NPR Host Gives Mom Sweet Sendoff, Thanks to Twitter

Scott Simon's tweets captured last days in ICU: Mary Elizabeth Williams

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 30, 2013 4:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – The mother of NPR's Scott Simon died yesterday, which his million-plus followers on Twitter already know because he took them through her final days in the ICU one tweet at a time, reports the LA Times. The tweets ranged from the mundane (watching baseball with his mom in the room, complaints about hospital food) to the poignant: "I am getting a life's lesson about grace from my mother in the ICU," he wrote on July 25. "We never stop learning from our mothers, do we?" And then, yesterday: "The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia Lyons Simon Newman has stepped onstage."

As a result, the host of Weekend Edition Saturday has taken his share of criticism from those who think some things aren't suited for Twitter. But most of the reaction is more along the lines of this from Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon: "As someone who’s tweeted about her own cancer diagnoses and surgeries, and about the gut-punching losses of way too many loved ones, I have nothing but awe for the way Simon has managed to encapsulate the experience of loss with such economy and eloquence," she writes. "He’s made an often-taboo topic accessible and open, by being willing to share it with such frankness." Click for her full post.

Scott Simon of NPR.   (Will O'Leary/NPR)
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