She was learned woman, a scholar, who loved to write and still wore her sorority letters around her neck. I remember my dad faithfully writing letters to her when I was growing up because she lived so far away...way up in the Northwest...Oregon, to be specific. He wrote letters to her every week. I asked him a few days ago, when we got the grave news of her health, if they had ever missed a week and he said 'no'. 40 years of writing letters. I know he'll miss that.
She named my dad, Michael Mckenzie, because she loved the Mckenzie River. She was married and lived on the River for over 40 years...the river is beautiful and loud...Kyle and I stayed on it as newlyweds and decided to name one of our own after the Mckenzie...Brooke Mckenzie.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer a little over 5 years ago, it spread to her neck and collar bones, and just a few weeks ago she began having pain in her abdomen...it was in her liver. She never took pain medicine because she wanted to be fully coherent to write and work her crossword puzzels...her body was failing, her hearing too, but her mind was as sharp as a tack.
When my dad arrived to her bedside today, she grabbed his hand with both of hers and kissed them. She was waiting for him. He kept a vigil by her side this afternoon, told her he loved her and that he would see her again, and held her hand while he sang hymns to her...she took her last breath to Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
And they did sing tonight, as they welcomed Allice home.