Thank you so much for the outpouring of sympathy and warm thoughts for
myself and Rita. She loved all of you and spent the better part of every day
(naps not included) involved with you in some aspect of irisdom.
Rita passed away peacefully with both of her daughters holding her hands at
5:20 am on November 17th. Her brother, son, sister-in-law and I were there
with her also. When she was released to hospice on Wednesday it was an
incredible relief to her family as the people there were the most caring and
compassionate we have ever had the good fortune to meet. Both she and her kids
were treated with grace and dignity. It humanized everybody involved, allowing
us to remember that this wasn't just a sick and dying body plugged into tubes
and wires but our mother, sister, friend and wife. Our Rita, who over the
course of her life has unreservedly thrown herself and all the resources
available to her at every problem, issue or project that came her way. Whether
it was caring for her many foster children, volunteering her time and talents
at a shelter for abused and battered women or more recently with all things
iris, she gave it all she had.
Because of the distance the family has decided that there wont be a formal
memorial service here in Florida, however come spring I will be doing a road
trip to scatter her ashes in the places she's directed. As I do this I'll be
stopping at various places with a retrospective of her life and times. You
will be advised beforehand of when and where these will be.
Many of you have asked where you can send donations as a memorial to her. I
can think of none better than the hospice that comforted her and her family at
the end of her life. They have many needs so if you choose to, please send
your memorium to me at PO Box 177, Deleon Springs, FL 32130. When a reasonable
period of time has gone by, I will gift the proceeds to them in her name.
Knowing as I do that she had many irons in the fire at any given time, I
have to ask all of you to step up to the bar and help me in making
arrangements to transfer this workload to the many of you she was working
with. Whether it was in her capacity as Editor of the Medianite or SJI Review,
RVP Counselor, Treasurer of HIPS or MemSec of MIS. There are a good many
things that need to be attended to and I for one don't want to be on the
receiving end of one of her cat reminders. So please begin making arrangements
to have these taken care of.
Again, I thank all of you for your friendship and thoughtfullness during
this time and ask that you remember her as the vital, caring and committed
woman she was by committing random acts of kindness for your own part. Give
someone who may not deserve it a kind word or a hug, just because. I know I
have a lifetime of them that I can't give to her now.
AIS Membership Secretary
PO Box 177
DeLeon Springs, FL 32130