Friday, October 2, 2009

Hard times

It's been a rough couple of days around here.

Anne's Mom passed away very suddenly yesterday afternoon. This photo was taken on her 85th birthday two years ago. Here she's enjoying the sun on the beach with all her family around to celebrate.

When your parent is elderly, you know that there is a limited amount of time left to share with them. But, somehow, when the end does come, it's such a shock.

I have never known such a generous woman. It's hard to explain as it never appeared that she was giving any more than others. But somehow... She remembered not only all her family's birthdays but she also marked those of her friends. I found that remarkable because I am so often sending belated greetings. She was curious about the world and always wanted to be part of any activity. She looked forward to family times - the more the merrier. She was an excellent knitter and had recently discovered that she could still knit as long as it was plain stuff. And she could paint...we have some lovely carved birds that she painted. Tole painting was a special skill. She was willing to help out with any crafts at all - large or small. And cooking for the crowd was never a chore.

She loved birds and always enjoyed the birds when they came to bathe in our treetop bird bath. I think her favorite bird was the cardinal but since we have none out here on the West Coast, she had to learn to love our cheeky Stellar jay. Music was not hugely important in her life but she did dearly love Andre Rieu and the Strauss waltzes. She loved to read and read and read. She loved word puzzles and Scrabble, playing cribbage - she would have preferred euchre but it's not well-known here. Marie was a very definite person in her tastes: jazz was a definite no go. And she swore that she would never learn to play bridge.

Wherever she lived, she made friends. No one was ever left out and she tried to make sure that, if she thought an activity was worthwhile, everyone should be invited to join in. Her passing has left a big gap in the residence where she lived for the past three years. She loved to chat and always had something new to talk about. It was one of our little projects. We'd try to include something of interest in her visits or drives out so that she'd have something to share with the ladies at her dinner table.

We'll miss her at ours.


Mimi said...

Stephanie, I'm very sorry to hear this news.
I feel for Anne's loss and yours- A mother is a mother, and the loss is huge no matter what age.
You've written a beautiful tribute to her.

Rudee said...

My condolences to you and Anne. From what you've written, she was an amazing woman and I'm sure she will be greatly missed.


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