July Reading Reflections

My reading reflections for July are about my mother, since I spent three weeks of July with her at the end of her life. I am home now, tying up lose ends, returning slowly to routines, and trying to get used to life without her. But despite my sadness, there is also so much to comfort me — loving family and friends, many many happy memories, and an overwhelming pride in her for how she handled her life, especially life after my father passed 24 years ago, and especially again at the end. She showed great courage and dignity throughout it all, and I’m so proud to be her daughter.

The photo above is a list of the books she read in 2018. She read and listened to 10 books (including volumes 1-4 of the Harry Potter series) and  was also in the middle of three other books when she fell ill:  she was listening to the audiobook of Shanghai Girls, and reading the Kindle version of Dreams of Joy, both books by Lisa See, an author she loved; and she was in the middle of the Whitmore Library Book Club choice for July, a title I don’t remember now. At almost 99 years old, she was an avid reader to the end!

11 thoughts on “July Reading Reflections

  1. Kay

    I am just amazed at your Mom, Robin! I totally want to be her when I grow up! And as I was looking over the picture of the list, I thought those were your books read. Your Mom was listening to the Harry Potter books! Makes me happy and also cry a little bit. Big, big hugs! You know, we should have a little book club read in her honor. What do you think? I’m up for it. I’m actually serious, but email me if you think you’d like to do that. We could invite others. Take care!

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    1. Les in OR

      I would love to do this, too, Kay! She was such an inspiration to those of us who came to know her through Robin’s blog posts. She read some of my favorite books (The Shell Seekers, A Gentleman in Moscow, Gift From the Sea are three I see on the photographs) and I would have loved to have been in her book group!

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  2. Nan

    I’d like to be part of it, unless it is HP books. I think I commented on you IG page about how incredibly sad it made me to see that she was part-way through a book when she died. We are never ‘finished’ when we die. A bookmark marking the place to go back to. The lists that won’t be attended to. Perhaps presents bought ahead of Christmas left in a drawer unwrapped. Just breaks my heart. I do so love that she read right up until the end. What is the second picture? Her books that you now have? I love all the nonfiction. My shelves are full of it just waiting for me. Her death is a reminder to not let time go by aimlessly. Make time for that reading, or anything else someone is putting off.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Nan, you describe many of my own feelings beautifully. Lots unfinished, but no regrets. She lived her life well and with such dignity. The bottom photo is of part of her bookshelf before we took the books off to divide up. Just a ‘slice of life’ photo. Precious now.

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        1. Robin Post author

          From this photo I only chose Michaelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, and the two Natalie Bober books. I gave her many of the books in this photo and have copies of my own already. My brother chose many of her history books, and I also brought home three books by the Delaney Sisters. I also brought her Kindle and want to read many of the books she has on there, as well. She had already given away a lot of her books during past visits. She did the same with her music, so I have many of her favorite CDs.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Kristen, me too! She was amazing! Doing a book spreadsheet, writing letters to the editor, texting on her iPhone…all at 98 years young! All of that makes me smile and inspires me to live life to the fullest.

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