Ed and Hank
and the other thing...
Not a regular post... more like an explanation of why Hank hasn't been able to write about him and Ed lately. The third part ('and the other thing'...) is sad, so some folks may not want to read it.
Hank would also like to apologize for not responding to your really nice comments from his last post a while back. He did appreciate them very much.
Links to all previous posts are here:
"Dammit, Hank... 'Xactly how much longer is this thing gonna be sittin' on the kitchen table...?"
"I dunno... I kinda think it makes a real interestin' centerpiece..."
"Well I don't."
"Well it'll be there 'til it's fixed."
"'N exactly how long will tha' take...?"
"I dunno... Ya know damn well I ain't had a minute ta even think about it wha' with ev'rythin' that's been goin' on."
"Well I've had plenty a time ta think about what I'd like ta do with it."
"Gee... Lemme guess... ya'd like ta take it out ta the shed 'n shoot the hell outta it..."
"You bet I would."
"'N don't think I wouldn' wanna join in... wha' with all the trouble this damn thing has given me... So you go right ahead... just make sure you clean up all the toxic waste 'n all..."
"Yep. Them things are full a toxic stuff."
"'N then after ya got that outta yer system I'll go out 'n spend a whole buncha money on a new one... 'cause tha'd be a whole lot faster 'n easier than gettin' this here old one fixed... So's... how 'bout I just go ahead 'n do that anyway...?"
"Ya know damn well we cain't afford a new computer... not with havin' ta get the truck fixed 'n the fridge fixed 'n whatnot..."
"'Course I know tha'... Why the hell d'ya think I'm tryin' ta get this dumbass thing workin' again...?"
"Wha' the hell was with tha' fridge anyways...? It was only a few years old... Fridges ain't s'posed ta break tha' soon... Hell... they just don't make nothin' like they used ta..."
"We're just lucky it could be fixed. Remember...? The guy said if'n it had been the compressor we woulda just had ta throw it out 'n get a new one..."
"'N that's another thing... why the hell is ev'ry damn thing disposable these days...? Fridges... computers... TVs... you ain't s'posed ta get nothin' fixed... yer just s'posed ta throw it out 'n buy a new one... It don't make a lick a sense..."
"It sure don't. 'Course... I gotta admit... I been waitin' a helluva long time fer tha' damn TV ta break..."
"'N hopefully you'll be waitin' a whole lot longer... But... exactly how much is it gonna cost ta get it fixed...? The computer, I mean..."
"Fifty dollars... fer a new motherboard..."
"That's what I'm hopin'... It's worth a try anyways..."
"'N yer sure gettin' this new mother-ship is really gonna fix it...? We won't hafta keep throwin' good money after bad at it...?"
"Motherboard. 'N Bill's nephew said he thinks tha' should do it... Hell... We're just lucky that he's willin' ta come 'n help me with it... once we can manage ta get ourselves together in the same spot at the same time anyways... 'cause I don't know wha' the hell I'm doin... 'N by the way... he's insistin' on doin' it free of charge too..."
"That's real nice of him."
"It sure is. 'Course I thought we'd still get him somethin' fer doin' it... a video game he'd like or somethin'... so's you should up that estimate some..."
"I knew it sounded too good ta be true."
"Hell... It's still less than a new one by a real good bit... 'specially one with enough space ta hold all the pictures I take..."
"You could jus' stop takin' pictures."
"No problem. So's long as you stop buyin' pies... Them pies add up a lot more'n ya'd think..."
"So's... fifty dollars 'n a video game ta fix it, huh...? Seems like a real good deal ta me."
"Yep. It sure does."
"Well that's gettin' a l'il too close fer comfort."
"It sure is."
"Are they sayin' we're s'posed ta evacuate...?"
"Fer some folks... but not fer us yet."
"Well it don't matter anyways... 'Cause I ain't goin'."
"Yeah. Ya are, Ed."
"No. I ain't."
"We got them dogs 'n the horses moved ta Betty's ma's place already... 'N the cattle should be safe where we got 'em now... 'n we got as much stuff moved out as we're gonna... So's right now it's only the house 'n the barn 'n the shed 'n the rest a the stuff in 'em that's in danger... 'N us if'n we stay here... 'N tha' stuff don't matter... but we do... So's if'n them firefighters say we gotta go... we're gonna go."
"I ain't goin'."
