The Alex and Ronni Show – 30 October 2020
Election Day

Ronni Bennett, 1941-2020

Yesterday, at 6:28 PM local time, Veronica "Ronni" Bennett passed away. Ronni bravely documented the aging process, with her Last Great Gift being the documentation of her death. We spoke for sometime yesterday, and throughout our conversation, she circled back to you. It was very important to Ronni that this amazing community continue to have a place to come and discuss this amazing journey we are all in together. Your support and love was a gift that Ronni never could have imagined when she started this blog 16 years ago, and she was forever grateful for each and everyone of you.

We all will feel the pain of this loss for a long time to come, and although 30 years her junior and far from a writer, I will continue to make TGB accessible, and comments are always welcome. I will make many mistakes, I am sure, and please forgive my lack of HTML understanding, but I will get there.

I will leave you with knowing that she was ready. Just before she died, she said, "When you get here, it is really nice. I am not afraid." – Autumn

PancreaticCancerCenterImage

Comments

"... her vote won’t count! At least as I understand it".
Posted by: Joan

Joan...

I just wanted to reassure you that I think Ronni's vote WILL count, because she lived in Oregon, which is one of the states that allows the mail-in votes of those who die before the election.

I say this hesitatingly because I'm not an American and don't know the ins-and-outs of your voting system. But this is what I read online:

"If you vote by mail, but die before Election Day, does your vote count? It depends on where you lived.
Oregon counts ballots no matter what happens to the voter. So does Florida."

Given it's sharp-as-a-tack Ronni Bennett we're talking about, I suspect she would have been all over this issue.

Love to every grieving member of Ronni's tribe...

I first met Ronni when I was 12 in Houston Texas. She and Alex were dear friends of my parents. I so looked up to her- a shining example of a woman like I would like to be. She was a role model for me. When I lost my parents at age 15 and she and Alex were living in New York. She wrote to me consistently and they hosted me for 3 weeks. At age 16, this was a visit of a lifetime that has remained a touchstone throughout my life. She showed me NYC- dedicating those weeks totally to me- such generosity. She bought me a Barrons College book and gave me hope for the future in so many ways.

Many years of being out of touch, the magic of the internet brought us back together and at age 67, I am grateful that I was able to share my gratitude with Ronni in recent years. This blog and a visit every two weeks via The Alex and Ronni Show, was such a gift and continued to inspire me.

Thank you, Ronni for being there for me. I will miss you.

Thank you Autumn for being her friend and continuing her legacy. Bless you.

Another good one, gone but not forgotten, an inspiration and role model and snarky old lady...I want to be Ronni when I grow up.
May her memory be a blessing and a guidepost for our future.
a/b

RIP Ronni, and blessings to your son , grandchild, and all others of your extended family and friends who are surely grieving.

I am so sad. What a lovely gift she gave us: "When you get here, it is really nice. I am not afraid." Thank you, Ronni.

Thank you, Ronni, for all you have shared with us, we shall miss you. And thank you, Autumn, for carrying on TGB, will look forward to your messages.
Marge

I came across Time Goes By while Ronni was living in Maine, and have been a daily reader ever since. I will miss her voice, her advice, good cheer and occasional crabbiness. As will we all. Thank you Autumn, for picking up the torch.

This sense of dread came as I read this morning's title. And she did her damndest to prepare us. I'm glad she was ready. I wasn't. Even with all her wise and deliberate uncloaking of death, I wasn't ready to give her up. That's life. That's death and I think I'll be better prepared for my own thanks to our wonderful Ronni. You will be missed.

And thank you Autumn for being there for her and now us.
I truly hope it's really nice and not to be feared. When I think of Ronni, I think of love in it's best outfit, honesty.

I’m very sad to hear of Ronni’s passing, even though I knew she was getting close to the end. I know I speak for my wife, Barbara, and all of us who knew Ronni through the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, when I say that her presence among us will be sorely missed. Barbara and I were privileged to join Ronni a few times for meals at the ACC, our house, and at one of her favorite restaurants. In my mind, I always see her as a passionate person with opinions about everything. But beneath the anger and concern she so eloquently expressed about our country and its political leaders, she was a deeply kind and loving person who so appreciated little signs of kindness and love from others. I’m very glad she got to reconnect with her son and his family-especially her grandson. Thank you, Autumn; she treasured your relationship. So glad you will continue to honor her.

