Friday, April 18, 2008

In Loving Memory


RICHER THAN GOLD

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a mother who read to me.
-- Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954)

My mother, Edy: June 22, 1933 - April 9, 2008

58 comments:

  1. Oh, Bookfool. May those loving memories stay fresh in your heart and mind. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  2. Oh Nancy, I'm so sorry to hear about this. I know how hard this whole journey has been for you and I offer you my deepest consolations. I'm glad that you got to spend the time with her that you did in these last few months. Big hugs...I wish I could offer more. She sounded like such a wonderful woman.

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  3. What a gorgeous picture of both your parents, Nancy. Doesn't it make you feel good to think that they are together again?

    Tammy

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  4. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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  5. Sorry to hear of your loss Bookfool.

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  6. Joy,

    Thank you so much. We're doing okay. My worst moments are when I look at photos -- that photo and poem, together, make me melt. She's with my father, now, and that's my greatest comfort.

    Chris,

    Thank you, babe. It's so good to see your little image. I've missed your posts and chatting with you. You're so right -- I wouldn't give up these last few months for anything, rough as it was. I had some wonderful conversations with my mother. We laughed together and I got to know her better than I knew possible. She was truly a great woman. Thanks for the hugs and thoughts. That's more than enough!! :)

    Tammy,

    Thank you! I took the photo of that photo, a couple of months ago. There are some better ones of my father but I just didn't get around to taking any more pictures. As to that last question . . . oh, yes. Definitely. It's a huge comfort knowing my parents are together, again. :)

    Trish and Marg,

    Thank you so much. :)

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  7. Oh Nancy...I'm am so, so sorry to hear this. I know how tough the last few months have been. Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and in my prayers.

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  8. Dear, dear Bookfool. My heart just cries with you. I'm so sorry to hear of this loss. Your mom looks so beautiful in that picture, and I'm sure that her beauty went far beyond appearances. How lucky we are to have mothers who read to us, and make us who we are today. You are a shining tribute to what she taught. Love, Bellezza

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss, Nancy.

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  10. Nancy, I'm sorry about your mother. That's a beautiful picture of your parents. Thanks for putting it up on your blog.

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  11. Nancy, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope that you and your family will take this time to celebrate her life. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  12. What a wonderful picture, your Mom was a beautiful lady.

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  13. God bless all of you.

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  14. my thoughts are with you and your family. So sorry, bookfool.

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  15. What a fabulous picture! I love that style of printing, even though technology has made the images so much clearer, there is something very enjoyable about that colour scheme and black and white. Sometimes I turn my camera on those two settings for fun.

    Anyways, I am very sorry to hear of your loss! It is never easy to lose someone you love.

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  16. Stephanie,

    Thank you. We're just praying that this is the end of our loss streak, now. First the cat, then David's grandmother and now my mom. I'm ready for a cosmic break, if you know what I mean. :)

    Bellezza,

    Thank you. Yes, my mother was definitely beautiful in many ways. I did find it fascinating that she was still pretty when she was bald and had a patch over one eye (because her eye drooped, those last couple of months). Too bad I look like my dad. We're hanging in there. That poem makes me sob, though, so I'm trying not to read my own tribute. Of all the things I love about my mother, the fact that she read to me every night stirs my heart the most. :)

    Wendy, Bybee, Nikki, Kris, Bridget, and Raidergirl:

    Thank you all. :)

    Kailana,

    Me, too. I love older photos, regardless of the way they're colored, but I play with sepia and b&w because sometimes things just look better with a different type of tint.

    Thank you. :)

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  17. I am so sorry for your loss. I love the picture.

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  18. Thank you, Kristy. :)

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  19. I am so sorry for your loss. My own Mother is currently battling a serious illness and so I understand how hard this can be on a family. Hope you find peace soon.

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  20. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Bookfool. I know this is a difficult time. So glad you were able to spend so much time with her in the last few months.

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  21. Sorry this is such a bad time for you Nancy. My thoughts have been with you and your family. Your parents looked great together. :)

    Are you home now? Did you get my e-mail? I am going to Charlotte, NC instead. They have accepted me (before they didn't lol) into their REU program.

    I think it's great you look like your dad. I look like mine more than I do my mom but I have more of her personality qualities...maybe the same for you??

    Do you like postcards from other countries?

    Thinking of you.

    Hugs,
    Andrea

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  22. I'm so sorry for your loss, Nancy. The photo is beautiful.

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  23. Oh, Nancy. I'm so very sorry to hear this. Just know that we're all thinking of you and sending lots of prayers and hugs your way. If you need to vent, my ear is always available.

    Love ya.

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  24. Dear Nancy,
    I'm so sorry for your loss. All my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. The photo is lovely, and the poem is precious.
    Robin

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  25. Stephanie,

    Thank you. Just being home helps a lot. It's nice to immerse myself in the typical insanity. I hope your mother successfully fights her own health battle. Hugs to both of you.

    Booklogged,

    Thank you. I think my lack of employment finally paid off. I wouldn't give up these last few months for anything. I was very fortunate to have the freedom to go home several times to help her out.

