This is from Mary's daughter, Janet, courtesy of Tom Martin:
I hope that this post will show on my dad's wall and my mom's as well as my own. I want to update folks on how my dad is doing. I think that most of our near and dear know that my mom died of hypothermia when their boat flipped in the Grand Canyon on the next to last day of their trip. Her emphysema had been problematic but not disabling when they had planned this trip last May. By August she had suffered a very significant decline in function. There was no doubt that she was taking a real risk by going, but she had planned and she had packed and she would not be dissuaded from going on what she knew would be her last river trip. My brother was their rower on the trip. They had anticipated that when they got off the mountain and onto the river that the lower elevation would give my mother more energy as it always had before but this time she wasn't able to do any of the day hikes.
When the boat flipped, all three of them grabbed ropes on the boat but my mom did not have the strength to pull herself up. My father was trying to help her but after about fifteen minutes in the water her eyes rolled up and she let go. My father grabbed her and as they both had life vests he was able to keep her head out of the water but he could not get them to shore. She was gone but he could not let her go. Kenny got to shore and frantically tried to get downstream where he hoped my father was still alive. He knew my mom was gone. Where the shore line cut in he did not go around but jumped into the current, trying to catch the eddies to get to the other side, which is insanely dangerous. A boat from another trip picked him up and took him downstream where he found my father and mother, finally ashore. His quote was "I have never been so relieved in my life to see that gray head." I came so profoundly close to losing them all that I cannot help but be extremely grateful to have Kenny and my dad.
So to my dad. The first few days were really rough, but we are so lucky that we all live here in Flagstaff; three kids, six grandkids, all here. We have pulled in tight. We have put silly numbers of people around my dad's kitchen table the last few nights. We did most of our heavy crying on Friday. Yesterday was easier; today my dad and I got out of the house and did the two mile loop of urban trail right above his house. It was just beautiful. Then we took KC and Celeste to Thorpe Park and let them run while we had Macy's coffee. Dad has Kenny and Tiffany, Dominic, KC, Celeste and Grandma in the house. When he needs time for himself, he has a big quiet room, but the house itself is full of life. KC and Celeste are so good, so sweet. It is hard to hold onto pain when they are demanding that life go on.
My mom and dad would have had their fiftieth wedding anniversary October 5th. He has been part of a couple for more than fifty years. He will be finding life anew over the next few years and I think he will come to enjoy the challenge over time. We are working out plans for the service for my mama and will keep you posted.
We are so very grateful for the love and support. It has meant a great, great deal. We are getting our feet underneath ourselves and coming up for air. Thanks for the love, all of you.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.