She was not afraid, what a beautiful message to all of us.

The veil was thin and Ronni took the leap into eternity!

Farewell our beloved scribe! On to the next adventure, Ronni. I will see you later!

Mourning the loss of a friend I’ve never met.

Even though I knew this was coming, it's still a shock.
Thank you for everything, Ronni. You will be greatly missed.

And thank you too, Autumn.

Although I have tears, I'm also smiling because Ronnie left us with the image of her dancing around in her lacy undies. What a gift she has give all of us. As so many others have written, I was not ready. I was hoping she would make it until December. We will be a little lonelier without her wise voice and presence. The wonderful truth is, however, that Ronnie left her blog so that we can dip in for encouragement, laughter, wisdom, friendship whenever we need her.

Her life and death were, for us, a wonderful gift. As a cancer patient with COPD, I followed her decline and even her pull-ups. Thanks for keeping this page open, Autumn, we all will stop in to cheer you on.

Oh my.

I watched, and enjoyed, the Alex and Ronni Show late last night. Love Ronni’s laugh and felt we had a little more time with her. It was a sucker punch today to hear she was gone. Thank you Autumn for sharing her last words with us all. She was helping us to the very end and got her wish of ‘knowing her end’.
My condolences to you and her family members. Oh how she was loved and oh how she will be missed.

Thank you for letting us know Autumn,cRonni will be so badly missed by us all. She was a good person who enriched our lives, I'm so glad that she was calm and peaceful at the end. She lives on in our hearts.

Rest in peace, Ronni. You have been a gift in my life that I will always treasure.
Genevieve

Even her final words were gifts. I am crying, just having read this. Blessings to you, Ronni, forever and ever. Thank you Autumn for being a loving friend.

The other day while watching the what I suspected might be the last Alex and Ronni conversation I felt she seemed happy. She smiled more than usual....and didn’t get annoyed at him at all. It did not occur to me that she had made her decision...I did wonder if there would be another Alex and Ronni show...but felt she would want to see Trump lose!! Thank you Autumn. She mentioned you...and clearly trusted you. I don’t know if you will say....but I am wondering about your relationship with her. How long ago did you meet her? How did the comfortable and complete trust she had in you form? Etc etc etc. she might have mentioned all these things and I missed them. Perhaps you will answer? I know you will be busy...if you don’t get a chance to answer...I will understand. Thank you! I too want an Autumn!
Gail

Oh my, indeed!

What a gut punch. But what a testament to a life well lived -- all the comments to this post!

(And, I too have smiled thinking about what she would have written into her own obituary!)

May I ask, did Ronnie make use of her death with dignity drugs or not?

Sitting here crying.

As Ronni's community grew, I always thought that Beth and I had a special place here. Ronni was one of the bloggers that I was lucky enough to meet face-to-face (at her home, in New York, many years ago now). She was every bit as wonderful in real life as she was on her blog.

I had a feeling yesterday would be the day she left us. I am so sorry to see her go, but I am sure she did what was right. I loved her. May her memory be a blessing.

Autumn, Joyce Wadler here, in New York? May we communicate privately? I heard last from Ronni a few days ago. I am glad she was not afraid at the end. She was a good friend of many years.

I will miss her. So grateful to have known her, even from afar.

Rest in Peace Ronni. Free of pain and suffering.


I weep for this loss for us, but that is tempered with gratitude for the gift of her -- and to know that she's now at peace.

Thank you for letting us know, Autumn. And thank you for being so dear to her. We'll appreciate your continued efforts for this blog.

Having just lost my mom a week before Ronni went, her words are poignant. She is comforting us even after her passing "When you get here, it is really nice. I am not afraid."

So 2020 gets another one of my personal favorite people on the planet. RIP dearest Ronni.

Thanks for keeping her writing available they are a great legacy for all of us.

