Sweet Lorraine


 The sky holds a new star tonight: a bright, shining star who left us early this morning, at the age of 87. Lorraine was my mother-in-law, but she was much more like a second mom. 


Her health had been declining for the last several months, and about a week ago she made the decision to enter the hospice program. We took her home to her apartment this last Monday, and we took turns caring for her 24/7 until the end. I was privileged to be able to help with that. She was awake and alert most of the time, and I will treasure the time she and I had together.


Lorraine was an amazing woman. She grew up in Montana, but moved west to Seattle with her best friend after finishing her business school program. There she met and married the love of her life, Norman, and while there were jobs that took them to other places sometimes, they lived mostly in West Seattle, and raised three kids.


Lorraine was the center of the Hope family. She had remarkable relationships with her grandkids: she was not just a grandma, but a friend; she had a talent for comforting and encouraging, and she made all of us feel special.


She loved bingo, and the casino, and we've had several family trips to casinos and bingo halls with her. She was a talented artist, and there are enough of her paintings to distribute generously amongst willing family members. She loved the Mariners, the Seahawks and the Huskies. She's famous for making up words and sayings, and her granddaughters started collecting those several years ago (I'm still waiting for the dictionary to be published). She loved a good party, loved music and card games, loved to dance and sing, loved to laugh, she made maybe the best fried chicken dinner I've ever had, and had the most generous heart of anyone I've ever met.


I'll miss her terribly, but the very special memories she's left behind will bring me joy and comfort for the rest of my life. 

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