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Her Last Christmas Gift

by Lenore Howard

She died the morning after Christmas Day, not wanting to spoil our memories of Christmases to come.

Mom was willful that way. Seven months before, at age 90, she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 6 months to a year to live. Extraordinary measures were not her cup of tea; she chose palliative care and quality of life, which through summer into fall was good. My sister Holly, a care-giver by trade, moved in with Mom, into the Westborough, MA home where Holly, my brother Mark, and myself grew up. In September and October I came and went from Dubuque, then in November to stay; Mark came from Seattle in October to stay for the duration. Margaret, Holly’s wife, came down from Portland on weekends, which always brought fresh energy to the routines. Each of our families was a gift of never ending support as they managed our respective home fronts.

To read this and other featured articles in their entirety, pickup the December 2019 issue of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe for convenient delivery by mail, or call (563) 557-1914. Single issues are also available in print at area newsstands and digitally via the Issuu platform.

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Julien’s Journal, the Dubuque area lifestyle magazine, is a monthly regional feature magazine for and about Dubuque and the tri-state region.


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