Got to go get a tissue for my tears now.

I thought I was ready, but this was such a deep gut punch that I am still reeling from it. And then the tears. Blessings upon your next journey, dear Ronni, and for all you've given us to face our own journeys. You will always be in our hearts.
Thank you, Autumn.

I am bereft. It truly feels like I’ve lost a dear friend...and I have. I didn’t want to read between the lines...she was telling us, wasn’t she? I hope I can be that brave.

My heart is broken. May you have a safe passage Ronni and please know that your truth and wisdom will forever be a part of your readers. Autumn, thank you for continuing Ronni's legacy. I have no doubt you will be a wonderful and informed blogger for all of us.

Her wise voice will be missed. May her memory be for a blessing. Thank you Autumn for picking up her torch.

There are not sufficient words.

We knew it was coming, yet I was so surprised to read your post this morning. May you rest in peace, Ronni. Thank you, Autumn, for letting us know and continuing this blog in her honor. Her parting words are beautiful.

Thank you so much for telling everyone Even knowing it was expected, it was still a shock to come here today to learn she's gone on. She will be missed.

My first thought was "Damnit NO!! And then the feeling of emptiness.She will leave a hole in my heart and an empty space in my brain where I hoped she would somehow continue to fill. Best Wishes to you Autumn as you continue the work. Let us know how we can help.

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

I have not been with Ronni for a long length of time but only the last few years. I looked forward to her posts every day and have been very grateful for her strong, clear voice surrounding the coming of her death and other things. I cried this morning when I read she had passed. I see her with the angels now . . . free and filled with joy!! Thank you, Ronni!!

Ronni, eternal sweet peace for you. And, dear friend, a final, heartfelt Thank you.

Autumn, thank you for being a good friend for Ronni, and for carrying us all forward.

Thank you Autum, I know this is especially hard for you. As you continue the support is here for you as well.

Rest in peace, dear lady. You were a treasure!

How fitting she should go on the Eve of All Saints.
RIP Ronni
You will be missed but fondly remembered.

Bob

I knew something was amiss when I realized (in the night) that Interesting Stuff was not there yesterday. Still, I was shocked somehow to read today's blog. I really felt she'd write one last blog to let us know she was ready. Perhaps you have some insight you can share one day, Autumn.

I've been a reader and occasional commenter for only about a year, but I rarely missed a day. I felt I knew Ronni, just like most readers. My best friend died in July of pancreatic cancer so I felt we had a special bond.

I wish she could tell us where "here" is and describe it. A mystery we'd all love to have solved, I guess, but I'm heartened at her words that "it's really nice." Thank you for taking over the column (at least for now). I didn't think that would happen but so glad to hear it.

Thank you, Ronni, for your last words, and for all your words. And thank you, Autumn.

Ditto all of the above- I can think of nothing to add- too soon, for me, but not for Ronnie. I will miss her terribly. Thank you, Autumn, for letting us know.

Sooner than I thought...she is such a gift for all of us...Thank you Autumn I love what she said.....at the end....so much love and generosity from her.

So sad to read this. Autumn, can you share if someone was with her? Did she die with the medicine that would assist her death? She was so open about her process, that I feel ok asking these questions.

I’ve been reading Ronni’s blog for a couple of years and have really appreciated her openness in sharing her experiences as she moved towards the end of her life. I learned so much from her. I knew this day would come but didn’t expect to feel the void I’m feeling right now.

Thank you Autumn.

Thank you Autumn. RIP Ronni. Those final words have blown me away. Was truly hoping she would see election results but maybe it didn’t matter. There is a giant hole in the force of the universe that will heal as we carry her in our hearts.

OH, Ronni! My keyboard is awash in tears. I found your blog over 10 years ago, and I relied on your constancy in my life. We never met or corresponded, yet I feel a huge loss of someone so open and sharing right to the end. I felt so close to someone I never "knew" -- yet she made sure we all "knew" her, one of life's great gifts.

Her memory IS a blessing.

