She Never Left Home

The photo used here is not my own and, regrettably, I’m unable to find the photographer’s name.

In today’s early morning hours, my mother, Joy Keith, passed away. Her days ended at a constant care facility here in Pittsburgh’s North Hills after a long struggle with cancer. She was at peace as she left, ready to go for some time.

She was a home-maker and a home-body, wanting from life to raise healthy and happy children in an orderly and often florid home. She didn’t crave travel, though it remained thematic throughout her married years. Wherever home was during any given year, she was content there.

But before the long 44 years of marriage, she’d had another name, Joy Windsor, and another home, the island of Newfoundland, Canada. The island’s coves, barrens and marshes were ever a part of her; it’s people too. She would remain a true Newfoundlander through the long pendulum-swing of life that whiskede5b515fd7b37c10dab4966ed7c894cb2 her from the mother island to Washington State and on to Tennessee and Maine, finally resting in Western Pennsylvania. Whatever her real-world setting, the bleak fog-shrouded cliffs of the Avalon were what she saw when her eyes closed at night, I felt sure. And her world view started with the island and swirled outward from there. Slow to leave its traditions, she was entrained by the necessities of my father’s career yet persisted in her own bubble of salt air.

Those she left behind will miss her forever, as will Newfoundland, I feel sure.

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