Terry Shockley remembers her mother, Patsy Hopper, as a strong person.
“She had to be.” she said. “She eventually had four children. We were a military family, so we were moving a lot. She had to do a lot of packing, a lot of organizing, a lot of discipline. My dad was busy with his career. She was strong.”
Hopper and her husband moved to South Austin in the 1980s to be near Shockley, who was a single mother of two. After Shockley’s dad died, her mom became a roommate and travel partner.
“We went to England,” she said. “We made two trips to France, one to the Normandy-area, then to Provence. We went to Italy. We went to Vancouver several times. One of my brothers lives there.”
In the last few months, Hopper entered a memory care facility. Then on March 13, the 93-year-old mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and travel buddy had a stroke and passed away.
As word of Hopper’s death made it to other family members, a few things were clear: Travel restrictions and unease about the spread of the coronavirus were making one of the more difficult parts of life – a loved one’s death – even more difficult.