Kathie Gagne died 4,332 days ago.

Jackie’s Goodbye

November 10th, 2014 @ 10:05 am

On this date in 1961, the satirical anti-war novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller was published.

“He would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.”

Mom must have read this book, because I know she had a fondness for Heller. For Christmas 1997 she gave me a copy of God Knows, Heller’s fictionalized memoir of King David.

I’m named after Michelangelo’s statue of David, and mom loved loved loved the story of David and Goliath; she always rooted for the underdog.

The Twelve Days of Halloween
October 31st, 2014 @ 9:03 am

I’m sure we weren’t the only family that did this, of course, but our “Twelve Days of Halloween” song was very special to us. My sister and I loved singing this with mom every year. I’ve got no way to determine exactly the date, but one year mom transcribed the lyrics. Judging by the handwriting, I guess my sister or I helped a bit; or maybe one of us found her lyrics later and decided to annotate them.

About a year and a half after she died, I found them in a big box of mom’s old files and scraps of memories.

The Twelve Days of Halloween
On the first day of Halloween, my true love gave me to me … an owl in an old dead tree.
On the second day of Halloween, my true love gave to me … two trick or treaters …
… three black cats …
… four skeletons …
… five scary ghosts …
… six witches flying …
… seven goblins gobbling …
… eight Jack-o-lanterns …
… nine monsters howling …
… ten bats flying …
… eleven haunted houses …
… twelve spooky noises …

Happy Birthday
September 22nd, 2014 @ 9:34 am

SkypeI had to use Skype today for a work conference call and was surprised when it showed me I had a message waiting from mom. It was a friendly reminder that today is her birthday, which I already knew, of course.

It also showed my log of Skype communications with her. There was only one. On March 17, 2012 apparently we had a six-minute video chat. I can’t remember it at all, and find it hard to imagine because by then she was almost completely catatonic. Perhaps it was my sister using her computer, although that doesn’t spark any memories.

I’d give anything to be able to hear her voice today, and I miss her terribly still.

Happy birthday, mom. I love you.

September 5th, 2014 @ 6:57 am

On the radio this morning I heard an interview with a man who had lost his son. He is a poet and he wrote an epic poem about his grief. He read part of the poem on the radio and I really liked it, so I wanted to post it here.

Continue reading …

Order to Show Cause
August 16th, 2014 @ 8:19 am

gavelSo … out of the blue I received an “Order to Show Cause” from the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Volusia County’s Probate Division.

The document states that, “nothing has been filed to adequately respond to the Court’s Order dated 6/03/2014.” I have no idea what that Court Order could have been; I never received anything. It continues, “That David Gagne, personal representative, and Jill Bechtold, counsel of record, are hereby required to appear before this Court in Chambers, at the specified date, time, and location:”

Then there are instructions for me and Jill (who has long, long, long ago flown the coop) to appear in a Deland courthouse on Monday, August 25th, 2014, and a ton of notes about how they’re going to issue a bench warrant if I don’t appear and that nobody but nobody can possibly revoke or cancel this order, blah blah blah.

So I’ll be going to Deland on Monday. I can’t imagine that anything helpful, efficient, sensible, logical, or meaningful is going to happen. But I shall continue to tilt at windmills.

Sail On, Silver Girl
August 12th, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

Kathleen Albanese

June 1962

Today is the second anniversary of mom’s death. I feel simultaneously like it was just yesterday and like it was a million years ago. I miss her every single day. I still cannot believe that she is gone and just how little the universe seems to care. She was — more than anything else — a great mom. I know it would make her happy to hear me say that.

String Beans and Beets
August 4th, 2014 @ 7:18 am

Kathleen Albanese GagneOne of the those odd things I distinctly remember from my childhood is frequently being forced to eat string beans and beets. I have no idea why mom made those vegetables as a side for us so often, since my sister and I both hated them. And cold, too! I used to hate that salad. Now, of course, I would love it if I could have her make it for me again.

I am having a very hard time believing that in a week it will be two years since she died. It simultaneously seems like a million years since I heard her voice and just yesterday that she was still here.

Goldstein, Schmitt & Cambron, PL
June 30th, 2014 @ 11:04 am

Just on a lark I called the law offices of Goldstein, Schmitt & Cambron, PL this morning. They have omnipresent billboards imploring drivers to contact them to help with wrongful death lawsuits, and their web address is femaleinjurylawyer.com, so I thought it might be worth a try.

The woman who answered the phone was very nice. She said that they really only worked on car accidents and “slip and fall” cases. She suggested I call the Florida Bar and someone there would be able to recommend a good lawyer based on the details of how mom died. She was even kind enough to email me the phone number to call.

Tilting at Windmills
May 20th, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

Towards the end of May 2014 I sent the following email to a family friend:


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