[June Fine, probably in the 1980s.]
Elaine’s mother June died peacefully this morning at the age of eighty-three. June was a courageous and creative woman who lived with considerable physical pain and ample reserves of humor. She contracted juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of eight and braved its effects for the rest of her life, relying on nothing more than aspirin as a counter-agent. When she was no longer able to play the flute, she turned to painting. When she was no longer able to paint or write (macular degeneration), she turned to collage. When she could no longer see, she became an indefatigable reader of audiobooks. (Most recently, Moby-Dick and Don Quixote .) She was always an indefatigable NPR fan. She wanted to live long enough to cast an absentee ballot for Bernie Sanders in the Massachusetts presidential primary, a matter of great importance to her. But the ballot she requested was lost in the mail or never sent.
June was independent, sometimes to a fault. It’s a great consolation to our family that in the last two years she gracefully accepted help when she could no longer manage daily life on her own. We saw June last weekend in Boston (for what we knew would be the last time) and had a wonderful visit, with some music, some talk about her paintings and her writing, and a story. Elaine read Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Pen and the Inkwell” to her mother, as her mother had read Andersen’s stories to her many years ago.
Elaine has written about her mother here.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
By Michael Leddy at 11:33 AM