Lorraine Ellis died at 3:10 AM on Tuesday morning…she was comfortable, in her own bed, and received excellent care. About 12 hours before she died, she ate a bowl of spaghetti; the night before, she had opinions on my hand during a game of rummy. The life force was strong until the very end. She was living independently, managing her entire life, in senior housing until a bout of pneumonia knocked her into the Hospice system. As soon as she lost her independence, she went quickly—are any of us surprised?
Because so many of her people are spread across the country, it is very difficult to arrange a Memorial Service for her, so this is what I propose…On May 12, eat a bowl of spaghetti for dinner, preferably with spicy sausages, listen to Frank Sinatra singing “I Did It My Way”—sing along loudly if you can—have stiff drink, and remember not just her, but all of the strong women whose shoulders you stand upon. If you feel so inclined, make a contribution to your local community theater—at least go to a play—or buy a child some art supplies. Support your local arts scene, which meant so much to her over the years. Light a candle, maybe in the Catholic church, maybe not.