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.