Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Walking no more


How to say this?

Julie--GrannyJ--died Monday evening in the hospital.

I have been meaning to post an update for everyone about her hospital stay; she wanted me to let y'all know that she had a "shiny new toy"--aka pacemaker--and was healing up and ready to start blogging again. But, alas, I kept putting it off.

She entered the hospital two weeks ago for shortness of breath, which was diagnosed as bronchitis. While she was there, her cardiologist and her care doctor decided she needed the pacemaker, stat. While they were implanting the pacemaker, she suffered a collapsed lung. Things seemed to be getting better; she was healing, she had good color, she was just waiting to get out and was looking forward to having me take her on a few drives.

But then she suffered an additional post-surgery complication, something called an "ileus", which means your digestive tract has shut down. Normally, an ileus resolves itself, but hers persisted, and the docs were trying everything they could.

Nothing worked.

Her body--tired of all the medical procedures--simply gave out, she had a breathing crisis, and then her heartbeat plummeted (even with her fancy "shiny new toy"). I was there, holding her hand, while she passed. Far better this way than spending a few more years declining more and more.

She loved this blog, and all her interactions with every one of her commenters. I know you all will miss her--but not as much as I will, and the rest of her family and IRL friends.

The picture at the top is of her and my father, when they were newly a couple. The picture below is from just two years ago, showing her with her trusty walking stick and one of her favorite R.E.D. sweatshirts with a splendid northwest coastal Indian graphic. She loved exploring Arizona, and even as her health deteriorated, she did her best to keep exploring.

If you feel like doing something in her name, I was thinking that you should try to locate a local wildflower organization and donate to it in her name. Mom loved wildflowers, and she did her best to cultivate them in her gardens over the years. Sometimes it succeeded, sometimes it didn't. One of her joys was venturing out into the woods, whether the various forest preserves around the Chicago area, or the national forests here in Arizona, and discovering which flowers were out and about.

I will probably be posting various memories for a while at my own blog; you are welcome to come read and share.

Peace and blessings to you all--OmegaMom/Kate

52 comments:

gumo said...

I am sorry for your loss and want to thank you for the respectful attention you gave your mother right up to the very end.

Thank you for letting us know the news. I think the wildflower suggestion is a great one and I will pursue that idea.

susieofarabia said...

I am so saddened to hear the news about Granny's passing. We could all tell how much she loved blogging - it's literally life-changing once you start doing it. People who don't do it just don't understand...

Thanks so much for letting us know. We all share in your grief. I'll check out your blog for your upcoming tributes to your amazing mom. xox

susieofarabia said...

I am so saddened to hear the news about Granny's passing. We could all tell how much she loved blogging - it's literally life-changing once you start doing it. People who don't do it just don't understand...

Thanks so much for letting us know. We all share in your grief. I'll check out your blog for your upcoming tributes to your amazing mom. xox

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Granny will be missed by many.

Catalyst said...

What a beautiful young woman . . and what a beautiful spirit she had in the last few years when I knew her. She will be greatly missed but wonderfully remembered.

Wandrin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dear GrannyJ/Julie:

Thank you for sharing your life with us. You and your blog were my morning coffee companions, and I will miss you.

OmegaMom/Kate:

Thank you for writing this final Walking Prescott post, as difficult as it was. We readers deeply appreciate you. What a loving and dedicated daughter.

~Anon in AV.

Wandrin said...

The special moments and memories in your life will never change. They will always be in your heart,
today and forevermore.

Each wild flower will remind me of you -- GrannyJ. Thanks for passing through my life.

Jules said...

Julie,

I looked to you for joy and inspiration for so long. It was you that made me realize I could be a journalist. And now I am.

Thank you for sharing your life and leaving your legacy. I will miss you, but never forget you.

Julie

Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

GrannyJ made a wonderful difference in my life. She will be remembered.

David Kirk said...

I never mt you in person but I will miss you, Granny J!

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

I'm at a loss for words. Sis was a most loveable, thoughtful and honest person. I really didn't get to know her until the past few years--these were memorable.

I loved her, can't say more than that.

Hermano

KathyA said...

Quite touching. I'm so sorry for your loss and the loss of such a vibrant woman to this universal family.
I'll be thinking of you all as I plant the remainder of my flowers.

Changes in the wind said...

It's hard to explain how you can become close to someone you never really met but that is how it was with Granny J.....The pictures were great but they all came through her perspective and that is what made them special. I am so sorry for your loss and you, are like her,special. I hope you won't mind if I put the picture on my blog today in honor of Granny.

azlaydey said...

Every time I take a photo I think of "how would Granny J frame this"? I learned so much about looking at the world with a different perspective from her. She will be missed by all that knew her and those that wished they could meet her in person. I'm sure she is is peace now.

azlaydey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
quilteddogs said...

OmegaMom:
I am still terribly saddened after reading your blog yesterday saying your mom had passed. I'm glad to hear she passed peacefully but I am still shocked to hear she is gone. I will miss her so very much and I never even met her. I was so pleased every time she posted a comment to my blog. I figured I must be doing something right to have GrannyJ comment.

I think she had a great impact on bloggers around the world.

Boonie said...

Gosh I was afraid of this. I came close to meeting Granny J in person, in Prescott, but it didn't quite work out. But maybe it "counts" even more to have known her through her beloved blog.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I will miss her posts, her spirit and perspective. Thank you for your lovely tribute and gift idea in her memory. You are a strong lady, Kate, even though I have never met you. Your mom was a gas, leading us in laughter and observations.

sheri... said...

good bye, granny j, you will be sorely missed by this blogworld :)

Katerwriter said...

Julie was also a fixture at Professional Writers of Prescott (PWP). I joined in the late 90s and she was one person I recall very vividly. She wasn't able to make it to many meetings in the past two or three years, but I always loved seeing her when she did, and she was always "on target" - listening closely, taking pictures, and greeting old and new friends.

I was one of the lucky people that she forwarded e-mails to, and I cherished all the fun and thoughtful tidbits that she shared, in addition to her fabulous blog, even when our politics didn't quite match!

Blessings to you and yours, and may Granny J. walk those higher paths filled with the love, light, wildflowers, and critters she so enjoyed and deserves. Om mani padme hung hri!

Kate said...

I came to know your mom through you, OM, and both of you mostly through the internet. Never let anyone say that someone can't make real connections online...

Whenever I posted a photo at my blog, I looked forward to what Granny J might say about it, and whenever I visited the Walking Prescott blog, I loved looking at all the photos. She noticed EVERYTHING. I wish I had commented more here & let her know I was reading.

{{hug}}

Melanie A. said...

I'm at a loss for words. I'm surprised how many you could find to say at this time. I never met GrannyJ, but enjoyed her prose and her images of my hometown. I loved it when you guys would visit and I'd see a photo essay about your trip to Wal-Mart or Skull Valley or Batterman's or wherever. I loved how she'd post about seemingly nondescript parts of town like Miller Valley Road, and spark so much nostalgic commentary. I will miss her incredibly. My condolences to you and the rest of the family.

I'm thinking of directing my contribution to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, http://www.wildflower.org/about/

Anonymous said...

I will miss Walking Prescott with your Mom. Through her I was able to get to know an area of the U.S. I will never be able to see in person. All of her readers will miss her but none of us to the depth you will. Hugs...

Kathleen said...

I have long felt diminished because I didn't become acquainted with Granny J sooner. Now I feel cheated that I will not know her longer.

She was a class act!

Photographe à Dublin said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to Granny J. We are very sorry for your loss.

Best regards from Dublin.

"http://www.flickr.com/photos/anouilh/2300359594/"

Sandy said...

Granny J and I shared a common history of being news mavens and I was flattered immensely that my blog was a place she chose to visit. I will honor her memory by planting "donations" in scholarships for writers and by paying attention to those details that made her writing so rich.
Losing a mother is a hard place and my condolences go out to you and the rest of your family. Thank you for letting us know she is walking a different path now.

3Triangleforge said...

Though I only met Julie once -- at a local blogger meet-up -- she was a part of my life here in Prescott starting before I even moved here. Her observations & photos showed me a perspective on this place that I'll miss quite a lot. Thank you, Granny J.

BRAD DeVRIES

Chickenbells said...

Oh no. I'm so so sorry. I had the pleasure of meeting Granny J at the very first Prescott Bloggers get-together that she proudly hosted after rounding us all up. I will miss her very much.

Anonymous said...

Julie, thank you so much for this final post of "Walking Prescott". I was in similar position a few yrs ago, with a much-loved mother known to a wide circle of friends. You have honored your mother well, writing the closing words for her, helping her to move on to her next adventure. The similarities between our mothers often struck me when I read her blog. I will miss her....
Margaret Lambert- off Park Ave.

jarvenpa said...

Oh.
My thoughts to you, thank you for telling us all. I will so miss her.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Many thanks for letting us know.

We shall miss finding new photos here but there are more than a thousand in the archives to look back on. The blog will remain a memorial to your mum.

All my best wishes for you as you journey on.

Lucy said...

Oh my.

I'm so sorry, thank you for telling us.

One day I would love to come to Prescott and see the place I've come to know through her eyes. She was a wonder, and I'll always think of her as an inspiration.

I'll find a way of helping the wildflowers.

Avus said...

