I had the unfortunate experience of talking with Ethel the day she got sick
here in Mazatlán. She kept her chin up, though, and was cheerful enough to
suggest that she should "be over it" in a couple of days and to call her back.
I was terribly shocked when I learned that she actually was sick enough to fly
back to Washington. I didn't think that anything would get her out of Mazatlán!
Then when the chatty letters started coming again, I breathed a sigh of relief.
She actually felt well enough to get an apartment and live on her own again,
I was relieved and happy for her, she did so value her independence,
limited as it was these last few years. Somehow, though, I felt that now was
not the time to talk (or correspond) with her about business, publishing her
lastest book. I'm not nearly as old as Ethel was, but I'm definitely getting
"up there", and I know just how weak a debilitating illness can leave one.
I nearly cried this morning when I learned of her death,
but she had a wonderful life, a wonderful family and wonderful
friends both here in Mazatlán and "back home" in Washington.
At least from her final message, I feel that she died happy,
fulfilled and ready to leave her wonderful life.
RIP, Ethel. We will all miss you.