Remembering Anna Jane....

Dear Laurie and Jenn,


I have just come back from a walk in our neighborhood and thought about all the special times your mom and I shared over the 55 years of friendship.  Your mom was an extraordinary person; compassionate, courageous, fiercely determined and selfless.  She was a real steel magnolia.


Remembering back to our senior year at Elmira when your grandfather died, your mom's strength and courage during that difficult period were memorable.  AJ's strength, compassion , courage and determination kept on showing up throughout the years.  For example, she and I were friends with a fellow Elmiran whose name was Terry Urso.  We had all studied abroad our junior year. Terry became ill a few years ago and when she left the hospital in Maryland to go to a rehab, we could not find her.  Your detective mom was absolutely determined to investigate.  Undeterred by the privacy laws that made it difficult to get information, and having no forwarding address, your mom set out to locate Terry.  I do not know how many people she sweet-talked into giving her information, but she found our friend, and we were able to say good-bye to her.


When my cousin died in MA and there was a memorial service for him at Amherst, AJ, not only invited me to stay with her that weekend, but came with me to the memorial service.  Nothing was too daunting for her.


When our granddaughter was in a play in Brattleboro, Vermont, AJ came to Vermont with me, attended the play and made cookies for the cast.  What makes me smile is how delighted we were with ourselves when she and I went out for a bite to eat after the play and, giggling, ordered two beers.  What fun we had!


When David and I considered moving to a retirement facility, AJ wanted us to see a really good example.  She arranged for a dinner with her friends at Kendal - Crosslands in Kennett Square, PA. It was heartening to see her, but your mom had many admirers that evening so we did not have too much time together.  And that was the last occasion of being together.  She had been strong enough to visit her home in MA and determined to make the trip to Crosslands for us.


I am so grateful that your mom was almost never alone during her illness.  She filled me in with how comfortable and welcome she was with Laurie and family, how delighted she was attending Michael's soccer games, the joy she felt knowing that Jenn and family were experiencing an extraordinary life in Barcelona and the knowledge that the children were flexible enough to adjust to anything.


I loved your mom.  She was a precious friend.  I miss her, her support and her sweet southern voice.  May she sleep peacefully.


Love to you both,


Theo and David


Theo and David Mulgrum

Bernardsville, New Jersey