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Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Mother's Obituary

I used to believe that the worse possible thing would be to open the newspaper and see the obituary of one of your family in it.

And so it was that today, the Lynn Daily Evening Item carried the Obit of my mother, Winifred C. Nestor.
Winifred Nestor, 90
Ft. Lauderdale, FL — Winifred Crosby Nestor, age 90, of Ft. Lauderdale, formerly of Lynn, died Thursday, June 16, 2016 in Ft. Lauderdale after a lengthy illness. Born and raised in Lynn, she was a graduate of the Essex Agricultural Institute Nursing Program in Danvers and had worked as a Nurse at Union Hospital, Saugus General Hospital and various nursing homes throughout the area.  She was the devoted wife of John J. Nestor, retired Lynn Firefighter who predeceased her.
She is survived by two sons, John Nestor of Marblehead and his wife Joanne, and James Nestor of Fort Lauderdale and his wife Linda, as well as grandchildren Delanie Nestor of Fort Lauderdale, Ryan Nestor of Marblehead, Katelyn Boyle of Wenham and Michael Nestor of Beverly and three great grandchildren.

Service information: Services are private.  Donations may be made to My Brother’s Table 98 Willow Street, Lynn, MA 01901.
She was miserable in her old age, having lost her eyesight and generally her will to live.  All of her family except for me and my brother had passed.   She lashed out at others rather than try to pass her final years in peaceful decorum.

She was always aggressive and outspoken, and would say biting comments that caused pain.... but I don't think she was a bad person.  I know that she loved my father, my brother and I, and as a young mother she ran an organized household.   When she was first married, she took in my Uncles Dick and Bill which was a stormy relationship.  Then she bore twins, one of whom died at childbirth and the other, my brother Edward, lived with cerebral palsy until his death by pneumonia at age four.  I was a one year old at the time.

She was particularly critical of any girl that I brought home, and her relationship with my wife Joanne was tempestuous at best.   But I always knew that in a wierd way, she was professing her love for me and my brother. when she attacked our other loved ones.

Having quit high school, she obtained a licensed practical nurse designation after attending the Essex Agricultural Institute Program in Danvers.   I remember how hard she studied, and how proud my father was of this accomplishment.  Then later, after my father had passed, she went back and got her GED.

She smoked since she was 14 years old.  It was a habit that I resented and abhored.   I couldn't stand the sight or smell of cigarettes and wished that she would stop.   It was a scourge of my childhood, but she defiantly would state that it was her only vice..... she didn't drink, didn't run around..... but she sure as hell would smoke those Chesterfield unfiltered butts.

Yet she lived to be 90 regardless.

She had moved to Florida and lived in a senior citizen trailer park by the time my kids were born and right after my father died on Christmas Day, 39 years ago.   I think she had a good life down there for a while, participating in park activities, taking trips to the Bahamas and other retired stuff.   Thankfully, my father's pension as a retired firefighter covered her financial needs.

She kept in touch with all of her extended Crosby family members.... my cousins that I really never knew.... and was close with her childhood friend Honey.

But everybody eventually died around her.... her brother, her nieces and nephews.   And she fought like hell with my brother who was devoted to taking care for her.   It was not pretty.

When my brother called and told me that she had passed,  I asked him if he was going to have a ceremony down in Ft. Lauderdale, but he said that everybody who knew her was dead.   He wants to take her ashes and spread them on my father's grave at the Lynn Firefighter's plot in Pine Grove Cemetery.

I think that they both would like that.

Mom... you taught me how to act, and how not to act.... and I pray that you will Rest in Peace.  I'm sure that we will cross paths again in God's Great Plan.

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