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Friday, May 11, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

This Mother's Day almost snuck up on me in the midst of our grief combined with everything that goes along with saying goodbye to a loved one.

Carol's memorial service was yesterday afternoon. It was beautiful; a combination of tears and smiles as so many are.

Her church friends outdid themselves. Their Bishop and the home teachers led the service and kept it as upbeat and affirming as any memorial can be.

I'd asked for one song, probably the best known in the Latter Day Saints hymnal and one that gives me chills (the good kind) and sometimes tears whenever I hear it. My Mormon readers will know "Come, Come Ye Saints". It tells the story of their pilgrimage to Utah and speaks to the triumph of the spirit over what seems to be overwhelming adversity. Each of the four verses ends with "All Is Well, All Is Well". It's always spoken to me of hope and courage. I couldn't sing for my tears but listening was enough.

Tim (my youngest son), Tasha (girls' mom) and I represented three generations of the family and each managed to say a few words about Carol. My girls (fifth generation counting my adoptive mom still going strong at almost 95 back in Albany, NY) were all there, sitting with family and friends. It was their first experience with the death of someone very close. They did well although I know how hard it was for them.

I remembered much about Carol at her best. Happy and full of enthusiasm and energy. She did so much for the girls that I couldn't. She taught them how to ride bikes, roller skate, dance. She took them to the park and not only pushed the swings, she swang (swang?) right along with them and provided the counterbalance on the see-saw. She slid down the slides. She took them swimming and splashed alongside them in our little pool each summer. We had sing-a-longs around my old, battered, piano. She was much better at reading aloud than I (I kept dozing off) and read to them almost every night; even after she became ill and they were older. She always kept the wonder and imagination of a child. Her granddaughters will miss her more than they realize now.

Update: I'd forgotten until I was just now reading Mamaloo's post about the frustration of finding a good hair salon. Carol cut all of our hair until she wasn't well enough to continue. It's taken us 3 tries to find one that matches her talent.

Somehow I managed, I hope, to convey her spirit and delight in life.

The women of the Relief Society prepared a wonderful luncheon for us after the service. I took some pictures of all of us, even Ray. Maybe I'll post them later. Haven't decided yet.

The photo at the top is my Mother's Day tribute to my beloved daughter. Her two boys and my two youngest sons are very close to the same age. It isn't dated but 1982 or '83 sounds about right looking at their ages. We were all in San Francisco then, Jim must have been in about his first year of high school. I'd searched through my albums for it; Tim found it in his and held it in his hand all through the service.

From left to right,

first row:
Carol's youngest son Jackie, now 30

second row:

My Tim, now 34, and Carol's older son (girls' dad) Wesley, now 32

third row:

Jim's best friend Robbie who lived with us through most of the high school years (long story)
Carol in her mid twenties
My older son Jim, who will be 39 next month and is serving in the California Nat'l Guard on the Mexican border. He couldn't make it but will be home this weekend for his youngest son's first birthday and Mother's Day. His wife is expecting another child late this year which will bring them up to 8 kids and one grandchild between them.

For my tribute to my two mothers, see here
and here. I wrote them in May of last year so most of you may have already seen them.

Again, thanks to all of you who have commented, emailed, sent cards, flowers, etc., and done so much to make these last few weeks a little more bearable. If I missed replying to any of you, please include yourselves here.

Take care and have a good Mother's Day everyone.

Much love

Ann

P. S.

Congratulations to Diane, a first time Grandmother. Mom and little girl doing well after a precarious start. I know she and her family back in Arkansas would appreciate your good wishes.

Diane and I became acquainted when I saw one of her comments on another blog. I checked her out, saw Bay, AR, and left a comment of my own saying something like I bet I was her first visitor (other than people who know her in real life) who knew exactly where Bay, AR is. I lived five miles down the road for 8 years. Small word, the internet.

50 comments:

mamaloo said...

Oh, Ann, I'm so sorry to hear this news. We all knew it would come one day, but it doesn't make it any easier to hear.

I send you and the kids my love.

Nancy Toby said...