    Andrea,

    Thanks. I thought my parents were a terrific match, myself. I'd forgotten they were both such snazzy dressers until I was standing in my mother's closet, last week.

    I'm home now, yes. I didn't see an email from you. You're not going to Maine? Darn! But, you wanted to be closer to home, so that's good for you, right?

    Well, I'm more like my dad in just about every way -- not quite as outgoing as he was, but I look and act more like him than my mom. My sister and mother were a lot alike.

    Of course I like postcards from other countries! I like *going* to other countries to fetch them, but I don't get to do that often. David's going to Norway without me in about two weeks. Grrr. I got you a couple more postcards while in OK. I'll send them when I've regrouped a bit. :)

    Hugs back at ya!

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  26. What a beautiful picture. And such a lovely poem. I know how photographs, poems, songs, and even something written in her own handwriting will bring you to tears. I know. And my heart breaks for you. It's been a long year for you and I wish there were something I could say or do to ease your pain. There isn't, of course. But know that I care and that I am so sorry. I'll be thinking of you in the coming days, weeks and months. Be well, my friend.

    Love, Les

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  27. Chris,

    Thank you. The more I look at that photo, the more I love it. I'm going to have to get some of the old photos copied and put in a book that will last. Things kept falling out of the old photo albums when I flipped through them.

    Andi,

    Thanks, babe. I appreciate it. I'm really doing okay. I have my moments, but being home and back to normality really helps. I'm not particularly thrilled about the idea of returning to clean out my mother's house, but I'm just going to try to forget that for a month and catch up with myself.

    Love ya right back. :)

    Robin,

    Thanks so much. I found that poem in a book that I sent to my mom in 1997. I wrote her a note and put a bookmark in it to let her know how grateful I was that she read to me regularly as a child. The bookmark was still in place. I don't even remember sending it, but it was so nice to be reminded that I did, in fact, tell my mother how much I appreciated being read to as a child.

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  28. Hey doll -

    It's good to have you back 'round these parts. Take care of yourself and take your time working back into a routine... whatever that is going to be from now on. Give your hubby a hug and the kiddo a kiss just because...

    My mom loved the idea of this poem so much that she asked me to have it read at her funeral. It's a wonderful thought:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep;
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning's hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there. I did not die.

    They're with us, always.

    cjh

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  29. I'm so sorry, Nancy. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time in your life. Here's a big hug from me:

    {{{{{{ Nancy }}}}}}

    The fact that the bookmark was still in place tells you how much your thoughtfulness meant to your mother:

    "I found that poem in a book that I sent to my mom in 1997. I wrote her a note and put a bookmark in it to let her know how grateful I was that she read to me regularly as a child. The bookmark was still in place. I don't even remember sending it, but it was so nice to be reminded that I did, in fact, tell my mother how much I appreciated being read to as a child."

    She loved you, dear heart, and so do I ... even though I've only known you online through your writing and, especially, your photography.

    Love,
    ~~~ Bonnie

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  30. Les,

    Thank you. I know you can empathize. You mentioned handwriting and that brings to mind a note I found from my mother, after the funeral. I assume she meant to enclose the note with the check she wrote us for Christmas (she didn't have the strength to shop), but didn't manage to insert it into the card because she ended up in the hospital with no white cells and pneumonia. It was actually funny, but it did bring tears to my eyes (even though I had to chuckle at what she said).

    It has been a terrible year. You've been there for me; that's what counts. Thanks, Les. :)

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  31. Hi CJ,

    And, boy, am I glad to be back, thanks! I will do exactly as you said. Good idea. :)

    I love, love, love that poem! It's absolutely perfect. Thank you for sharing!!!!

    Bonnie,

    Thank you for the hug and the kind remarks. You're too sweet. :)

    I guess the good thing about this past year of anguish is that we had time to tell each other "I love you," (many times) chat and laugh and get to know each other better. I really wouldn't give up the time I spent with my mother for anything, although watching her decline was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

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  32. Nancy,

    "I had a mother who read to me."

    And look at the legacy you continue.

    May you find comfort in the whisper of the wind and in the early morning when the dew is still on the rose. For it's in those moments your Mom is closest in your heart.

    I'm but a phone call away...

    Cynthia

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  33. Cindi!!!

    I'm so glad to "see" you here!

    Thank you. What a lovely sentiment and so true. I know she's still with me. I'm looking forward to doing some spring planting, today. My mother was an avid gardener and it excited her to find that I finally learned the joy of gardening, myself, during the past decade. You probably knew that. :)

    Hugs!! I'll write you soon!

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  34. CdnReader2:01 PM

    Hugs. Nothing else. Just big hugs. And some shared tears.

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  35. You're welcome for the poem.

    I think you and I are kindred spirits in many ways... and I think our mothers were the same - strong, loving, wonderful women that did an amazing job with life.

    My hope is that I can do half as well.

