lung cancer had metastasized to her brain and she had only weeks to live. She decided she wanted to spend her final days at the place she loved best — our family summer cottage on Canandaigua Lake in upstate New York — and on Aug. 18 she traveled there for the last time. With the help of our spouses, my three brothers, my sister and I cared for her there during the following weeks while a procession of loved ones — grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, nieces and nephews, great nieces and friendsĀ  — came to see her one last time. She had a farewell wish for the youngest members of our family — that they would each have wonderful life. She did not despair but remarked often on how wonderful her own life had been and the many blessings she’d received. She died on Sept. 21. I am and will always be awed by her courage and grace in those final days.