"Fine. But if you ain't goin' then I ain't goin' neither."
"Yeah. Ya are, Hank."
"No. I ain't. 'N you cain't make me. So we'll just sit here 'n not-so-spontaneously combust together."
"Figures. There's a big ol' fire bearin' down on us 'n you wanna fool around."
"Ya know damn well that ain't what I meant."
"So's... there's a big ol' fire bearin' down on us... 'n you wanna fool around...?"
"Ain't much else we can do. We moved the TV ta Betty's ma's place."
"I still cain't believe ya made me move that ol' 19" TV all the way over there."
"If it ain't broke, why let it burn up...?"
"Don't mind if I do."
"Wait a minute, Ed... I ain't foolin' around with ya if''n yer still gonna refuse ta go... So's... are ya gonna leave peaceable-like when the time comes...?"
"Usin' sex as a weapon, huh...?"
"You betcha. So's... what'll it be...?"
"I'll leave peaceable-like."
"Damn... I think we better get goin', Ed..."
"No way... It ain't even crested tha' nearest ridgeline... 'N maybe it won't..."
"So's... wouldya care ta make a bet on tha'...?"
A few minutes later...
"I guess it migh' be gettin' ta the point where we migh' wanna start thinkin' about leavin'..."
"Ya think so, huh...?"
"I dunno... I think we still got some time..."
"C'mon, dumbass... Let's get the hell outta here."
"Wait fer me, Ed..."
A few days later...
"You can say that again."
"Well... we're real lucky they got it put out before it got ta our place."
"We sure are."
"But... It sure is too bad that it burnt up our getaway spot up in them foothills..."
"Yeah. That sucks."
"There won't be no shade there fer one helluva long time."
"There sure as hell won't be."
"Least-wise all them cairns ya built are still standin'... burnt black... but standin'..."
"Yeah... they're still standin'... But it still sucks."
"It sure does."
"I'm sure gonna miss tha' spot."
"Yeah. Me too. But..."
"Ya wanna go build another one a them cairns, Hank...? Ya know... a 'we're still here even if'n our spot ain't no more' kinda cairn... A nice big one..."
"That's a real fine idea, Ed."
"Like I said... all them rocks are charred... 'n that's gonna rub off on us when we start buildin' tha' cairn... So's we better go change inta some jeans 'n t-shirts that're ready fer the rag bag before we head out there... no sense in ruinin' clothes that ain't ruined already..."
"Practical 'n romantic all rolled inta one... yer a rare one, Ed."
"I ain't romantic, dumbass."
"You just keep tellin' yerself tha'."
"So's... you comin'... or not, Hank...?"
"I'm righ' behind ya."
And the other thing...
(**Warning: 'And the other thing...' is sad and is about Betty's ma dying, so some folks may not want to read it.)
"Was that Betty on the phone, Hank...?"
"Yeah... She was thankin' us again fer helpin' out at her ma's place last summer when her ma weren't doin' so well... 'n then takin' care of it again this past month 'n a half when her ma took sick again while visitin' Betty's sister in Boise 'n Betty was all frazzled 'n goin' back 'n forth..."
"Ain't no thanks necessary. She 'n Bill woulda done the same fer us."
"That's what I told her."
"How's she holdin' up...?"
"She said she's doin' okay... but she sounded kinda wore out..."
"Her ma sure was real nice."
"She sure was."
"Never a bad word ta say about no one."
"Nope. There weren't a judgmental bone in her body."
"Unlike someone else I know."
"I can only assume you ain't referrin' ta me."
"Then you'd be assumin' wrong."
"'N her ma had a real good sense a humor too."
"Yep. A lot more refined than yers."
"Ya think so, huh...?"
"I know so. But... Betty's ma... she sure went through a whole lot over the years..."
"She sure did... 'N despite it all... she was always still bound 'n determined ta live herself a real good life..."
"Yeah... She was a real fighter."
"Yep. She was tough as nails when she had ta be."
"'N don't ferget stubborn as a mule sometimes."
"Tha's fer damn sure. It used ta drive Betty crazy."
"Tha's 'cause Betty can be as stubborn as a mule too."
"But... this most recent stuff... I coulda swore Betty said her ma was gettin' better..."
"She was. So much so that she was gonna be comin' back home from Boise... 'n then this came outta left field."
"Least-wise up in Boise she musta got better doctorin' than she woulda 'round these parts..."
