Our angel Gabrielle Vallée McKenna would have been 101 sometime this week. She wasn’t quite sure of her exact birth date, she knew the year and the month (February 1916), but her recollection of the day varied between the 21st and the 29th. I know the date she died though: August 20, 2014. Her goal was to reach 100; she didn’t quite make it. Mom joined Gaby on August 17, 2016. I hope the two BFFs are raising Cain wherever they are.
On May 10, 2014, Mom was too sick and/or sedated with antipsychotics to do anything more than listen to Eric’s beautiful piano playing. She couldn’t sing, play or clap as was her wont. There were no Beatles tunes. No Ain’t She Sweet?, no She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, no Doe a Deer either.
All Mom could do was sit in the chair with her eyes closed and let the melodies soothe her. About 15 minutes into the session, as Eric played What a Wonderful World, Mom’s BFF Gaby came in to the drawing room to spend some time with us. That was a bit out of the ordinary as Gaby slept most afternoons. As she walked past Patti, Gaby spontaneously bent down to kiss Mom’s cheek. I was lucky to capture the precious moment with my iPhone.