My mother in law, Hazel Eby, passed away on October 19.

This week I am not at the ATA conference, as previously scheduled. I am home, in preparation for family gathering, going through her belongings to see what untold stories she left behind, how we understood each other in ways that I didn’t know.

My daughter is here, with my grandson. My brother in law is coming. So are my son and his family. My son in law is coming.

We are sharing some of Hazel’s stories on her blog because family and friends will be encouraged by them. It is healing to write them. As I think of her, I remember that she encouraged me in so many ways!

She was a medical transcriptionist. For her birthday, I gave her a copy of the textbook I used for medical terminology. She loved it, because it was a book for medical transcriptionists!

I taught a medical interpreting class in Albany, her town. Only three students completed this 60 hour class. After each 8-hour session, I went to have dinner with her. She loved hearing the stories of what people had learned each day and encouraged me to keep going.

Though she could not do much, she enjoyed seeing the gardens grow every year and seeing the roses, her favorite flower. It was hard for us when she was not well enough to go out to see the gardens any more. But she always loved her family and Jesus. She was always happy to see us. I will be spending some time focusing on this, and I will come back to my regularly scheduled activities around November 10.

In the meantime, my colleagues are meeting the needs of my clients. This is what Hazel would want. Family first, and being responsible with my clients too. And I will be back at the ATA conference in Boston, next year. That conference will be hosted by the New England Translators Association, the first professional association I joined in the US because that is where I lived when I started to network with other translators in the US.