"Yeah... But Betty was managin' ta tell me more about it... 'n she said she wishes her ma woulda made it back home here before her brain started bleedin' like that... 'cause then there wouldna been no neurosurgeons anywheres around 'n she woulda passed away peaceful-like... instead a bein' put through evry'thin' she was put through... wha' with tha' big operation 'n all..."
"But she mighta made it..."
"Maybe. But Betty said the chances weren't good... 'N if'n she had made it she most likely woulda ended up needin' 'round the clock nursin' care fer a helluva long time... if'n not permanent-like... 'n ya know her ma woulda hated tha'..."
"She sure as hell woulda hated tha'... 'N fer the record... I would too."
"Don't worry... I know tha' well enough. 'N the same goes fer me. But Betty don't blame her sister or her brother... her younger brother was there visitin'with his wife too... fer puttin' their ma through it... considerin' it was an emergency 'n her ma was passed out so she couldn't say yea or nay... 'N they said they weren't given much of a choice by them doctors anyways before they rushed her off... But... it's just kinda stupid, Betty said, there's so many folks needin' health care 'n not bein' able to get it 'n here's her ma gettin' way too much of it when Betty knows she wouldna wanted it... not somethin' like that anyways..."
"I guess with it all happenin' so fast it woulda been hard ta know wha' was righ'..."
"Yeah... 'N Betty had ta admit... she ain't sure she coulda done anythin' diff'rent... 'N on tha' drive up ta Boise she said she was still hopin' she was gonna be teasin' her ma about it afterwards... 'Brain surgery, ma...? Really...? That just-in-the-nick-a-time liver transplant fifteen years ago weren't dramatic enough fer ya...?'"
"I'd guess if'n anyone coulda come through somethin' like that it woulda been Betty's ma."
"True 'nough. But not too long after Betty got there she realized tha' weren't gonna happen... 'cause after the surgery her ma started havin' seizures on her left side tha' they couldn't control with no drugs... 'n she never responded ta anyone askin' her ta open her eyes... or askin' her ta squeeze their hand... 'cept maybe once when Betty first got there 'n told her ma she'd driven all the way ta Boise just ta see her so's the least she could do is ta wake the hell up... 'N then her ma opened her eyes... one of 'em anyways... fer just a few seconds... 'n Betty thinks she mighta squeezed her hand... but she couldn't be sure... 'N it never happened again..."
"'N then a couple days later... when it got ta the point where they shoulda been removin' the breathin' tube 'n lettin' her go... Betty's sister... her older sister tha' lives in Boise... she's the one that had the health care power of attorney from a few years back... she didn't wanna take tha' breathin' tube out... despite their ma havin' a livin' will 'n all... she just didn't wanna let her go... she was so used ta their ma bouncin' back from the worst again 'n again that she just couldn' believe she wouldn't bounce back from this too. 'N Betty... she didn't wanna believe it neither... Hell... once she said she told her ma it was okay... ya know... ta let go... 'cause that's what them nurses were sayin' they should do... 'n then the next thing she knew she was turnin' around 'n goin' back in 'n tellin' her ma that she had changed her mind about it 'n that she just had ta get better 'cause she just couldn't do without her..."
"But once them doctors 'n nurses managed ta start spellin' things out a l'il clearer... 'n said tha' there was so much brain damage that even the best possible outcome weren't no good at all... then Betty couldn't stand ta see her ma suffer no more... 'n her ma may have never woke up after tha' surgery... but Betty could see she was still 'n pain... 'cause ev'ry time them nurses had ta move her or fuss with her she'd still wince with it..."
"That woulda been real hard ta take."
"It sure woulda... 'N Betty said she knew how much her ma hated bein' on tha' breathin' tube... she'd been on one before... 'N durin' the first few days... when there was still a chance that she mighta come outta it... the nurses had ta tie her ma's right hand down 'cause she kept reachin' ta pull tha' tube out... 'n Betty said... awful as it sounds... tha' kinda gave her some hope... but watchin' it was almost more than she could bear... That is until the day the nurses untied her ma's hand 'cause she weren't reachin' fer it no more... 'n then that really was more than Betty could bear... 'cause she knew... if her ma were still there... she'd a damn well have still been tryin' ta pull tha' damn tube out."
"I don't doubt she woulda."
