The Thin Man Returns usually eschews posts of a personal nature but before the year runs to a close, I'd like to dedicate one post to the memory of my mother Elizabeth Ann who died on October 8 this year at the age of 59.
Without her, Christmas and New Year this year are going to be very different indeed.
One could write hundreds of words to illustrate what a truly remarkable woman she was but everything that needed to be said was said at her funeral attended by family, work colleagues, friends as well as past and present students.
As friends of ours remarked, it's not often one attends a funeral where traffic controllers are required.
Her story of courage, grace and faith during her life is inspiring, particularly in the four years after being diagnosed with random form of muscular dystrophy that hit with the rapid debilitation of motor neurone disease.
The past few years have not been easy.
People talk about having a life changing experience, but what they really mean is suffering a shock and, once over that, they go back to the way they were before - no evidence of a life changed, at least not in any meaningful or positive way.
They think they're 'living' but they're only existing on the periphery, unaware that they're merely playing in the emotional, spiritual and intellectual shallows.
Anyone who doubts the existence of God ought to talk to us some time.