My great aunt, Fairlie Nicodemus, passed away quite suddenly today at the age of 101. She had a remarkable life as one of the first female psychotherapists in the United States. You can find her memoir here. Proceeds will be donated to the Audubon Society.
She was only in a nursing home for the last few months of her life. Her family worked tirelessly to keep her at home as long as was possible, and find her care after she could no longer care for herself.
I happened across Fantastic Mr. Fox last week on streaming video. It's great fun, if you don't mind twee. Never mind that my entire extended family often resembles the cast of a Wes Anderson movie; my first thought after watching was that Great Aunt Fairlie would love it. She had a deep connection to all wildlife, but especially foxes.
I remember her singing "The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night" and strumming guitar at the family farm on Long Island. Based on Roald Dahl's book, the film is a 90-minute riff on the same archetypal story.
Fairlie had a good life and a long life. I just wish she had gotten to stick around a bit longer and see that movie. She would have enjoyed it.
The fox went out on a chilly night,
He prayed for the moon to give him light,
For he'd many a mile to go that night,
Before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o,
He'd many a mile to go that night,
Before he reached the town-o.