Let It Be

“The millstones of the gods grind late, but they grind fine.”[ [1]

eileen mom & da babySince I lasted updated my blog, I and mine have experienced a number of tragedies. I guess dealing with them has kept me from writing about it until now. [Note: my father passed away peacefully two weeks after I wrote these words. That’s why it wasn’t posted last year.]

My father, Frank P. Murphy, Sr., now age 90 ½, had a stroke last year. Although we were told he might expire at any time, he didn’t. Hasn’t yet. Meanwhile, he’s in a nursing home. He’s improved in rehab so he can walk with a walker. He genuinely upbeat. He supports my poetry and art. I visit him as often as I can.

My mother, Carol C. Murphy, who’s had Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years, passed away in December 2018. The Parkinson’s was really rough on her the last few months of her life. We gave her a big funeral, since we thought that was what she might want. I was pleased to see and talk to many friends of my mom at the funeral who were like long-ago friends of mine—never forgotten.

mother 9-28-17

My father’s sister, Margaret M. Murphy, died in September 2018. She was a wonderful friend, a retired teacher and social worker specializing in adoptions. But in her 70s, she gradually came to suffer greatly from Alzheimer’s Disease. It was sad to say goodbye to her.

Uncle Joe, Aunt Margaret, & Dad-teenagers
Uncle Joe, Aunt Margaret, & my father as teenagers

My husband’s father Bob Derry had a stroke, too, last year. Unfortunately, he did not recover. He slowly declined and passed away last month (February 2019). My husband and his brother took care of their father 24/7 before he passed away.

3. bob derry may 2018
Bob Derry in 2018

Our 17-year-old cat Luckie passed away peacefully in 2018. He had gotten very frail. He will be missed.


In some ways the worst of all, our dog York, a purebred black Lab, died suddenly in October. We don’t know exactly why, but he started vomiting heavily one night and again in the morning. We rushed hum to the vet, who noticed improvement, but kept him. The next day, he had a big seizure. The vet gave him Valium. She recommended a specialty vet in Tampa, and we loaded up the unconscious dog in our car to take him there. When we got to the vet bin Tampa, poor York was gone. At least the drug helped him slip away while feeling no pain. My handsome, good boy York will be (greatly) missed.

york closeup-1

Meanwhile, our senior dog Savane, age 16 /2 (that’s > 100 human years), keeps on trucking, somehow. He’s half-blind from cataracts and has dry-eye, so we take him out on a leash, even in our fenced-in yard. His hind legs don’t work well, and he can’t do stairs anymore. So we have excused him from commands to “sit” or “lie down.” Also, my husband has constructed a concrete ramp on the porch so Savane doesn’t have to go up the stairs. Also, we have to take him out every couple of hours, since he can’t hold it like a younger dog. Sometimes, when he’s quiet and sleeping, I watch for little movements of his, like his chest rising and falling, to report to me that he’s still alive. {Savane passed away peacefully last June.]

savane on bed

And then there’s our 13-pound 2-year-old bundle of loving (and licking) fur Cookie. She’s a Chi-Spaniel, i.e., cross between Chihuahua and Spaniel. She is the joy of my husband and my lives.

Cookie portrait

[Almost a year after these events, I’m still heartbroken.]

[1] A hexameter by an unknown poet, cited by sceptic philosopher, Sextus Empiricus (2nd century) in his Adversus Grammaticos as a popular adage. D.L. Blank, trans. (1998).

Author: Mish (Eileen) Murphy

Hi. I am a writer, visual artist, and professor. I write and publish poetry and book reviews. I take photos and create photo art. I teach literature and English at Polk State College, Lakeland, Florida.

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