I loved "Walking Prescott" along with Granny. I felt I got to know her and her Arizona town, brought to life by her for me in the UK.
She was one feisty lady and I am so glad that she went easily and quickly with no suffering.
I hope her soul "keeps on walkin' "
Rest in Peace, Granny.

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed the blog about my hometown and will miss it and her. May she rest in peace.

Ray said...

Dear OM and Family,

It was a pleasure to read what your Mom wrote about Prescott, and while I never got the pleasure of meeting her, whenever I drove around Prescott, I was always on the lookout for her. I'm sorry for your loss.

Ray

Judith said...

I am so sad for you, but also so glad to see those lovely pictures of your Mom. She wrote to me recently about pictures for her Painted Rocks project. She had forgotten that I live in the UK so I was not able to help, but I was so happy to be drawn back to her blog and her wonderful photography.
A lot of bloggers are going to miss her.

CINDY and BUDDY said...

Granny J will be missed. We new her for 4 years and we loved her blog and her perspective on Life in Az.

Kathleen said...

So sorry to hear of your loss! I enjoyed "meeting" your mom online and I will miss her very much! I loved her blog and her comments. Praying for you all - I will think of her when I see the wild flowers blooming.

Jan said...

Granny J..I will miss you, so.

Sandy said...

Just today I happened on this blog from another one. I will slowly go through here and read her archives. I vacationed once in Prescott and loved it and was looking for a blog about it.

Sorry to hear about her passing but after having been with a friend who passed very slowly from a lingering (many) illnesses and was totally debilitated, I agree that this is a better way to go.

I will stop by your blog to read your memories.

Nancy said...

Oh, Granny J. We'll miss you. Thank you for letting us know what happened. And, please know that we all grieve with you for your loss.

amber polo said...

I met Julie before I knew there was a PWP. She organized a monthly Mensa dinner group and my husband and I traveled to Prescott and were enchanted by Julie.
I found out she was still creating databases (mailing lists, I believe) using old technology and making it work. We talked about her work back in Chicago. That lady was high tech before the term was invented.
We exchanged some delightful emails. She was an inspiration.

Anil P said...

The moment dropped as I learnt of Julie / Granny J passing away to the great beyond. Very sorry for your loss.

Difficult to imagine that I'll no longer be seeing through her eyes all that interested, and sustained her, and over time I've been enriched as a result.

While I never met her but through our own blogs, her warmth and kind eye were a precious presence in my own life even if the worlds we saw and inhabited were two very different ones, but no less interesting to the other.

I would often marvel at the effort she put into her space here, the variety she brought to the visiting eye, a world she so thoroughly delighted in.

She'll be missed more than she might've imagined possible.

Kate Robinson said...

I betcha Julie just might comment on the current mural brouhaha in Prescott by posting all the pix of colorful murals around the area. She was ever joyfully curious and tolerant.

Anyhow, in addition to the memorial posted in the Professional Writers of Prescott Newsletter, there is now a new memoriam for Julie at http://www.prescottwriters.com/Memoriam. She will be very much missed in Prescott's writing community.

All the best,
Kate - PWP

J. R. Comita said...

Although I only had a brief moment in this amazing woman's life I will forever be touched by her love for this magnificent region. I know her presence will be missed by her community neighbors but she will never be gone - just look out your window and bask in the beauty she so much loved.

Dixxe's Doodles said...

I found this post only today...I have never read one post of hers,...but I feel I knew her in that she loved what I love the great outdoors, the flowers, the Earth. So sorry she has passed. I am however going to read her posts, one by one and enjoy what she shared with the rest of us.

KatieB said...

Somehow I missed this very sad news until just now when I was googling someting and had checked to see what Grannie J may have written on the topic.

As Kate said, nothing escaped her notice.

Like others who have commented and many who haven't due to a loss of words, I adored adored Julie and was always inspired by her observations and perspectives.

I hope her blog stays online since it is such a treasure trove.

nosleepingdogs said...

I found this blog only today, as I tried to identify a buckwheat we had photographed here in southern Oregon, and was so taken by the entry about wild buckwheat that I knew I wanted to read more. Alas, when I went to the main page it was to see your post about her death. What a wonderful woman, active, interested and interesting.

Like some others I hope you will leave the blog up, and her work will continue to be discovered and valued by people.

Colleen said...

I will truly miss reading Granny J's posts and seeing her wonderful pictures.. so sorry for your loss, your mother will be missed by this PV Mom of 5!

Colleen

Meggie said...

Such a beautiful soul. I loved her 'take' on life and the surrounding world. I believe that beauty such as hers will never die.

pb said...

Granny J was a joy to me. I will keep her link up for the enjoyment of my readers.

pb
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