Friday, April 13, 2007

Trish Feld 1943 -2007

A personal note: My mother, Trish Feld, died yesterday. A few people who read this blog know that she's been seriously ill. The rest of you may have been wondering why I've spent the last couple of years going back and forth between Vermont, where I'm from, and my home in Lancashire. She is why.

In August 2005 she was diagnosed with an aggressive and inoperable brain tumor. Mom weathered a grueling succession of radiation and chemotherapy treatments but gradually declined, and died quietly here at home yesterday evening, with her family around her. She never lost her sense of humor, and faced her ordeal with tremendous courage and grace.

Here's a little piece a local newspaper columnist wrote about her life. A children's librarian, she cared passionately about reading and learning, and she touched the lives of so many people, both personally and professionally, that we aren't sure the church is going to be able to hold everyone.

Nobody knows why people develop brain tumors. If, through the wonders of Google, anyone happens on this post in who is in the same situation, I will pass on the tremendously valuable Brain Hospice site, and this book that straightforwardly describes what happens after diagnosis from a first-person perspective.

If I have learned anything from this experience, it is just the same things people always learn, over and over, when someone dear to them dies. But they still bear repeating: your family are always more important than anything else. Tell them how much you love them, early and often. And appreciate them while you have them; you never know what life is going to throw at you.