She's been having issues ever since she broke her hip over a month ago. Kidneys, lungs, blood pressure......etc. She was up and down for the last two weeks. Mom called me last night while I was driving back from Phoenix. Her tone told me she felt something was wrong. Mom's sixth sense was correct. Grandma Esther passed early this morning. She was 80 something.
I traded emails with her several times a year. She always supported my creative stuff from building and designing stuff with my Lego's as a kid to my fascination with architecture. She also supported my work as an actor in the early days of me getting to LA.
Technically, Esther was actually a step Grandmother. My maternal Grandparents divorced in 1952. My Grandfather, Harry Leber, the bomber pilot, had been stricken with polio. Esther was one of the nurses that helped him get better. They later married. Harry died in early '67. Esther was single for quite some time, then married the doctor she had worked for. Dr. Fred Ireland. He started off as a front line surgeon during WWII. He was on Omaha Beach during D-Day patching up kids right there on the sand. Twenty years later Fred met a former German soldier who was also there, manning a machine gun. They began talking and soon became friends. They were still good friends at the 50th anniversary of D-Day when Peter Jennings interviewed the both of them. Esther was a nurse well into her sixties when she finally retired. Fred died about 8 years ago. Esther spent her retirement travelling all over the world. She seemed to have time shares everywhere. I used her timeshares to go to Cabo and Hawaii.
Her niece and nephew are planning a memorial service sometime in September as most of her family are off travelling right now.