Merry Nell Drummond

Has anyone out there heard the old Andrew Lloyd Webber song called “Tell Me On a Sunday, Please.” Well, Wednesday is my Sunday, and early this morning, my mother passed away after a 29-year battle with breast cancer.


I wrote my thoughts in an email that I’m pasting here.


Good morning, everyone.


My dad called a few minutes ago, and Mom passed away around 3:55 a.m. She was with him, my brother, and her sister/husband, plus a former hospice nurse who was supposed to be letting everyone get some sleep, but no one was going to sleep, even though no one had slept the night before.


I actually came home to Fredericksburg last night, after two days in Austin. Uncle Jack – you’re the one who gave me the peace to leave. Every minute of every hour yesterday we were watching and listening to see if another breath would come, and then there would be this awful sound, and we knew she had a little longer.  I left about 8 p.m.


No one tells you horrid the end is. Alison, I have no lovely stories to tell from the last two days. But I have plenty from this past weekend, when she rallied for 10-15 minute intervals to say goodbye to everyone who traipsed through 403 Honeycomb Ridge. Jack – when my dad called to tell me, he used your words: “She’s finally healed.”


My texting bill will be astronomical this month, but I don’t care. Everyone has been precious, especially all the ones from my sister-in-law, Amy. My brother married the best woman in the world, and I hate that I didn’t know it until now. Every time I drink pinot noir, Amy, I will think of you.


I’m sorry I was so slow to answer emails. My parents live in the heart of Westlake Hills, in an absolute dead zone for AT&T service and wireless. I have better coverage in Stonewall.


My dad used my mom’s cell phone to call me, so the picture that came up is of her at her 2nd last chemo in April. Of course, she did several more rounds, but that was the last time she got to ring the bell at Texas Oncology. She was wearing a turquoise jacket and she was covered in bright confetti.


I love all of you. Some of you have been supporting me these last three years, and for some of you, it goes back all the way back to March 1981. You all have carried me through. And to the Women of Words ladies – I can’t believe you listened to all my cancer poems.


Whether she was Merry Nell, Ama, Tia, MN, Nell, or just Megan’s mom, she would want me to tell you that at least since last Monday, she was claiming a new verse for this last stage of her journey: “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).


We’ll be sending information soon, but the plan as of last night was to have the service at 4 p.m. Sunday at the First Evangelical Free Church of Austin. That isn’t her church, but this one is big, and she has known the pastors for years. Her beloved Father Len of St. Francis Anglican Church of Austin be co-leading the service. Her cremains will be buried at Remembrance Gardens, right there at Riverbend Church of Austin by the Loop 360 Bridge.


Take care.