At a Jewish burial the loved ones of the departed throw a handful of dirt onto the coffin. It’s referred to as a mitzvah, or good luck. The mitzvah is on the one throwing the dirt because they are helping to bury the person they love with no possibility of having the favor returned.
Mitzvahs come in all forms.
My darling Liz went to Santa Fe to hold her mother in her arms and help her die.
It’s almost impossible to describe Nan Rees, Liz’s mother.
She was beautiful. She was a Ford model when she was young and probably could have been until the day she died..
She was more than a pretty face though. She was a generous spirit
She and her husband, Dr Thomas Rees, co-found and worked tirelessly for the Flying Doctors of East Africa, a division of what is now the African Medical Research and Education Foundation (AMREF), which is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and which is the largest NGO in healthcare and development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
These are facts about Nan. She lived an important life.
Now let me tell you about the Nan that I knew.
She was the most alive woman I ever met. She was funny and quick thinking and didn’t suffer fools kindly.
If she had an opinion that she left unsaid I can’t imagine what that would be.
She loved animals and was fiercely protective of her family.
She thought, no knew, that her husband walked on water.
And her daughter is her legacy.
Tom and Nan raised a daughter who is beautiful, generous, smart and brave. She is everything I’d want a child of mine to be.
Practically the last words Nan heard from Liz were “Thank you”.
What a mother. What a kid.