An instant messenger conversation I had with mom:

4:41:57 PM Gagne, Kathleen: hi

4:42:06 PM David: hello

4:42:30 PM Gagne, Kathleen: please call me when you are on your way home. it’s important.

4:42:36 PM David: what’s up?

4:43:16 PM Gagne, Kathleen: it’s about my house. there is no way i can keep it. i have been talking with a help counselor (non-profit) for a couple of days.

4:43:50 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I have never really been happy here. I’m going to start looking for a job in Daytona where I have more friends, and family.

4:44:08 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I’ll give you more details later.

4:44:36 PM David: there’s more? that sounds like a pretty good summary.

4:45:45 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I am going to get a realtor to try to sell it. I wouldn’t get any money out of it. I would have to surrender the deed to First Franklin, but I won’t be making any more payments.

4:46:14 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I will be looking for a job and rentals starting tomorrow.

4:46:36 PM David: that all sounds good

4:46:41 PM Gagne, Kathleen: If nothing else, [name redacted] will be driving soon, and I bet she would like to hang out with me.

4:46:53 PM David: as long as it doesn’t involve giving any money to [name redacted], this sounds like a solid plan

4:47:23 PM Gagne, Kathleen: he owes me $500 right now. he won’t be owing me any more.

4:47:31 PM David: good

4:47:51 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I’m hoping that you and [name redacted] will spend more time on the east coast.

4:48:04 PM David: so do you feel good about this plan?

4:48:38 PM Gagne, Kathleen: Yes, like I think I said above, I was never really happy in this house.

4:48:55 PM David: well then … why is it so important for me to call you?

4:49:03 PM Gagne, Kathleen: The counselor was absolutely great, and I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s doing.

4:49:14 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I just want to hear your voice.

4:49:43 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I’m heading out to Publix now. I love you.

4:50:57 PM Gagne, Kathleen: i mght look for a one-floor condo with ceramic tile and a small back yard.

4:51:12 PM David: that sounds lovely. you can probably get a good deal these days.

4:51:44 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I know. And there’s the beach and the [name redacted], and [name redacted], and [name redacted] and [name redacted].

4:53:37 PM Gagne, Kathleen: Do you really think so? It’s pretty sad when people work all their lives and end up unable to enjoy retirement. I’m hoping the economy will bounce back in a year or so. Who knows.

4:54:08 PM Gagne, Kathleen: Anyway, I love you more than you know and I hope you will come to visit more!!!

4:55:23 PM Gagne, Kathleen: I’ll be back in about half an hour.

I don’t know if I called her that night on my drive home from work. I probably did. I called her all the time, and almost always while driving home from work. Either way, at exactly eight o’clock the next morning, on Friday, July 10th, 2009, she sent me the last instant messenger message I have logged from her:

Oops! I guess I never got back to you.