At 5 p.m. Monday November 21st, 2011, Anne McCaffrey passed away.
Mum was getting ready to go back to the hospital because she was feeling "puny" and collapsed while she was moving into her wheelchair. Her daughter, Georgeanne Kennedy, and son-in-law, Geoffrey Kennedy, and our family friend, Derval Diamond, were all with her. She was in no pain and it was over in an instant.
She'd just recently had an angiogram which identified a blockage where an artery split in two and had agreed to and successfully undergone the surgery to have two stents placed -- which she got to watch on a monitor. In her last email to me, she had pronounced herself "repaired."
She first had a heart attack in late 2000 and a stroke in 2001, so we were well-prepared and knew that we were on "golden time" with Mum these past ten years and more.
She leaves behind an incredible legacy of marvelous books and a huge legion of fans. She won practically every major award in the available to authors of science fiction and fantasy, including both Hugo and Nebula Awards, the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards award for Lifetime Literary achievement in Young Adult fiction, was an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and was a SFWA Nebula Grandmaster.
She was also a great cook, magnificent mother, doting grandmother, ardent quilter, knitter, bridge player, horsewoman, fencer, actress, singer, and all-around nice person.
We are blessed to have known her, just as we are blessed with the knowledge that she has touched so many lives and made such huge changes in them.
Mum always said, "Don't just pay back a favor -- pass it on!" In lieu of that spirit, we ask that, instead of condolences or flowers, that commemorators make a donation to their favorite charity.
We know that we haven't lost Mum -- that she has truly passed on her legacy of love and honor to all those who were touched by her -- and that we have only to open of her books to find her again.
Rest well, Mum, you've earned it!
We thank you all for your many condolences. My brother, Alec, and sister, Georgeanne, and I all recognize that our mother was a gift to the world and that Mum's life touched many others.
If you'd like to say something, you can add a comment at http://pernhome.com
What a ride!
A long time ago my sister, Georgeanne found this and, substituting Bailey's for champagne and chocolate for strawberries, it's totally apt:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOW - What a RIDE!"