Picking up the Pieces – A Tribute

Hello all. Most of you know that my mother has been living with us and we have watched her slow decline over the last year suddenly become so rapid. Her journey is now over. Mom passed away peacefully August 25, and my heart is broken. It’s still so new, so raw, but I know that time will heal all sorrow….or so they say. However, having lost grandparents, my father and stepmother, stepfather, and stepson, my heart knows that time really doesn’t heal, the pain just moves a bit away from the very forefront allowing us to move ahead.

Fortunately, mom was never hospitalized. Hospice workers came to the house to care for her (and us). Her voice weakened until we could barely make out her whispers, but she was aware till the end. She loved to sit on the porch and listen to the birds until she was unable to get out of bed. She also loved ice cream (a lot!) and when her lack of appetite permitted only one or two bites a day, those bites were mint chocolate chip ice cream. My sister and all of my children were able to come from the west coast to visit in her last couple of weeks. Their visits brought her such joy. My husband and I are comforted to have been with her, holding her hands, as she took her last breath.

My mother was a little woman, packed with strength, courage, stubbornness, resilience, charisma, compassion, laughter, talent, grace and more love than should have fit into her mini-sized body. She instilled in me a love of nature and music (sadly, not her singing voice), a bit of goofiness, a love of family, unwavering devotion to my children, a love for all people and animals, a need to serve, and a need to create.

My father’s mother taught her to sew, and Mama taught me. So as I grieve, I know there is a way to continue her legacy. I’ll pursue more charitable giving and work, speak up for those who have no voice, love my family with abandon, and I will sew. Remembering her fastidious garment sewing over the years will remain an inspiration to me.

And in her honor, after I finish a work-in-progress, my first new project will involve dots! Why dots? Just have a look.

Dots for birthday baking….…and dots (might they be red?) in the park with a gorgeous coat. Perhaps a need to conceal her secret prompted me to edit out the reason for mama’s silly expression – her hand is deep in a bag of potato chips! Methinks that as I’m in her belly in this photo, she may have contributed to my love of salty snacks. Thanks Mom.

So now I must begin to pick up the pieces. I will keep her always in my heart, and I’ll cry. But I’ll carry on. As she did through many challenges and many losses. As we all must.