Last gift (after Rivera)

Not long ago, my mother had noticed that the mainland fruit company, Harry & David, had a sale on their Royal Riviera Pears.

These are my mother’s favorites and, despite sometimes hefty shipping charges and her congenital frugality, they regularly appeared on holidays, special occasions, and of course when they were on sale. In this case, the special occasion was Meda’s birthday on January 22.

But by the time the pears arrived, my mother had fallen, been processed through the Straub emergency room, and moved to the Palolo hospice house where she died yesterday morning.

I opened the shipping box a few days ago. The card read: “A gift for you.”

It might have read: “A final gift for you.”

In my mind, I could see the poignant final painting by Diego Rivera. We were fortunate enough to have seen the original in a Rivera retrospective in the Philadelphia Art Museum years ago. This morning, after our walk, I put my old Canon G10 into macro mode and went to work. I had one thing Deigo Rivera didn’t benefit from–a gray cat as background. By the way, there’s a Hawaii link back to Rivera. The style of the great Hawaii artist and muralist, Jean Charlot, developed when he studied with Rivera as a young man in Mexico the 1920s.



I don’t know if this does justice to my mother’s many gifts, but it will have to do for now. As always, click on either photo to see a larger version.

Thank you all for your expressions of condolence and support. They are much appreciated as we deal with the many complex feelings left by the huge void that has been left behind.

3 responses to “Last gift (after Rivera)

  1. Joan Lind Van Blom

    Saddened to read of Helen’s passing, Ian. Thinking of you and your family. I shared the video of your mother’s iPad purchase on my FB page today, prompting comments of admiration of her wit and fun. I continue to enjoy your blog and photos. Thank you.

    • Lovely way to remember your mother. Like you, I have walked down this road with my mother and father in recent years. Your account of thier passing was achingly familiar. As I have learned, where thier journey has ended, yours has just begun.

  2. Ian: Been following your “journal” of your mom’s final journey. I must say it evoked a range of emotions. At our age we’ve all traveled this path with our parents. You handled your journey with great sensitivity and with love. You and your sister were very fortunate to have had both your mom and dad for so much of your lives. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

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