Louise with my mom at the Zandt Family Reunion, maybe 10-15 years ago
[UPDATED below with a pic and short story from my brother]
This morning, my neighbor from growing up, Louise Kane, passed away. It feels weird to even type her name out — my brother and I called her “Mrs. Kane” well after we were already adults. She’d say, “Call me ‘Louise!’ God!” But we just couldn’t.
I want to share some stories about her as I begin the sort of “official” grieving process. She’d been declining for a while — she was due to turn 96 in two weeks — but the loss is deeply painful. I can’t do the whole picture of her justice, but let me start by explaining that she was one of the most influential bad-ass women of my life, along with my mom and my grandmother (mom’s mother). I gave Izzy her middle name, Louise, in honor of her.
A strict Irish-Catholic, Mrs. Kane used to call my Lutheran family “broken-away Catholics,” and married a Jewish man twenty years older than her. We never got to meet Louie (yes, they were “Louie and Louise”) — he died the year before my parents moved in next door to her — but his spirit was always very much part of her.