I knew what it was before I unwrapped it. It came from Esther Instebo with this note:
I have had this special card for a long time, and it has always been a card that is too good to use. But for a hard working Mom and an excellent writer, at last there is the occasion that warrants its use.
How you managed to write a piece that made good sense out of that garbled interview I gave you will never cease to impress and astound me. Then to think that you could go into the internet and find that piece that must have been written about back in 1997 or 1998 really overwhelmed me as anything related to the computer world always will. Thank you for that effort on my behalf using time out of your very busy life.
When my mother handed it to me I said, “It’s Half the Sky: Turning Oppression of Women into Opportunity Worldwide“, the one Esther recommended at the end of my interview with her.
I was engrossed in the volume immediately, knowing why it moved Esther and understanding how she knew it would move me. In my head I was writing the thank you letter I planned to send her, along with copies of the stories of other women I had included in this blog. (Esther doesn’t own a computer, so sending the web link would have been pointless).
And then my mother, the one who had urged me to interview Esther and to get around to it quickly, called to tell me that Esther had passed away the day before. Not too surprising for a woman about to celebrate her centennial birthday, but full of poignancy nonetheless.
You see, according to my mother Kelly Pelz, Esther availed herself of the Death with Dignity services now legal in our state. The date and the setting of the event had been planned out long in advance.
And in that list of things to do before her date, she had included the wrapping of that book and the careful typing of that note. She had other things on her to-do list. According to Kelly, Esther wheeled her mobile walker from her apartment through Freeway Park to the Convention Center whenever she could to collect signatures for Initiative 1098, the measure that would restore funding for critical government services through an income tax on the state’s highest wage earners.
Esther Instebo. Filling her days with the good fight and leaving it on her own terms. Look for her obituary – I contacted the Seattle Times and encouraged them to write a story about her and they’ve indicated that they will.
Here are some other updates which don’t require a handkerchief but could require good eating and drinking:
Back in January I wrote about Donna Moodie and her restaurant, Marjorie. Thankfully, she has reopened this wonderful refuge, this time in the Central District. She has been getting great reviews. Stop by for a meal and tell her you read about her on How Does She Do It?
You don’t get many chances to support a good cause while drinking at a string of local bars, so you should put this one on your calendar. Melissa Erickson’s friends and supporters have once again organized a Ring Around the Needle Pub Crawl: Back for Mo! on August 28. To learn more and to sign up, visit Melissa’s redesigned blog. If you join the action, let Melissa know you heard about her through How Does She Do It?
Melissa’s new site is looking great and has some inspiring updates on how she brings passion and commitment to each day she lives with ALS. You’ll also get connected to this youtube video Melissa helped do for the Evergreen ALS Chapter. Watch and listen to Melissa and others describe their journey with ALS and where you could go to lend a hand.
As for me? I just spent a wonderful week on Kauai with my family, snorkeling, paddling, hiking and zip-lining. It is a magical place, well worth returning to. I’m currently doing some work that will help pay the expenses of this web site – I’ll have the money to buy a laptop, which should make the whole writing thing more efficient, but the pace of new stories will be slowed as a result.
If you want to help add some pennies to support the site, you know what to do – click the ads on the site and do your on-line shopping through them.
- Janet Pelz