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Today I put on summer clothes
and journey to a world
I've never seen
                 --Michikaze (free translation)

1937 Cruise of the Corneville

      Her real name was Elizabeth Garland Horgan (on the lower right in the picture above), and she was born in San Diego in 1913.  Between travels, she lived in Pasadena, Hermosa Beach, and, after the death of her dear husband Patrick 20 years ago, in Fallbrook, California.  She had six children, six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, so far, and many friends.  

       As she wrote in The Aging Process in 2011:

I  have climbed a long way and find myself now at the top of a mountain of years, on the brink of the jumping off place.  
 She took the jump this morning at home, at age 98.  Three weeks ago she was still gardening and reading (on the Kindle or the computer, with the print enlarged to the max) and writing letters and cooking, so she left as she'd wanted, quickly and without a lot of fuss.  

       If you've read her diaries, you know that she loved travel, and history, and politics, and literature, and cats.  And she loved Dailykos.  As her hearing got even worse and her vision darkened, she spent hours on the internet, especially here, reading the ever-more-enlarged print on the screen.  She admired brooklynbadboy, Meteor Blades, Hunter, cfk, and her dear cyber-friend luckylizard, and enjoyed all the front pagers and any diary that caught her eye.  

       She was the most determined person I've ever known.  Whether she was undergoing an MRI, or moving boulders to build a garden wall, or walking across the floor the last month of her life, she'd say quietly to herself, "I can do this" -- and she would.  She had Elizabeth Bennett's "liveliness of mind" in abundance and was still demanding the political news and analyzing the 2012 election prospects two weeks ago, through a haze of pain and pain medication.  And she was endlessly kind.

       She left her house this morning for the last time, and the transport people moved her carefully through the beautiful garden she created.



       Her oldest daughter-in-law put flowers on the gurney as she left.   Good journey, Betty.


8:46 PM PT: UPDATE:  Thank you, everyone.  The family are all reading your comments with "many tears," to quote my sister.  It's wonderful to know that she was able to communicate with so many people late in her life, and after she became deaf.  She hated isolation, and this community embraced her.

Originally posted to Emmet on Sun May 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, DKOMA, Mojo Friday, The Grieving Room, and Street Prophets .

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