"'N Betty's other sister... her younger one... 'n her two brothers... 'n her older sister's daughter 'n son... they were all there too... 'n they all thought tha' they should take her off tha' breathin' machine too... 'n let her go as peaceful-like as possible... 'n some of 'em were startin' ta get kinda upset 'n frustrated about leavin' her like she was... Betty was too, I guess... but she could see her older sister was havin' a real hard time acceptin' the situation... 'N Betty said she talked ta the nurses about it 'n they said it was real important not ta try 'n push someone inta makin' tha' kinda decision... her sister had to come to it on their own... or it could tear the family apart..."
"I bet somethin' like tha' sure as hell could tear a family apart..."
"Yeah... it sure could... But then she did... Betty's sister... she did come to it on her own after another day or so... after askin' ta see the most recent CT scan... that's wha' fin'lly convinced her there weren't gonna be no bouncin' back this time... 'n tha' they had ta do it... fer their ma..."
"Sometimes the right thing ta do is the hardest thing ta do."
"Yeah... 'N Betty said it was the hardest thing she ever had ta do... But at the same time she was just glad ta get tha' damn tube outta her ma... Well maybe 'glad' ain't the right word... I guess there ain't no word fer it... 'N Betty said... even then... knowin' all she knew... she still couldn't help hopin' her ma would prove all them doctors wrong... 'n somehow wake up 'n sit up 'n say 'well it's about damn time ya got tha' damn tube outta my throat 'n wha' the hell is all this fuss about anyways'..."
"With her track record I wouldna been surprised if'n she did."
"Yeah... Me neither... 'N then Betty said her ma started breathin' on her own... 'n tha' weren't no surprise 'cause them doctors had said she migh'... but that's when she really knew her ma wouldn' be provin' them wrong... not this time... 'cause her ma's breathin'... it sounded real odd-like... 'n the nurse said it was on accounta her brain bein' hurt so bad that it had forgot how ta breathe the way it was s'posed to... so's it was kinda imitatin' tha' breathin' machine..."
"Jeez is righ'... 'N then... them doctors... like I said... they had told Betty 'n her family tha' their ma migh' breathe on her own fer a while... 'n she did... she breathed on her own like tha' fer two 'n a half days..."
"Nope. Betty said... in spite a ev'rythin' her ma had been through... her body still kept fightin' ta live long after it shoulda given up..."
"She sure musta had one helluva strong heart."
"Yeah. 'N a real big one too."
"It sure was."
"'N Betty said... tha' first night... just waitin' fer her ma ta pass... it was real hard on ev'ryone... But then... as time went on... Betty figured tha' their ma... if she was still there at all... was just gettin' a big ol' kick outta keepin' the whole family together in one spot fer as long as she possibly could... 'cause after she started breathin' on her own they moved her outta that awful intensive care part a the hospital 'n up to a nicer room... one tha' was big enough fer everyone ta be in it at the same time... which was good 'cause a whole buncha other family members had started showin' up ta say their good-byes..."
"She always did love it when ev'ryone got together."
"Yep. The more the merrier."
"Fistfights 'n other assorted chaos notwithstandin'."
"'Course Betty's older brother figured their ma was just waitin' fer the last game a the World Series ta finish up before she'd let go."
"Tha' woman always did look forward to the World Series... even though she didn't watch no other baseball games..."
"Yeah... She sure did like the Series though... 'N Betty thinks she woulda hung on fer the Super Bowl if'n it were at all possible."
"Yeah... she sure loved football too..."
"She sure did... 'n gamblin' too... Remember how she was always sneakin' off ta Mesquite ta play bingo...?"
"Yep. Her 'n Myrna. They were a pair."
"Myrna's sure gonna miss her. Them two were friends since they were l'il kids."
"Yeah. 'N I'm gonna miss her too."
"Yeah. Me too. Hell... anybody who knew her is gonna miss her."
"I'm real glad you always managed ta talk me inta goin' over there fer Thanksgivin', Hank... crazy as it gen'rally was..."
"Yeah. Me too."
"Thanksgivin' just ain't gonna be the same no more."
"It sure won't be."
"She was a real good cook."
"She sure was."
"I liked her pies... She sure made real good pies."
"She sure did."
"The best I ever had... 'Cept maybe fer yer ma's... 'N d'ya remember her turkey stuffin'? Now that was somethin' ta die fer... Shit... I didn't mean ta say tha'..."
"'S okay, Ed."
