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My daughter, Elizabeth. A beautiful child and a beautiful woman—a woman who radiated warmth, love, and inspiration. I saw her just last spring, when she surprised us with a visit from the East Coast. I cling to that memory now because there will be no more.
Last week my son called with wrenching news—the kind of news a parent never wants to hear, the kind of news that tears at your heart and twists your stomach: Elizabeth had suffered a stroke and was in intensive care. She seemed to improve a bit over the next few days, but on Friday, things went horribly wrong and she fell into a coma. Within 24 hours all brain function had ceased, and by Sunday morning, she was gone.
Gone. I have repeated that word so many times I have lost count, yet I remain unable to grasp its ultimate meaning: that I will never again be able to call her, or to tell her I love her; that I will never again be able to see her, or to hug her; that my last photograph of her is the last one I will ever be able to make.
It is all too unimaginable and all too unimaginably painful.
Elizabeth is survived by her mother, brother, grandmother, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, countless friends, and by me and Patty. All of us will remember her warm, loving, and inspiring ways for the rest of our lives.