Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Family History: Kelli's Graduation Day

As I mentioned a few days ago, Lisa has been slowly going through boxes that have been through multiple moves and has been finding photographs for me to scan. Sometimes I even know what the photos are and when they were taken, when I've had the presence of mind to write notes on the back of them. This first one is both a happy and a sad memory, that being a photograph of my sister, Kelli, on her high school graduation day.

Kelli Standlee Graduation

Kelli had to cope with dyslexia and learning disabilities, which were particularly difficult when we were in grade school. It could not have been easy for her to have her brother, the school prodigy, three years ahead of her when she struggled to get by. She did end up dropping out of high school, but she went back and worked hard — probably harder than I did to get my B.Sc. in computer science from California State University, Chico — to get her high school diploma. This photo was taken on June 11, 1991, and I was very proud of her accomplishment.

Kelli later came developed leukemia and a severe lung disease which eventually led to her losing her home and living out her live in a nursing facility in Sacramento. She died in August 2019. I was in Ireland at the time, in between Worldcon and Eurocon, and inasmuch as I had her medical power of attorney — and thank goodness Kelli and I had talked seriously about this when she was in somewhat better health — they had to call me there to tell me that they'd run out of options. (Thank goodness I got a "burner" phone and put the phone number on my US phone number's voicemail message so people could reach me.) I had to tell the doctors there to keep her comfortable, and she died a few days later. I still miss her.

This is one of the best photos I've ever had of my sister, and I'm grateful that Lisa found it for us.
Tags: family

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