Thursday, November 29, 2007


My mom, Evelyn Stevens Mical, died 26 years ago today. Here are some of my memories about her:

She went to college in the late 1930s when that was unusual for women. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in microbiology and did her graduate work at UCSF. She was a superb phlebotomist (person who draws blood). When she worked in a hospital lab, she was frequently called upon to draw blood from children and babies because she was not only quick and sucessful, she also had excellent rapport with kids. She was a thinker with the mind of a scientist and a particular interest in things medical.

She was a wonderful seamstress and did lots of handiwork like smocking on dresses. She loved to play games, especially cards and scrabble. She was a dynamite scrabble player, and she and Raymond used to go head-to-head to win, he with the strategy and she with the vocabulary. She read all the time and loved mysteries, especially Agatha Christie and John LeCarre.

She was very limber. I remember her standing on her head in the park and at the beach when we begged her to. She used to do the Canadian Air Force calisthenics in the front room with instructions from a record, and when my brother started doing yoga at 18, he taught her some asanas which she did every evening after work for years. Late in life, she took a walk every morning in Golden Gate Park. In the summer, she frequently took a swim across Twain Harte Lake doing the side-stroke.

She always sent Christmas cards. When we were kids, the card included a picture of us, but later the picture was of her or her house. She collected little boxes and kept them on display all over her house. She had a lovely old rocking chair that she rocked my little sister Ginger in and may have rocked the rest of us too. She liked a candy she called "turtles," which I think were chocolate covered peanuts. She ate Wheaties with banana for breakfast. She always took an afternoon nap and drank a glass of iced tea when she woke up.

She would be 86 years old if she was still living.


No comments: