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.

 

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39 thoughts on “Picking up the Pieces – A Tribute

  1. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful woman, young and old. Nothing replaces a mother, but you already know with all he ones you’ve lost that none of them are replaceable. This was a beautiful tribute to your mother, and touched my heart. I know it did hers, too. In you, she has left a wonderful legacy.

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  2. Thank you for sharing such a lovely tribute to your mother at this difficult time for you and your family. Thanks to you and your husband your mother must have enjoyed the best possible end of life care and to reach a good age and then pass peacefully surrounded by our loved ones must be something we all hope for.
    Bring on the dots!

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    • Thank you Lynn, and for your sweet email, too. Her life was good, and the ending peaceful…what we all want.
      My dots have arrived! Now to nail down the pattern, get one little project out of the way, and get on with it.

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  3. A beautiful tribute for a lovely lady. Am so glad you were able to be with her as she began her next journey and that you’ll be wearing dots in her memory – in red and whatever other colours you find! I’ll join you as I’ve several appropriate fabrics lurking in stash. Much love~xxx

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  4. Aren’t we lucky to know and love such women in our lives. Thank you for sharing your Mother’s journey with me. Everyone’s grief is personal, tho I can relate to your heartbreak and I share in your sorrow. and cry. What a wonderful honour you express in continuing her sewing. Such beauty and love will be in those dots. How blessed she was to have you as a daughter. I shall hold you and her in my prayers. And when you’re ready , sew with cherished dots of love and eat from a bag of chips.
    {{{hugs}}} ❤

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  5. What beautiful words you have written about your remarkable and beautiful mother. A life well-lived is a treasure not all can attain, but it is evident your mother did so with grace and dignity and spunk. And those polka dots! Now I have one more reason to love them!
    I wish you comfort at this time and an abiding memory of your mother for all time.

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    • Oh, thank you for such kind words, Karen. You’re so right, not everyone achieved what she did. And she definitely was a spunky little lady. I will certainly think of her often and happily, and always when wearing dots!

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  6. I’m so sad to read this. It was wonderful that you were able to spend so much time with your lovely mother in the last months of her life and that you were able to keep her at home with you until the end. I’m sure you will continue her legacy with pride, especially if you are wearing a beautiful dotty dress like hers. Thinking of you. x

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  7. Such a lovely description that I feel I almost knew her! To continue your mother’s legacy with charitable work and carrying on the crafting that she taught you is a wonderful thing. She was a lucky lady indeed to have stayed at home with you until the very last. Hugs. Xx

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  8. Beautiful elegant lady. And so heartening that you were with her to the very end. She lived a good life and did so much for others. You had a great relationship and parted with peace. You sewing and giving will sustain you during this desperately sad time. Sending you kisses and sympathy dear Jen.

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  9. This is a beautiful tribute to a lovely woman who has imprinted herself on you. Your desire to honor her legacy with your sewing is a gift that will expand and touch other lives as well. Losing one’s mom is heart wrenching, and as you said, the sadness never actually leaves, just moves over. Your words have touched my heart today, thank you.

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