karlht: (Default)
Karl T. ([personal profile] karlht) wrote2012-06-13 10:52 am

"It's always sudden."

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Ten days ago, I was sitting in my mother's living room, listening to her tell stories about her mother and worrying about the pain she was in from a compression fracture in her spine that was not healing quickly enough to suit her, while a dear friend of ours was cooking for us.

A week ago, I was sitting at dinner with my wife and a friend, when I got a call from my cousin. She said, "We're at Sonoma Valley Hospital. Janet has leukemia."

Last night, just after midnight, I got a call from Marin General Hospital. My mother had slipped away in the night, sparing my cousin and me the agonizing decision of how to let her go when it was clear there was no hope.

This is what I wrote in the immediate aftermath:

If I have ever been gentle with you, ever been kind to you when you needed it, been a friend or a support or an ally to you, then raise your glass tonight and drink a toast to the woman who taught me how important it is that we love one another, that we keep one another as safe from harm and as cherished as we possibly can. Remember the good she has done in the world, and tell stories of it to your children and your loved ones. And go forth and make your love manifest in the world — love daringly, defiantly, completely and totally.

Thank you, Janet, for giving me life, and love, and for teaching me to cherish others as you have cherished me.

RIP Janet Roberta Barnes Thiessen. Born December 30, 1940, in Kentfield, California. Died June 13, 2012, in Greenbrae, California. Loving mother, devoted daughter, stalwart friend, passionate believer in justice and fairness, and all around hell of a human being.
epershand: An ampersand (Default)

[personal profile] epershand 2012-06-13 07:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm thinking of you <3333
calligrafiti: (Default)

[personal profile] calligrafiti 2012-06-13 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm so sorry, Karl.
chicating: a picture of me (Default)

so sorry...

[personal profile] chicating 2012-06-13 07:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I know you guys were really close. Sending you every warm thought in the world.
kshandra: Porcelain figurine of an dragon comforting a smaller dragon who is wiping tears from zir eyes (It'sOkayToCry)

[personal profile] kshandra 2012-06-13 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, sweetheart, I ache for you. All the love ever to you and Lisa.
fatoudust: a single condor flying over the grand canyon, wings spread, radio tags visible, in evening sunlight (Default)

[personal profile] fatoudust 2012-06-13 09:31 pm (UTC)(link)
My condolences, Karl.

(Anonymous) 2012-06-13 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh Karl. Love. I am so sorry, sweetheart. I wish there were words that I could give that would help you find some comfort in this time. I'm thinking of you and your cousin and sending you all light and love. Love and hugs.

(Anonymous) 2012-06-13 10:32 pm (UTC)(link)
That last post was from Aimee. :)
sail_aweigh: (Friends Walk Together)

[personal profile] sail_aweigh 2012-06-13 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I am so sorry, Karl. My deepest sympathy to you and your family and all Janet's friends and loved ones.
arliss: (Default)

[personal profile] arliss 2012-06-14 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
Whatever her achievements, however positively she affected those around her, she did one thing right above all: she gave the world you.

I'm sorry for your loss, Karl. There's a candle lit here for her, and for you.
cupcake_goth: (GAF)

[personal profile] cupcake_goth 2012-06-14 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
I am so, so sorry for your loss.
gchick: Small furry animal wearing a tin-foil hat (Default)

[personal profile] gchick 2012-06-14 03:15 am (UTC)(link)
For as long as I've known you (can it really be 10 years? Damn!), your kindness and your wide-open heart have been what set you apart from so many others. And reading this, it's clear how much it comes from your mum, and how that same openness leaves you that much more open to hurt. Love to you, and to everyone who loved Janet.
cass404: (Default)

[personal profile] cass404 2012-06-14 03:43 am (UTC)(link)
What a lovely way to remember your mother. I am so sorry for your loss.
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)

[personal profile] cadenzamuse 2012-06-15 04:25 pm (UTC)(link)
T. and I will toast her tonight. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

(Anonymous) 2012-06-17 09:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Karl, dear. I'm so sorry. You're in my thoughts.


So terribly sorry to hear this.

(Anonymous) 2012-06-18 09:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm speechless. You showed up in a dream of mine last night so I went looking for you -- I'm sad to hear the news.

I will miss Janet much. Hell of a human being indeed! Sending you much love from across the country.


sorry to hear this

(Anonymous) 2015-04-20 06:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I'll light a candle for Janet, right now.