In the middle of March, in 2013, among thousands of mom’s scraps of paper and notebooks and letters, I found a handwritten will. It is dated 6-3-88 and is in mom’s indescribably perfect Palmer script:



To Whom It May Concern:

In the event of my death, this is my last will and testament.

I leave my home to my children, David and Jennifer, the proceeds of which are to be shared by them equally if the house is sold.

My watch and garnet ring and Italian ring go to Jennifer. My guitar goes to David as well as the gold cross from Italy. The diamond pendant from Italy goes to Jennifer.

Mom, please make sure the kids are taken care of. Bill, please don’t keep the kids from my Mother; she has sacrificed a lot for them and loves them dearly.

Mom, please split up the rest of the stuff between the kids. I love you.

I love you, David and Jenny, with all my heart, and I will always be with you. Please remember the good times and have mercy on me for any times I hurt you. I love you!!! Mom

Kathleen A. Gagne


I should note that I have no idea where mom’s guitar is at this point, but now that I’m reminded of it, I would dearly like to find it.

I also have no idea to which watch she could have been referring; and I don’t know anything about a garnet ring, an Italian ring, a gold cross, or any diamond pendant from Italy.

My grandmother was killed in 2007 by the tragic incompetence of multiple employees at Indigo Manor, an assisted living facility in Daytona Beach, Florida.. Her death devastated mom in a way I could never possibly have understood until now. And, of course, now it is too late.