mom was a wonder II 1

Jane Chermayeff
Painter, traveler, lover of the Southwest
Lived & painted in Santa Fe 1988-2016

Above are images from the interment of my mother’s remaining ashes (as requested) at the Fort Union Ranch, New Mexico. Over 25 friends and family attended the celebration. [please hover over images for captions]

Mom was among the bravest women I have known.

In 2016, she suffered a below-the-knee amputation (due to medical malpractice, not pursued: life is too short), after which it became necessary for her to receive two above-the-knee leg amputations.

Her doctors counseled against them.  They claimed either she would die on the operating table (assigning a 66% probability to it) or, if she survived, that her quality of life would be much worse.  Their considered advice: let her die on painkillers at home/hospice within two weeks.

They were wrong on all accounts.  God had other plans for her!

After she recovered from (successful) surgery and moved back East, I was able to visit her quieted home in Santa Fe to take a detailed inventory of her paintings.  During it I discovered that she had stopped painting – one of the main loves of her life – two years prior to her accident due, likely, to compromised cognition.

Mom’s recovery – driven by her indomitable spirit – was so strong that within a year or so, she was painting again nearly every morning.  In other words, her quality of life and cognition were not only better than just before her accident (contrary to doctors’ claims), they improved to a level commensurate with 2 or more years prior.

If we have learned anything these past years, don’t blindly believe what doctors tell you.

Images from her first memorial service, where half her ashes were buried at her mother’s plot in the Mt. Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, MA, can be seen here.

Mom at her Melcher St. studio in Boston, around 1986:

About ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit

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