I took a break from blogging and tweeting for a bit because my mom died after an extremely short and unexpected illness. It just so happened that I was already on my way to visit her in the US when she fell ill, which was the only thing that could be considered a piece of luck in this whole horrid experience.
I've gone back and forth about whether to say anything about this here because I really don't want to read more sympathy messages--as kind and heartfelt as they might be. Thanks for thinking them, if you're thinking them. That's plenty. I've closed the comments on this post in order to remove the temptation.
But if you like what I do here, please give my mom some credit for it. She was an elementary/primary school teacher who loved words and who supported me in my education and who was proud of what I do with it. (She sometimes turned up on this blog for her observations and opinions on BrE and her foreign son-in-law's use of it.) She was also a fantastic contributor to her community and beyond--as a non-stop volunteer (particularly at our local hospital, where she spent more than 3000 hours of her retirement transporting patients) and a contributor to just causes.
So, if you would like to hono(u)r my mother for her role in making this blog possible (or if you'd just like to hono(u)r my mother), I ask you to pay it forward by doing something good for other people that you might not have done otherwise. There is a new scholarship fund in my mom's name for students from my old high school who want to pursue education or medical degrees, and I could tell you how to contribute to that if you sent me an email. But since you probably don't know my hometown, that doesn't seem like the most relevant thing for you to do, and there are many, many good people-helping causes out there in the world. So, if you could spend a bit of your time or money on supporting one, then that would be a wonderful tribute. I don't really need (or want, actually) to know what you choose to do with this request. I just want to be able to believe that something good is happening somewhere.
Thanks for reading to the end! Regular (that is to say, irregular) blogging will resume shortly. In the meantime, here are posts that use the words 'mom' and 'my mother'--i.e. the ones in which I've talked about my mom, plus a few stragglers with those words, but not my mom.