Monday, November 25, 2013

Pauline Wright Nichols Pepinsky, June 27, 1919-November 25, 2013

PAULINE WRIGHT NICHOLS PEPINSKY-June 27, 1919-November 25, 2013
Hal Pepinsky,, “peacemaking” at
November 25, 2013

                My Mama died this morning.  She died having held her great grandchildren, Mila, 5, and Evan, 3, of Durango, Colorado, as recently as last summer.  She died at peace.  Her eyes had closed, and she had stopped eating and drinking, 6 days ago, probably the result of another in a years’ long line of strokes.  She was well attended her last several days, and kept comfortable till her heart stopped, by Hospice.  I thank them for ensuring that my mother had a good death.  Hospice is indeed a blessing in all their work.
More profoundly, I thank the staff of the Laurels of Worthington for the last 3 years of such loving, tender care they offered my Mama.  As they know, I will return to join Director Kristine Provan there Thursday mornings on the north sun porch for sing-alongs.  For more than a decade before retirement, I joined a friend in Bloomington, Indiana, Mable Linder, to sing in nursing homes and at an adult day center.  Kristine and the Laurels have given me a home near home in Worthington to continue to enjoy the closest thing to a worship service I have found for myself.  I have special respect for all those who care for the aged and the dying, and the Laurels of Worthington is the most special place of its kind I have spent time in.
                In 1951 when I was 6, my Mama sent me up the hill from our apartment at 81 Selby Blvd. in Worthington, to Sunday school at the Methodist church now 2 blocks from Jill and me, to “learn about the Bible.”  In recent months of bringing memories of her back into my mind, I have remembered asking her early on whether she believed in God. Her reply: “God is love.”  It occurs to me that I have spent my entire life trying to discover what “love” entails—to identify it, and as my parents never ceased asking me to figure out, to notice violence and human separation and how to transform it.  At root, it has been the challenge of redeeming myself in the eyes of her God and mine, that has become the calling I refer to as “peacemaking,” her greatest gift to me.
                I will in due course write an obituary celebrating a range of my mother’s talents, insights, gifts and generosity.  I have asked the funeral director to divide her ashes in two: half to be laid beside my dad’s ashes in the graveyard among Pepinsky’s at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church near Paoli, PA; the other half for Jill and me to spread here at Mama’s home and ours, 519 Evergreen Circle.  In late April or May, as spring blossoms, Jill and I will host a memorial party celebrating my Mama’s life.  Love and peace--hal


  1. (From Sam L.) You've explained a lot over the years about your mother, childhood, etc... We've also discussed a lot about her nursing home years, and explained well--your views--so I know your at peace.... Sam

  2. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. No other words can do justice to a life well lived, and your mother had that, to be sure.