First Dispatch of ?

Kage Baker  spent her last day, from dawn to sunset, in a blazing performance as hostess to her family and friends. She dictated the notes for three stories to me, 2 of which have since been published. The red sky at sunset was the last thing she saw out her bedroom windows, where she had watched whales and cargo ships and fireworks.

She died in the middle of a winter night, as the tide went out into the West – as we all should have anticipated, given her nautical inclinations. She fooled us, though, slipping out on an early ship before the rest of us suspected. Maybe it was to avoid the rush. Kage hated crowds.

I recall this on a fine soft summer day, because we seem to be entering the last stages of Ray’s illness. His nurse calls it, euphemistically, “transitioning”. In keeping with his life of wry gravitas – as a physicist, and a teacher – he is simply getting quieter and quieter. It means we are spending the days cleaning house, keeping Ray comfortable – he is on morphine, now – and otherwise sitting vigil. You still gotta see to the pets, get dressed, bring in the mail, remember to eat … but my writing has slowed down. I am running most of the errands now.

More as it occurs, Dear Readers.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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6 Responses to First Dispatch of ?

  1. Kathy Allen says:

    So sorry. Sounds like he was is a brother of the heart rather than a brother of the law.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate says:

      Ray is both, Kathy. He is Kimberly’s husband of many, many, many years and I’ve actually known him longer than they’ve been married. Slightly. I met him in the Fantasy Castle bookstore where Kimberly worked (comic books and science fiction, not naughty stuff) and he worked Faire with us all the way back to the days of the Actor’s Bus. This is a hard time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. buggybite says:

    Your vigilance and support is allowing Ray to slip away in peace, surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, smells and people. Your sister is not alone either, with you sharing vigil and sorrow with her and the other people he loves. Hard days, but they are built into life. All the best….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate says:

      If there is a good way to die, this is is it: at home, in a familiar bed, with your family around you. Whether Ray dies today or in a couple more days, he will be doing so in the best environment we can devise. It’ll be easier on Kimberly and Michael, too. This is one of the few hard-and-fast rules I have learned: you need an entourage at the end of life.


  3. Chris says:

    Sending loving thoughts to you all as Ray moves on ahead.


  4. Kate says:

    Thank you, Chris.


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