I had a wonderful friend who was roughly 40 years older than I am. Her name was Millie and she lived across the street from me. A few years after I met her she became my unofficial mother due to family problems.
Millie was always there with solutions to issues, a shoulder to cry on, or most importantly, a good story and a laugh. My children loved to go visit Millie to “help” her with her chores, read, or just be with her. She was a special person, and the closest thing to a grandmother they had. We often talked books, characters and plots. She was an avid reader also, and we were always comparing books and authors. Eventually Millie became very sick with ALS, and died. Since she was a fan of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series, one of her regrets was that she wouldn’t live long enough to finish the series. Since her children didn’t read, she wanted me to read the entire “Kinsey Series” as she called it as a remembrance to her.
This task took me longer than I’d like to think about to complete. I was always looking for ways to avoid it. For one thing, I’d have to completely understand that she was gone, and not just away at the hospital, and this was something that took me a long time to get through. For another thing, Sue Grafton hadn’t finished the series, and not only that, she was taking a long time to do so. Finally, about two years or so ago, I decided I’d start the series and read it over a period of time, planning on finishing whenever the last novel was published. This was not to be, since as all of us Sue Grafton fans know, the alphabet ends at “Y”. (For those of you who don’t read Sue Grafton, she died in 2017 from cancer without finishing her series.) So, for now, we’re all left wondering what did become of Kinsey Millhone? I’ve put my imagination to work and come up with a few theories, but the truth is, we probably never will know.
Honoring promises is important. One reason for my not doing this sooner was fear that if I did finish, my memories of Millie would fade. Yes, that is nonsensical, I know. But, once I started the series, I was so glad. The character of Kinsey Millhone has been an exciting one to get to know. She’s added a lot to my life, and I often think about her. Not only does Sue Grafton live on, but my wonderful friend and surrogate mother lives on as well. Thank you, Millie, for this last gift.