    Here's your cheerful thought for the day - It is finally spring in my part of the world! High 60's today!!!!

    cjh

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  36. Donna,

    Thank you. I'm particularly fond of those big hugs. :)

    CJ,

    It's such a great poem that I've been thinking, "Okay, I need to start a file of poetry I love." That's something I've never gotten around to. If you have time, jog over to Donna's blog, The Between Place (I have a link in my sidebar). She recently posted a wonderful Auden poem that I think you'll like.

    Oh, yes, definitely to both comments -- we're kindred spirits in many ways and that is certainly an excellent description of my mother. You have to admire a woman who doesn't let the loss of her husband stop her love of life, don't you?

    Same here. One thing I've gotten out of this experience: I realize I don't have time to mope. There's too much living to do.

    Spring! Yay! We're in full green, down here. It was really fascinating to drive down the main road to our house. Vicksburg is subtropical and, honestly, it's already so overgrown that we've got that jungle look. I've never appreciated it more. I missed the curtains and carpet of green, green, green. April is one of the most colorful months in Mississippi and I'm glad I didn't miss it completely.

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  37. (((((Bookfool))))

    What a handsome couple

    You and your family are in my thoughts.

    (I thought I'd posted something the other day, but now I realize that it didn't go through - so apologies for the belated comment.)

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  38. Suzi,

    Not belated, darlin'. I'm still catching up with myself, just starting to blog-hop a little and read a little and, I hope, maybe I'll post tomorrow. Thanks for the hugs. I'm always up for hugs. :)

    And, thank you; my parents were beautiful people inside and out. I will always miss them. The thoughts are much appreciated.

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  39. I am so sorry for your loss.

    What great comfort you brought to your mom. We should all be so lucky to be surrounded by such love.

    I hope she went with peace.

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  40. Cupcake,

    Thank you muchly. She did indeed go in peace and it was a bit of a learning experience. I had no idea that there was a loss of awareness during the last days of terminal illness. Since my mother was not aware during that time, she really wasn't in any pain or discomfort when she went. It was not only a blessing for her, but also reassuring for the rest of us.

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  41. Bless you and your family. What a beautiful woman and what a wonderful daughter. You are in my prayers!

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  42. Joemmama,

    Thank you. We appreciate prayers. I'm doing a lot of therapeutic housework and hoping to get to some planting, today. My mother was an avid gardener, so I feel like it's important to encourage some beautiful flowers to grow in her honor. She was thrilled when I finally discovered gardening. :)

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  43. What a wonderful photograph and a loving tribute.

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  44. Oh honey. I am so, so sorry. Many hugs and prayers for you. Shoulder is here if you need it.

    Love ya.

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  45. Oh I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad though that you got to spend these last few months with her, tough as they were. And it's a beautiful photo. I think I need to go look through some of the old photos of my parents. Even though my mom passed away 9 years ago, there are still moments when the loss hits me.
    I'll be thinking of you and your family and am sending you a big virtual hug!

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  46. Deepest sympathies. I adore the quote you chose to remember them with.

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  47. Tara,

    Thank you very much. :)

    Heather,

    Thanks, babe. I'm always up for hugs and prayers. I missed you and those lovely kiddo pics.

    Love ya right back. :)

    Nat,

    As hard as it's been, I would never undo the last six months of my life; I really got to know my mother better than ever and we had plenty of time to laugh and just enjoy each other's company.

    I'm looking forward to going through photos, next time I'm home, although they're hard to look at. I know what you mean about the loss sticking with you. It's been nearly 18 years since my father passed away and I still miss him. There are certain moments that I think, "Oh, Dad would have loved that!" or just wish I had the ability to pick up the phone and chat. I'll always miss them both.

    Thanks for the hug. I love all those hugs. :)

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  48. Errant-dreaming Heather,

    Thank you. That little poem has long been a favorite of mine. It rings true. :)

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  49. Oh, Nancy. Please accept my deepest condolences. May you find strength and comfort in the Lord, during this time.
    The last few months must have been so precious to you.Take Care.

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  50. Gavin,

    Thank you. And, as to finding strength in the Lord . . . I did, I do, and I know I will. The last few months were precious, indeed -- among the most difficult and yet the most meaningful months of my life. :)

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  51. Dear Nancy - I'm so sorry. Sending you many hugs and prayers.
    And, that photo of your parents is just beautiful.

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  52. Iliana,

    Thank you muchly. I appreciate the hugs and prayers. :)

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  53. I'm sorry to hear this, Bookfool. My sympathies are with you and your family.
    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful picture with us.

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  54. Thank you, Melanie. :)

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  55. I'm so sorry...my heart goes out to you.

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  56. Thank you, Gentle Reader. :)

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  57. I have been away from the computer for the majority of this month and missed this post. I am so sorry. My mother died in 2005, and the poem you used touched me deeply. The gift of reading is life long and truly a treasure. What a lovely tribute.

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  58. Jenclair,

    Thank you. I knew you've been away, since I've buzzed by your blog a couple of times. I actually try not to read that poem very often because it makes me teary. You're so right; the love of reading is a treasure for life.

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