I knew Ronni would die. I knew Ronni was ready. I knew Ronni for more than 50 years. I knew this day would come. What I didn’t know is that I really did not think it would happen. I will continue to love you, Ronni. That is something I now know!
RIP dear lady.

You dun good, Ronni! Into the light!

Thankful that she knew we loved her, that she was pleased when her time came, and that she had you, Autumn, to be there at her parting and to comfort us. She wanted to experience life and death in its fullness and your words assure us she did.

Thank you Autumn.
Ronni showed us the way - with grace, humor and dignity. What a woman! :)

Ronni was a good blogging friend to me and my mom.

We met in person a few times, and recently reminisced about the time I saw her at a conference, where she was on stage, putting funny glasses on young people to show them what it’s like to grow old.

She was a dear friend to my mom, and I am thankful that they had each other as friends for so many years.

I’ll be smiling for her when the election goes her way this week, and will miss her.

Thank you Autumn. My heart goes out to you. I will miss her columns.

G-D bless you Autumn for taking up the mantle.

May Ronni's name be remembered as she rest in power.

She was very much loved.

Though I knew the time was close, the news was still a shock. Thank you Ronnie for all you have given us all and thank you Autumn for letting us know that Ronnie's time had come and she was peaceful.
Thank you too Autumn for continuing the blog. I am sure you will have lots of support from the followers.
Nan in Australia

Thank you for telling us Autumn.
I was glad to know that she had a peaceful death.
That and you telling us were her last gifts to us.
I know she was very special to you. Condolences on your loss of this
amazing woman who will always hold a special place in all our hearts.

Her last best lesson - it’s nice and she was not afraid. I’m glad for Ronni and for us. But I am so heartbroken. Love and peace to her and to you Autumn.

Hello everyone from Vancouver Canada. I have never commented on this blog before but Ronni and I were often in email contact, in fact as recently as last week, about a book I and my Book Club are writing that includes a chapter called (at the moment) Conversations with Ronni Bennett. The book has gone through many titles and I am currently working on the second draft. Ronni gave me permission to include any of the TGB posts I wanted to including, of course, Old Lady Fancy Pants. I said to her that anyone who could joke about adult diapers when they were in mortal danger should be deified. Yesterday I was thinking about dedicating the book to her and was going to ask her today if she thought that would be OK. I am shocked by her death partly because of the nature of our recent email exchanges, partly because of the last Ronni and Alex show, when she seemed in pretty good shape, and partly because of the election. But it looks like it is going to be ugly and she probably decided 90 days of ugliness was too much to bear. She strongly supported the concept of our book and on a number of occasions gently set me back on a better path when I strayed. I am so sorry she won't be around to see the book published but I kept her up to date with its progress (or lack of as the case often was). I will miss her very much, as we all will.

Kate Mancer

11/1/2020 this came up from my memories on FB today............from Ronni Bennett, and her blog, TIME GOES BY Too Young We're Old, Too Old We're Wise"here is a partial list of good advice I ignored for too many years. I know some of them sound like platitudes but that doesn't make them wrong or unhelpful.
⏺ When things aren't going well, remember: This too shall pass.
⏺ Don't spend time worrying. It never changes outcomes.
⏺ Trust your instincts. (Unless your life has proved you shouldn't.)
⏺ Enjoy what you can do; ignore what you can't.
⏺ Remember: Most of the time things work out or, at least, don't fail catastrophically.
⏺ Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer is always good to keep in mind:
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
⏺ Laugh long, loudly and often.
These “rules” (suggestions? advice?) are unique to me and as you undoubtedly noticed, relate mostly to control – the fact that a whole lot of what happens in life is not under my control. Which took me a lifetime to learn.
“Too young we're old, too old we're wise.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, Mom. I got it now.
Feel free to add your own life lessons, especially those you learned late in life. (from Grandma Tootsie, "We mock the things we are to be" ) Do what makes you proud of that reflection in the mirror.

Goodbye, Ronni; I’ll miss you.

Bittersweet. That’s the word that comes to mind. I will miss you so dear Ronni. But I am happy that you got to do this your way and that it was good. Like others have said, you shared yourself with us to the very end. So thankful to have known you along your journey.

Thank you Autumn. <3

Carol

Thank you, Autumn. And thank you to all Ronni’s friends for their outpouring of grief, hope and reassurance.

In Ronni’s memory, all of you who can, should honour her on November 3rd by fulfilling her admonitions.

Rest In Peace, Ronni. The flame is gone but the light will shine on in all of us.

I grieve her loss as others have said so eloquently. I am so thankful for her wonderful contributions.

Thank you, Autumn. It has been comforting to know that she had you there for her when needed. The ache in my heart is real even though we never met in person. I imagined what it would have been like to stop by to visit on the few occasions when I would travel to Portland. It would have been intrusive, but I mused on it anyway as if she were close family. The ache in my heart is as real as any close loss. Thankful to hear her parting words.

Thank you again. Rest In Peace , Ronni💞

Fare thee well, Ronni! Thanks for sharing everything. I've learned a lot ... especially that even when you know a friend is dying, it is still a SHOCK when it happens. Words are not enough.

Grateful, sad, relieved, piqued (only a few more days!) and in awe of the living large Ronni. Thank you, Autumn.

Hard to believe it happened. She seemed everlasting, like her gift to us. B

Rest In Peace Ronni

Condolences to her family. Gratitude for her journey and especially for the sharing of these last two years. I have been a reader of this blog for years and will miss you Ronni.

Autumn you will do just fine. We will all grow through this together.

Roni had a blog that gave so much to so many people she never "knew" and would most likely never meet. It was an inspiration to me in so many ways. I gasped when I saw the header with her birth and death date. As many others I knew it was coming but it is still a shock in some ways. I'll truly miss her, especially in this current culture of so much anger and what often seems like so little kindness.
Tera

Sleep easy, dear Ronni. You have earned your rest. We will miss you

I feel like I've lost a friend. Ronni received her cancer diagnosis about the same time I got mine, so it felt like a stronger connection than usual between blogger and reader.

We'll miss you Ronni.

Thanks, Autumn, for your willingness to keep her blog alive.

How remarkable, how truly remarkable. Last evening it had dawned on me that I did not see her Saturday post. I remarked to a friend, who I had shared and became an avid fan of Ronnie's, that my heart was sinking, as like many here, feeling the portend of losing Ronnie's voice. My friend and I marveled as we drove the 120 miles home how deeply we felt this loss, how much we had felt a close friendship, and how truly remarkable how accompanying these posts and Ronnie's journey was a joy and a privilege. I want to express my gratitude, to you, Ronnie, for your authenticity, pragmatism, deliberation, and wise counsel, as well as your humor, warmth and generosity. What more could any of us want than to be seen and to have so many grateful for the gifts of your life.

This is so sad. I too thought we'd have Ronni with us a bit longer. Rest in peace, sweet and crabby lady - your blog has truly been a wonder of honesty and insight. I will miss you.

Good to know the blog will continue, Autumn - and thanks for posting this.

I knew this day would come, come on Ronni's terms. I miss her. Her blog's words have been a balm. The world has dimmed a bit with her passing. At the same time, she's shone a light for us all to use on our paths. That's a pretty cool legacy. Thank you, Ronni.

Oh Ronnie, thank you for being a guide, advocate, and observer for us. Thank you for convening this community. Thank you for leaving this blog in capable, loving hands.

A life well lived indeed.

I was one of your stealth readers...absorbing but not usually commenting. Your passing hits me very hard, however. I grieve along with your more visible community and now wish you much well-earned peace. I am glad you were not afraid, and I hope the next adventures through this Universe, which awaited you as you rounded the turn, will be amazing, in whatever dimension they now exist. May you still find ways to bring us hope, smiles and healing. Blessings, Ronni.

Goodbye, Ronni. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You will be missed. xo

I don't know why the news shocked me, because Ronni has been readying us -- and herself-- for some time. But I'm shocked and deeply sad too. Like so many others, I felt like Ronni was a dear friend and I always looked forward to hearing from her. Leave it to her, too, to give us a good laugh in her last post about "Fancypants." I did think (and hope) that she would live to see election results. My condolences to her family and friends near and dear to her, and to you Autumn, as well as my thanks to you for continuing. May her memory be for a blessing.

