My mother Rose left us on the last day of February in a leap year. There was something apropos to her way in the world that she would leave on a day that is out of sequence with the typical. She was incredibly brave at the end; on her own and knowing her body was leaving and that any last minute interventions would be without success. She made a final phone call to my sister Jacqui, saying goodbye and 'don't call 911'. My sister said, 'Mom, you know I can't do that' and she said, 'It's okay, I won't be here when they arrive'. And she was not. She left on her own terms. Recently my dear friend Perry sent me the black and white photo of Rose and I, circa 1976 that inspired this collage. It was Mom in what I called 'high Fellini' style ~ a turban, big hoop earrings and her ever present dark glasses. A perfect way to remember her.
Others close to me left in a February as well. Perhaps the nadir point of the year loosens our bonds. My three friends were all young and left too soon. Pat and Oscar had illness take them and we got to journey with them a bit to their farewell. Peter went shockingly suddenly from an aneurysm and there was no shared journey, just a fait accompli. Their passing was hard but their vitality stays with me.