Monday, June 01, 2015

Farewell To Agnes

Agnes at the Capitola Beach house
after dinner in 2013

Agnes had gotten dressed for dinner. She was wearing a purple outfit and a necklace to match. She put on some lipstick and had the dinner menu and a teabag in her pocket. She was getting ready to go to the dining room at the assisted living facility. My sister-in-law Kim found her a few hours later, lying on her back on the bathroom floor. Kim had gone over to put her mom to bed as she has done most nights for the past few years. But on Saturday night, Agnes' 98 years on the planet had come to a sudden end. So we bid a sad farewell to a truly lovely woman. We also say thank you for showing us what it is like to have such vitality and presence long into old age, for always having a ready smile and a twinkle in your eyes, and for enjoying life until the very last moment.

PS-- Agnes was 96 years old in this photo!


  1. My sincere condolences. It sounds as though Agnes was healthy right up to the end. What a blessing that she didn't linger in pain before her death. But SHAME on the facility for not checking on her when she didn't show up for dinner!

  2. Amazing Agnes. She sound like a remarkable lady.

  3. Bill-- Thank you.

    CCorax-- That would have been a good idea, for the facility to check on those who haven't called down for a meal to be delivered, nor showed up to be seated. Agnes had her health issues, was a breast cancer survivor, recently had had radiation treatments, and various other very tough issues. She always rallied with great strength. She played bingo Thursday night and won the jackpot! Now that's a wonderful view into Agnes' world.

    NCmountainwoman-- She was quite a person. Roger and I are glad we got to see her in early April on one of our trips south.

  4. Agnes lived a long, long life, the longevity we might all aspire to. Thanks for this glimpse into her life and for bidding her a fond farewell.

  5. It's hard to see anyone go, but it's hard not to see this as a life fully lived, as well.

    I agree with CCorax -- they should have checked on her when she didn't come to dinner. It has to have been a shock for her daughter to find her that way.

  6. It sounds as if she went fairly quickly, which as I watch my mom dwindle over the past five years, seems like something to hope for. It is never easy to see someone pass away, but there are worse things...
    R.I.P. to Agnes.

  7. So sorry you lost such a positive force in your life. My sympathies to your S-I-L and all of Agnes' family. She obviously lived her life well right to the end. That is all we can ever ask for our loved ones. .

  8. What a woman! I am sorry for the loss to you all.

    Think that all things said, I'd prefer to just go quickly, while things are still lively.


  9. John-- Her family had very long-life genes. I think one of her sisters lived to be 100. Amazing.

    Mark-- It really was a shock for my brother's wife Kim, She had been one of her mom's caregivers for the past few years. I think it would be a good idea for facilities like this to check in on their residents when they don't show up and haven't called for dinner.

    isabelita-- Yes, we thought the same thing. When it's our time to go, we would prefer to go this way. The lingering illnesses and long declines are so difficult for all involved.

    Arkansas Patti-- We only got to see Agnes these past few years when she moved up from Salinas to Santa Cruz to be closer to Kim. Before that, though, she always sent us holiday cards and knitted hats and things for all the new babies in the extended family. She was a character.

    kathy a-- The interesting thing is that despite her age, at this point her life she was not in decline. She had triumphed over all the illnesses. This quick exit was a surprise. She is now the best role model for easy endings.

  10. Love the portrait of Agnes at 96 years young and experiencing the joy of living to the fullest. It is such a deep shock when a loved one dies as unexpectedly as she did.

  11. Thank you Robin for such a sweet post. Yes she was an amazing woman, always positive, inquisitive, had a great sense of humor and an impish twinkle in her eye. She never drove a car, lived alone and walked everywhere in Salinas until she was almost 93. She was interested in everyone and loved by many. She will be greatly missed.

    No it was not an easy thing to walk into my mom's apartment and find her on the floor unresponsive, however I don't blame anyone for not checking on her. She lived in her own private apartment in a senior living complex that offers activities and 2 meals a day, but no assisted living services. She had a private caregiver or myself with her a several hours each day to take care of her basic needs of daily living but there were times she was alone. I knew this carried some risk but she was a very independent woman and I allowed her that as much as possible.

    I completely agree with those of you who said that it is better to exit quickly when you are still vital and happy than to have a long, slow, painful decline and death. I prayed that be the case for my mom and it seems my prayers were answered. She will live forever in my heart and with deep gratitude, I encouraged her to fly into the arms of peace and boundless love.
    Kim J.

  12. am-- Thank you.

    Kim-- I had forgotten some of these wonderful details of your mom's life, that she had never driven, walked everywhere, and lived alone until she was 93. Thank you for stopping by and sharing these stories and insights with us. Yes, Agnes flew into the arms of peace and boundless love.

  13. I bet Agnes had some great stories about Salinas over the years. Walking everywhere probably kept her in great shape --and she looked wonderful in the photo! Thanks for sharing a little of this woman's journey.

  14. lindaj-- Agnes was quite a person. She had a joie de vivre that was incredibly charming. We tried to see her these past few years whenever we were in Santa Cruz. Short visits, but always sweet.