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[I posted on my mom’s Facebook page today.]

Hi friends.

by Travis Smith, Pat’s son

I am sorry to be sharing this sad news. This is one of the last posts you’ll see on my mom’s account on Facebook.

My mother is suffering from a progressive and incurable disease. She’s moved into an assisted living home. She is currently in the later stages of Alzheimers, as she (and we) have been dealing with its progression for several years now.

While her memory is, shall we say, crap… she’s still the positive, wonderful person she’s always been, and she’s always happy to hear from old friends, students, parents, colleagues, family and more, even if she needs some help in receiving the updates and remembering who you are.

She doesn’t use computers these days, but we will pass along any messages and photos you want to share. (See below…)


Recently, and why I’m posting here, is because she made the big decision to apply for the Medical Assistance in Dying program—that’s the law in Canada permitting physician-assisted suicide that was just passed in 2016.

After a lengthy and trailblazing process, she has become only the 2nd person in Alberta with a diagnosis of Alzheimers who has been granted approval for MAID.

While we (her four children) are of course sad and reluctant to say goodbye, Virginia S, Nicole Smith, Stacia Smith and I all support her in her wishes.

Speaking personally, I’m so proud of her, now more than ever. As always, she continues to be to me the model of an independent woman, a true trailblazer throughout her entire life. She’s someone who set an example of wisdom, grace, and caring. That’s part of what makes this affliction so, so cruel.

Pat has no specific date chosen yet, but we are currently expecting that she will choose her passing to be sometime this summer, unless her condition worsens unexpectedly. (A consequence of the current (hopefully changing) MAID laws is that you cannot wait too long because mental acuity is a requirement.)

This is new to me on many levels ... the whole concept of MAID, as I was saying to a friend, is both familiar and foreign at the same time and there aren’t a lot of examples to go by, so please forgive me if anything I write lands a little oddly… we’re trying the best we can.

So that’s the “Facebook update” and if we haven’t contacted you directly, I hope it’s okay that you’re learning about it this way.


Pat has a fairly calm and predictable routine now, and smaller world overall, and I know that one thing she would appreciate more than anything: messages, photos and cards.

I know that my mother has taught so many students in her long career…

I know that she has taught English skills to hundreds of immigrants….

I know that she has helped thousands of Kumon parents help their kids to succeed…

I know she was the first job of so many young, talented youth….

so… Please share this widely!


I would love if even a small fraction of those people she touched would send her something. And I know not all of those people are connected with her on Facebook, so pass this along.


Therefore, if you are someone that my mom has made an impact on in her long life… I would ask this one last simple favor:

Could you please send a message and share a photo of yourself for her to appreciate?

Her email is:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

If you are particularly energetic, she would absolutely love if you sent her something in the mail.  Her mailing address is:

48 Moreuil Court SW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada   T2T 6A9

I know it’s hard to know what to write on a card….. A simple “Greetings from X” would be lovely. Anything more would be a blessing.

If you tag someone in the comments that knows Pat, or forward this to them by email, I would re-thank you a dozen times.


If you want to reach out to my mom directly, I’d be happy to help put you in touch. I’m at 604-408-5722 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

And if you’d like to be informed of the details of any service, wake, etc. that we organize, please let me know and I’ll let you know what transpires…

Again… thank you for your understanding and support and messages.


Love, Travis


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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