After a difficult week, my mother, Monique Olmer, passed away on April 28. It was very hard not being able to visit her while she was in the nursing home, not being able to hold her hand or kiss her goodbye.
But a few hours earlier in the day our family gathered with her on Zoom. We were able to see her face, see how peaceful she was as we all told her how much we loved her. And for us, seeing each other—her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends who are part of the family—all gathered together to be with her at the end of her life, though different from what we expected, it ended up being incredibly comforting. It wasn’t what we wanted but it was perfect as it was.
Her life did not come to an end, as so many people’s have, from the coronavirus; at one hundred and a half, she just wore out.
After this pandemic comes to an end, we will all gather to celebrate her life.
For today, I am going to leave my thoughts at this, but in the next few weeks, as I process my emotions at losing such an extraordinary woman, mentor, and, most of all, my mother, I will write more about all I’ve learned from her.
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I love the smell of lemon verbena. It floods me with memories of my childhood in Provence where it would fill the garden air. I remember how I'd brush up against it, wallowing in the explosion of a citrusy smell that was so intense I would stay and rub my hands over it. A few years ago, while wandering through...