Some of my Philly friends may remember my mother's friend Mary, who we lovingly referred to as "Crazy Mary." I'm sorry to say she passed away last night. Long involved story, involving depression, smoking, a broken hip, two stays in the hospital, and some hospice care. She was 62.
Mary was a loon, and we loved her. Growing up, she was always the live of the party and had an incredible sense of humor, even during long bouts of medical problems. She had longed threatened to "turn me into a man," and sure enough I came home from school on my 18th birthday to find her in my bed, in a robe, with a teddy bear and a rose between her teeth. (Mom took pictures, and I told her I had a headache.) Her whole family spent many summer parties at our house (before various fallings-out), and certainly made them memorable.
On the plus side, it's bringing together her siblings, some of whom haven't spoken in 15 years. On the down side, no one predicts the reunion will be happy, nor go well, nor heal old wounds. It's a shame, but not unexpected, really.
As per her long-stated wishes, her body will be donated to science, and her sister is executor of her estate. My mom has offered to help her wherever she can, as we all know how difficult it is to deal with things at the worst possible time. They're talking about a memorial service at some point, but given their family dynamics, we'll believe it when we see it.
All in all, just very sad. She will certainly be missed by my family, and we'll always remember her with a lot of warmth and love.