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Hello Friends -

I am in the process of finishing up writing letters to the many individuals who sent flowers or made contributions to various charities in memory of my mother, Emily, who died on July 18.

Rob sent a beautiful bouquet to our home on behalf of this entire board, and a large number of you wrote posts, e-mails, and PM's.  I was and continue to be deeply touched by your thoughtfulness and caring.

My mother was an extraordinary woman of great character and grace.  She was smart.  She was vibrant.  She was ... quite remarkable.

Mom died at the age of 93 as the result of numerous complications following a severe ankle fracture that occurred in late February ... she was mentally as sharp as a tack up to the time of her injury.  In fact, I was there in the recovery room after the surgery to realign and plate her fracture - and upon waking from the anaesthesia, her first words to me were not about her pain.  No, all she wanted to know was if she had missed the March 4th Texas and Ohio primaries!  Incredible, when you think about it.

But sadly, the statistics show that due to various almost predictable complications 50% of people over the age of 80 do not survive after fracturing a major weight-bearing joint, and after a truly heroic battle, Mom left us some five months later.  She spent the first four months between rehab facilities and hospitals, but with her losing significant ground mentally as well as physically, we brought her to our home so that she could spend her remaining time among those she loved and who loved her.  That last month was a very special time for our family.

We are grateful for my mother's length of years and for her presence in our lives.  Her death has left a gaping hole in our family routine, but I am reassured in knowing that she is now with my father, her husband of some 62 years prior to his death in 1999, discussing politics (no doubt) and taking great pride in their grandchildren as they grow and develop into responsible and caring young adults.

As I read and re-read your many posts, e-mails, and PM's from back in July - and as I picture that very unique floral arrangement in my mind's eye - I realize what a wonderful and special place this board has become in a reatively short period of time.  Your kindness and consideration help to fill the void, and I look forward to "talking tinnitus" with you later this month when the board re-opens.

Thank you all so very much ...

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