"Damn. I just hope I don't go sayin' somethin' stupid like that in front a Betty."
"Betty'll undertand... Hell... 's bound ta happen. So's don't worry about it. 'Cause the more ya worry yer gonna do it the more yer likely ta do it."
"I s'pose... But... we were real lucky ta have known her..."
"We sure were."
"'N I don't mean just on accounta all the good food..."
"I know ya don't, dumbass... 'N that's wha' Betty said her niece said they all had ta remember... tha' they didn't get her ferever... 'n they should consider themselves real lucky they had her in their lives fer as long as they did..."
"Her niece sounds like she's got a real good head on her shoulders."
"Yeah. Betty said she sure does."
"'N ya know... it sure as hell puts ev'rythin' else inta perspective... how much else has been goin' wrong around here lately... it all don't seem ta matter much now..."
"It sure don't."
"'N... I'm real thankful we still got each other, Hank."
"Yeah... Me too, Ed... Real thankful."
"It don't sound like nothin'."
"It's just... Betty's ma... she weren't tha' much older than us... 'n it kinda makes a fella think... ya know..."
"Well you just stop tha' kinda thinkin'. 'N she was thirteen years older than us, Ed... 'N she had a lotta chronic health problems... 'N them weren't even what did her in... Hell... Betty was busy worryin' about a buncha other stuff with her ma when that hit her outta the blue... 'N d'ya remember tha' song Betty said her ma always used ta sing ta her when she was a kid...? Betty was just talkin' about tha' too..."
"Can't say as i do."
"Lemmee see if'n I can find it... Here it is..."
"Betty's ma...? Singin' a Doris Day song...?"
"That's wha' she said... 'When I was just a little boy... I asked my mother what will I be...? Will I be purty...? Will I be rich...? Here's what she said ta me... Que sera, sera... Whatever will be, will be... The future's not ours ta see... Que sera, sera... What will be will be'..."
"I guess one outta two ain't bad."
"You think I'm purty, huh...?"
"Well you sure as hell ain't rich."
"Yeah we are. Just not in yer standard monetary-like way. 'Course ya know... 'que sera, sera... whatever will be, will be' don't mean Betty shouldna been tryin' ta look after her ma... or tha' you don't gotta take care a yerself... or tha' we shouldn't keep fightin' fer our rights... 'n fer whatever else is right... 'cause there's plenty tha's wrong... ta me it just means there's no sense in worryin' about things ya don't got no control over at the moment..."
"Doris Day was singin' about all that, huh...? 'N here I thought she was just wonderin' if'n she'd be purty 'n rich when she grew up..."
"'N no matter how hard ya try... sometimes shit happens... 'n sometimes real bad shit happens... 'n there ain't a damn thing you can do about it."
"True 'nough... But watch yer language... I don't think Doris Day would appreciate the swearin'."
"I bet she swears like a sailor in real life."
"'N by the way... I take care of m'self just fine."
"Ya know, Ed... maybe we should think about cuttin' pie outta the line-up..."
"I've said it before... 'n I'll say it again... what exactly would be the point of livin' longer if'n there weren't no pie...?"
"I guess a l'il pie ev'ry now 'n again won't hurt..."
"Damn right it won't. So's... Do we got any pie...?"
"If you didn't get up in the middle a the night last night 'n finish it we do."
"You finished it...?"
"So's... how d'ya say 'whatever is done is done' in Spanish...?"
"Damned if I know."
"I'll look it up... Here it is... 'lo hecho, hecho esta'... or maybe it's this one... 'lo que paso, paso'... 'Lo que paso, paso... whatever is done is done... Ed ate all the pie 'n there ain't a damn thing we can do about it... not right at the moment anyways... lo que paso, paso... what is done is done'..."
"So's... how d'ya say 'there's a dumbass in my house singin' off-key' in Spanish...?"
"Our house. Damned if I know. But give me a minute 'n I can look that up too..."
"Nah... How 'bout we just go see what else we can rustle up ta eat...?"
"Sounds good ta me."
"Well then, c'mon, old man..."
"Who you callin' old man, old man...?"
"That would be you, old man."
"I love yer dumb ass, Ed."
"I love yers too, Hank."
"What're ya doin', Hank...?"
