January 10, 2006 Long Islanders awoke to a stunning front page headline: “A Last Smile. Husband recalls harrowing rock slide that killed L.I. woman on next day’s climb.” The full cover photo depicted Mary Lou Sammis, her husband and three adult children smiling with Mount Kilimanjaro backlit behind them. They were bundled up, exhausted, and anxiously anticipating tomorrow’s summit to the “Roof of Africa.” Twenty four hours later she was struck and killed in a deadly boulder bombardment. Her family was left to reconstruct their shattered lives.
Good-bye Mary Lou is at once a tribute to an extraordinary, vivacious woman, an adventure story that ends tragically at seventeen thousand feet on fabled Mount Kilimanjaro, a love story of a “perfect” young marriage which struggles, nearly breaks, and regrows stronger than ever, and a spiritual journey of cremation, grieving, desperate loneliness, and surprising contact with Mary Lou after death.
About Scott Sammis
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Published June 23, 2011
Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships.