Friday, November 01, 2019

Ellinor R. Mitchell, 1930-2019

When someone you love dies, you realize, if only for a moment, that your world will never be quite the same again.

My mother-in-law -- as she eventually decided to introduce me -- died Friday morning. Ellinor Mitchell was 89. She was beautiful, charming, cultured, accomplished, idiosyncratic, and sometimes caustic as well as generous and determined to be on the side of the right as she saw it. That is, she was her unique self.

She lived with Erudite Partner's father for some forty years, much of it in the house on Martha's Vineyard that they built together. This was the place she loved in later years, after venturing on the streets and public transit of her beloved New York City came to feel too difficult. I am working at her desk where until recently she painstakingly composed letters to the local papers calling out the wrongs of island life.

In mid-life, she wrote two books introducing Chinese acupuncture to an American audience. Late in life, she labored through an arduous course to earn a certificate for teaching English as a Second Language; she wanted to use her gift for encountering foreign-born strangers and making them friends.

For her last two years, she lived with her daughter in York, Maine, receiving the attentions of various domestic animals and her large family.

1 comment:

Laura munter said...

Nice to read and warm wishes to you and Rebecca. You two were wonderful with her. We should all be so fortunate, Take care.