"Just lookin' up another video... Betty said she wished she had got around ta showin' this video to her ma... but she kept fergettin' about it... She said it's from one a the first movies her ma ever took her 'n her sisters to... with Julie Andrews... 'n Betty thought her ma woulda got a real kick outta it. So I thought I'd find it 'n post it with this post... Here... I think this is it... So's Betty's ma... this song is fer you..."
"First Doris Day... 'n now Julie Andrews...? Tha' sure don't exactly seem like Betty's ma ta me..."
"It don't ta me neither... 'Course Betty should know better than we do... 'N... if'n ya think about it... Doris Day 'n Julie Andrews mighta seemed all sweet-like... but they had some real steel runnin' through 'em..."
"Yeah. But still..."
"Yeah... I guess I could see it more if'n ya took some Doris Day 'n a l'il Julie Andrews 'n then threw in a big shot a Barbara Stanwyck fer good measure... From the TV show 'Big Valley' I mean... not from 'Double Indemnity'... which ain't ta say that ain't one helluva great movie..."
"From 'Big Valley', huh...?"
"Closer... But... It still don't seem quite right..."
"No. It don't... I guess Betty's ma just was who she was 'n there weren't no one else quite like her."
"Now that I'd agree with. So's... Wha' the hell is this video anyways...?"
"Just watch fer a minute... Betty said it gets better 'n better as it goes on..."
"Why are them folks dancin' in a train station...?"
"Fer the helluvit."
"This song is is from that 'Sound of Music' movie... ain't it...?"
"I remember watchin' tha' with Iris when it came on TV... She musta been eleven or twelve... 'N then she made us buy her the sound track record... 'N I tell ya... I got real sick of tha' do, re, mi 'n here's a few a my fav'rite things 'n tha' dumbass lonely goat herder... playin' over 'n over 'n over again..."
"Maybe if'n ya hadn't a been so damn cheap 'n bought her another record or two it wouldna been so bad."
"She had other records, dumbass... But... Can ya send it ta Iris...? E-mail it or whatever ya call it...? I bet she'd like ta see it... if'n she ain't already..."
"I can do tha'. 'N I'll tell her it's from you..."
"Don't do tha'... Ya know I'll never here the end of it... Just say it's from you..."
"Okay... Okay... I won't tell her it's from you. Hold on... There... I sent her the link."
"You told her it was from me, didn't ya...?"
"Yep. I sure did."
"Wha'...? Iris should know her dad was thinkin' about her when he saw this video."
"Thanks a lot."
"So's... Yer ma never took you ta tha' movie, did she, Hank...?"
"'Course she didn't."
"Too bad... You coulda used a l'il musical tutorin' like tha'... all tha' do, re, mi 'n whatnot..."
"Ya think so, huh...?"
"'N d'ya really think it woulda helped...?"
"Me neither. 'N ya know... Betty's ma couldn't carry a tune neither... but tha' never stopped her either..."
"Hell... She weren't near as bad as you... But them times when the two of you got together... Damn..."
"Tha' good, huh...?"
"Let's just say... uh... there weren't no words ta describe it."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
"I wouldn't if'n I were you."
"I will anyways."
"Suit yerself. But... Betty's right... her ma sure woulda got a big ol' kick outta this video too... all them folks dancin' like that in tha' big ol' train station woulda tickled her funny bone but good..."
"Yeah. It sure woulda. 'N you know what else she woulda got a big kick outta...?"
"You dancin' to it..."
"I ain't dancin'."
"Well yer left foot's tappin' so's much that it's well on it's way ta dancin' to it... So's go ahead, Ed... join in... Betty's ma woulda loved it... 'n ya know she'd jump right in too if'n she were here..."
"Fine. But only if'n you do too."
"I'd be more than happy to."
"Well then... c'mon, dumbass."
"I'm comin, I'm comin'..."
"Ya know she'd be laughin' her ass off at us right now..."
"Yep. 'N I think I can almost hear her."
"Yeah. Me too."
P.S. Betty's mom got hepatitis C over 25 years ago from a blood transfusion during an operation. She was sick off and on for over ten years, but because of the generosity of a grieving family who suddenly lost a loved one, she received a life-saving liver transplant which gave her 15 unexpected years with her family and friends. So... when the time comes, (and hopefully it's a long, long way off), please consider organ donation... it really is the gift of life.
(Btw, Betty said her ma's liver was still doing fine and was not related to the cause of her death or her most recent health problems. Unfortunately, due to her age and the health problems she'd been having, none of her organs could be passed on to anyone else.)