I'm so sorry, Ann. I've haven't been keeping up with your blog and just learned about your loss on ParentDish.

Thanks for sharing things. You're an amazing woman. Please be good to yourself and I hope you find comfort these days.

Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks for sharing and posting even at a difficult hurting time.

Michelle said...

Ann, I popped over from Parent Dish to let you know I am sending good thoughts, vibes and prayers your way. It's never easy losing a loved one and I'm glad you and the girls have each other to lean on and remember with.

Susie said...

Dear Ann,
It sounds like it was a lovely service filled with remembering good things.
May those memories sustain and comfort you in the days and weeks ahead..
((hugs))

Trisha said...

Ann- I just wanted to leave a little note too- you once commented on my blog, it was so kind of you.
I'm sending you hugs. And I love your choice of the song; "Come, come ye Saints," It's beautiful.
Thanks for sharing your insight with the rest of us!

meredith said...

You are truly an inspiration for mothers everywhere. I know you are to me.
Thank you for all that you do.
Meredith

Anvilcloud said...

It sounds like a special and appropriate goodbye to a dear one. Keep on keeping on, Granny.

Kendra Lynn said...

I'm glad the service went well.
You are still in my prayers.

Much love,
Kendra

sweetsalty kate said...

From one mama to another, my heart goes out to you Ann. Here's to the light your daughter brought into the world.. it will stay with you forever.

Adrienne said...

My deepest condolences, Ann. Wishing you and your family peace during this hard, hard time.

Mamacita said...

I am so sorry.

Merle said...

Dear Ann ~~ Thank you so much for sharing these photos and the lovely service for Carol. She looks so much like you and so happy in the photos. Lots of good memories and you were so brave to speak at the service, as were Tasha and Tim.
I hope the girls are coping OK and concentrating on all the good things
they remember about their Grandma.
Well done, as usual my dear friend.
Look after yourself, Love, Merle.

Beebee Mod™ said...

Ann- I found your blog through OAM's and I want to convey how sorry I am for your loss. The girls are beautiful and we'll keep you and your family in our prayers.
-Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Love and peace to Carol

Love and light to you

Sharon

lushgurl said...

Saying goodbye to a loved one is always tough. I am glad that you are able to cherish Carol with loving memories. All the best to you and your family today, and MUCH love for you on Mother's Day...
Love you Ann XOX

Ingrid said...

HUGS!
Ingrid

Damsel said...

Ann, I'm so sorry. You and your family are in my prayers.

Gwen said...

Hi Ann.
What wonderful memories of Carol you have to hold,as time passes the ache will ease but the memories
stay strong as you must.
God Bless Ann

Peter said...

Hi Ann, hope you have a great Mothers day, after all the sadness you have had recently you deserve a good day.

Gina said...

I am glad to hear that the service celebrated the life of such a beautiful woman.

My thoughts are with you, Ann.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Ann, you have been experiencing pain and grief since my enforced absence from blogging. You and all have my condolences and prayers.

Janice said...

Hi Ann,

It sounds like Carol had a very nice memorial, and you have remembered her well.

Thank you for sharing this during this difficult time.

You have my deepest condulances.

Janice~

Puss-in-Boots said...

It's been a tough time for you and your family, Ann, right from when Carol first became ill.

However, you are strong and you have your faith, your girls and your shared memories.

RIP Carol.

Love and hugs to you all.xoxo

lindsaylobe said...

Hi Ann ~~ The Service sounded very nice and at such times it gives one some comfort, so I am pleased you found it to be that way and could listen to your favourite hymn to encompass that message of hope. I think hymns are so up lifting; when sung I think one pray’s twice, once in the spoken voce and another guided in the spirit of that great uplifting music. If we are remembered for anything as human beings, surely it must be firstly for such music. I also find it mazing you have already 5 generations within your extended family.

I re-read the story of your mothers as it’ s so interesting to understand how it helped shaped your liberal thinking and gave you the appreciation for music and literature to day. To day down under we also celebrated mother’s day, with a house full of children and grandchildren.

Best wishes

Margaret said...

