File puptcrit/puptcrit.0603, message 240

Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 22:57:12 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Lettie Schubert's passing

Bruce Chesse has given me the OK to share this message with all those who knew and admired Lettie Schubert. Her presence among us aided and abetted puppetry in so many ways. 

Please share this with her friends.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Chesse
Sent: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 11:36:40 -0800
To: Alan Cook
Subject: Lettie's progress

Dear Alan,

I got this from Gage Schubert about Lettie Schuberts  passing. As we 
both know she was  the glue that held puppetry in California and San 
Francisco together in the 50's and 60's.  Her contribution to P of A 
can't be calculated in real terms.  She was family to me and to you 
as well. A part of her will always be with me.   She was the single 
most  important influence on puppetry in my life and that  includes 
my father. She understood my relationship to my father and helped me 
smooth out that journey with him. The PIE movement in California 
wouldn't have come together without her encouragement and support. 
She represents the end of an era that we grew up in. We were closer 
to her than most and I guess we are now the standard bearers.



Greetings friends and relations: Lettie returned home from her second 
recent hospital visit on the 17 of March. She and the family were 
told that her liver was shutting down, that current medications for 
old age problems could be suspended, that the  hospital was turning 
her over to the care of Hospice of Marin (county) and that we should 
make her as comfortable as we could at our home while her body slowly 
turns itself off.

Each day since Friday, we have seen less animation, her lovely smile 
has faded almost entirely, she doesn't always recognize us and now 
barely responds to questions. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the 
process is her labored breathing. We keep her lightly sedated so that 
any abdominal pain is minimized, even as now she seems unable to 
comment on her condition. We visit her bedroom at close intervals all 
during the day and night monitoring these changes.

Our hearts and minds concentrate on the wonderful years we had and 
sadly try to grasp this reality as she slips away.

This morning, on the 21 of March, she looked at her son as I prepared 
to take him to the airporter, there was a tiny up-turn to her lips 
and she waved as she always does when we leave the room. Neither of 
us were sure that she understood what was happening, and that he 
would return from Boston on Friday to resume his vigil and the great 
contribution to day-to-day attention that he, and my daughter, are 
lavishing on their mother.

We are in motion, but at a standstill, time creeps. Every time we 
enter her bedroom we fear what may have happened, but also our minds 
are filled with memories and they sustain us.

Warm Regards and love to you all, Gage   (sent hours later):

Where do I start? Today was the most difficult day during the vigil. 
Lettie woke with less cognitive connection and her conditioned 
worsened all day, by late afternoon her body was rejecting life, many 
manifestations of discomfort, chills, nausea. Our very, very loyal 
friend and personal physician attended during the last hours. Becky, 
Terry and I were there with Lettie during all of this, though I 
stayed on the sidelines. At 10:15 I heard my daughter cry out her 
husband's name (on the baby monitor that brought bedroom sounds into 
the dining room where our gatherings mostly took place). Dr. Bob had 
just left. The aide and I, with Becky determined that Lettie's heart 
had stopped, there was no pulse, no breath. We Called Dr. Belknap and 
he returned to certify death................. Praise God, Lettie 
departed and we were released.
Now we are waiting for the Neptune Society to fetch her body. Love to 
all of you! Gage

Bruce: I am so very sorry to lay this on you, You who have known 
Lettie for her whole life. She was my best friend, a wonderful 
sidekick in myriad projects, not least our wonderful children. I 
can't grasp her loss. I wonder if I ever really will.

There will be time to asses everything...but now I am a bit 
numb...but I will communicate with you later. We haven't set a time 
for a memorial event, but are thinking of having a sort of High Tea 
on a Friday afternoon fairly soon, but yet to be determined. Warmest 
Regards, Gage
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