A photo from 2010. Left to right: Dan, Angela's husband, my step-Dad; Angela; Joan, Angela's little sister, my aunt; Joan's husband, my uncle John.
She was my Mom. She was the toughest person I ever met. She had cancer since 1984, she had stage-4 cancer for years, and she hardly ever complained about it. Over the years she had lots and lots of chemo, but her hair didn't fall out until very near the end. Over most of that time, most people just wouldn't have known that she was sick. She was that tough. She complained about her troubles that little.
Finally, cancer was tougher. This year she spoke very calmly with me about her approaching death. She said she could tell when people were tip-toeing around the subject. Those people didn't understand that they didn't have to watch what they said for her sake. She wasn't upset about it. The rest of us were. A few hours ago she passed away.
She was a great person, very generous in all senses of the word. Her departure will leave a big hole in a lot of us.
Rest in peace, Mom.