Hi Ann, Just wanted to say I am thinking of you and your family wishing you all many blessings. Love and Hugs Margaret

Josie said...

Ann, I don't know how you do it. You have the strength of an army. All the best to you, and Happy Mother's Day. You certainly deserve it....!

Cheers,
Josie

Dapoppins said...

Thank you for visiting my little corner of blogdom while your going though all of this. I never understood how much loosing a loved one hurt until I lost someone close to me. I am so sorry you have to go though this. Hug your children and grand children close...this always helped me. God Bless and Happy Mother's day.

Her Bad Mother said...

Big hugs to you in this challenging time, and happy mother's day. Hope it's a sunny one.

Jo said...

Happy Mothers Day to you Ann dear. I am glad the memorial went well. I really do love LDS funerals, I had no idea funerals could be happy and filled with hope until I went to my first, and they never forget the food. Betcha ya had funeral potatoes and ham and probably rolls and salad. My love and thoughts are with you as you rejoice and mourn. Thanks for all the mothering you, all over the internet.

Mommy off the Record said...

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.

Jenny said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry. Losing someone that special is so devastating.

I'm sending thoughts and prayers.

naginata said...

Ann your comments on the blogs I read are always so supportive and wise. I hope you can take solace in the love of so many people who are keeping you in their thoughts today and every day. God bless and we'll be thinking of you.

Jobthingy said...

i know i am a day late but i was so busy yesterday. i wanted to wish you a happy mothers day :)

dongurigal said...

Ann

I'm really sorry to hear about Carol. I hope that you are doing ok.

Shrink wrapped scream said...

If ever I want to feel sorry for myself, precious lady, I will come and visit you. What an inspiration you are. God bless you, for being you.

Know my thoughts, and prayers are with you and yours, now, and always. I have never known such a couragous or gentle soul. xx

"Early Bird" said...

Glad to see you still posting...I hope time eases your grief!
Love & Hugs to you and yours!

Emily said...

Ann, I'm sending you all the best, and am so very sorry for your and your family's loss. You're an amazing woman, and you have lots of love and support here in cyberspace.

tAnYeTTa said...

Granny!

I'm sending you hugs!

Meow said...

Hey, Ann, just dropping by to say hi, and to let you know that I am thinking of you all. Hope things are going OK.
Take care, hugs, Meow

Ava said...

So sorry about your loss. I'm thinking of all of you.

Lots of love.

cdollar said...

Ann -
I haven't been by in a while.....so sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like the service was very well done. Big hugs to you and the family.....you'll be in our thoughts and prayers.

Gwen said...

Ann, I am very sorry to read about your current grief. I can imagine it has been so difficult.

Thanks for your kind words to me recently and for your birthday wishes. I'm truly impressed with your generosity!

Lionmom said...

Hey, Ann!

Still thinking about you and I hope you are getting by.

Holly

grannyfiddler said...

reading your post reminds me of my own beloved daughter, and i ache to think what it would be like to lose her. i see by the above posts that your kindness and generosity are coming back to you in this heartbreaking time, no less than is deserved. a quote comes to mind... not sure of the author... goes something like this:

"another layer was pulled from my eye, and another truth was shown

another feeling i'd never felt; another reason to go on."

blessing upon blessing to you, dear lady.

Diane J. said...

Ann, I know I left a comment here the other night, thanking you for the mention and well wishes for Jessica and Emmy. I guess Demon Blogger spontaneously ingested it, dang it!

I hope you're doing well, my friend.

Love and hugs,

Diane

Heidi said...

This was a very sweet but very sad post. Ann - thank you for sharing this whole set of experiences.

Just a small side comment - Isn't it funny sometimes how a song can really hit home?

Thinking of you all and sending waves of healing and peace and love. You have each other to help navigate through this rocky time - and know that you have lots of positive thoughts headed in your direction, too.

Dem Soldier said...

Ann...I'm so sorry

JunieRose2005 said...

Dear Ann,

Thanks for sharing the photos of your daughter and the family.

I hope you are having some good days.

Thinking of you!


Junie

karrie said...

Such beautiful pictures, Ann.