RIP Ronni. You were a treasure.
For those asking, I checked and Oregon is one of the States that count a ballot if the elector was alive when the ballot was cast. Assuming that Ronni's vote was submitted, it will be counted.

Like so many, the tears streamed down my cheeks when I read the announcement of Ronni's passing. So much gratitude for her honesty and humor, and for her long-time advocacy for a more just and kinder world, one that would treat all, including elders, with respect and dignity. It sounds as if she was at peace leaving before Tuesday's election -- I certainly hope that was the case. And thank you, Autumn, for taking the torch!

Such sad news.

With the Wednesday recording of the Alex and Ronni Show, who knew that Ronni’s death would come just 3 days later. I was not expecting her to go without one last post and formal goodbye — written with her typical grace and grit, intelligence, bravery, and humor that we’ve all been enriched by.

Not to put any pressure on you, Autumn, but Ronni will be missed by so many people. At the very least though, every laugh, everything learned, and each tear cast in response to an “Interesting Stuff” segment will be enough to remind us of her and what a remarkable person she was.

May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Empty. Loss. Pain. Someday acceptance but I am not there yet. Ronnie..you left a void in my heart and soul. There just are not words...so I will not attempt. I hope this community continues in her spirit. She gave us wings and now we have to learn to fly on our own.

Thank you thank you.

Karin

Dear Autumn,
We just saw your post about Ronni’s passing. Jim & I thought she would make it to the election. We are both feeling so sad at the loss as Ronni was a dear friend. About 4 years ago we joined the Adult Community Center discussion group that she started. We are still meeting via Zoom. Ronni even joined us a few times that way. We were all so glad to see her. This will be one of her legacies.

We met you at Ronni’s birthday party. I would love to talk to you when you feel up to it: 503-636-3153. Thank you so much for being such a great friend to Ronni and for carrying on in her place. Barbara Fisher

Vaya con Dios, Ronnie. . . .

Thank you Ronnie for all the things you shared! You will be greatly missed! We all knew it was coming but it stil makes me sad! Thank you Autumn for continuing this blog!My deepest condolences to her family and caregivers!

I will miss you and love you for the rest of my time on this earth. Rest in peace, dear Ronni.

Oh dear Ronni,
You will be so missed. Sending love and light to your entire blogging community.
Tamar

Thank you, Autumn. I thought I was ready for this news. Turns out I wasn't.

I am unable to write much as my tears are flowing. I started reading Ronni’s blog back in 2004. She has been a blessing to so many and will be sorely missed. Rest In Peace dear Ronni.

Sadden to hear this news and very grateful to Ronnie for the many things shared on this blog. I will miss her. A very special person who gave so much of herself to this online community and now has left this blog for many new members to learn of the good and bad parts of the aging process with much honesty. Rest well in peace now Ronnie.

While not unexpected it's still very sad. I only 'knew' her through this blog and I shall miss that.

Oh my. I was expecting this, just not this soon. I feel sad. I am so so grateful to have known her thru this blog. I am so grateful for her writing and her committment to writing and communicating. I am grateful for this community she created.

I am so grateful that I found Ronni a few years ago and have enjoyed and learned from her written words. She is the only blogger I have ever followed and - really - I didn’t need another one! So glad TGB will continue. I will miss her.

Thank you so much Ronnie and thank you for being with her Autumn. Take care of yourself.

I am so sad that I can’t think of anything to say except that something has gone out of my life with Ronni’s death. I started to write “with Ronni’s passing,” but knowing how blunt and outspoken Ronni always was, death seems to be the proper word. My favorite Ronni persona was when she was sharing the opinions of the very outspoken crabby old lady she sometimes was. But of course she shared—and allowed us to share with each other—so much more about aging and whatever else concerned us.

This blog has been so important to so many people, to those of us who are aging and to those of us who are already just plain old. Since we will inevitably be joining Ronni in leaving this world, perhaps sooner than we expected, it is good to hear from her that she was not afraid. I will miss her greatly.

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