Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Good Night, Irene



Good Night, Irene

I’ve been gone for a bit.  Thanks to all my blog peeps who checked in on me.  My mom died last week so I have been in Kansas laying her to rest and celebrating her life. 

She was 92 and I know she was ready to go, but it doesn’t really make it any easier.  She was my mom and had always been there in my life and now she is gone.  I say this more with amazement than anything else. 

Perhaps it really hasn’t hit me yet.

We had the visitation and the funeral in the small town in which she had grown up and had always lived near.  Most of our family was able to come back.  She had five daughters, eleven grandchildren, and sixteen grandchildren.  On her casket there were flowers representing each of us.  When we weren’t crying, we were laughing,    These events are such emotional roller coasters, aren’t they?

Her obituary listed all the ways in which she was involved and busy with her community.  People from the town came to hear my niece give a beautiful eulogy about her grandmother’s life and legacy.  After the funeral, we traveled from the church to the cemetery over about seven miles of rural highway, the gentle hills rolling as far as the eye could see.  A police car, its lights flashing led the way,  the hearse carrying my mom was right behind. I was in one of the first cars following.  About halfway to the cemetery, I looked back and saw the line of cars, their headlights on, rolling slowly up and down those hills.   It was a beautiful sight.  Opposing traffic pulled over out of respect as we passed by.

After the funeral dinner, we said goodbye to our cousins and the rest of us gathered at the hotel for more visiting, more crying, more laughing before we headed to our homes in Colorado, Oklahoma and California. 

I am sure I will write more about this once I process it all, or I may process it all by writing about it.  My long-time Betty readers know that’s usually how I do it.

One resolution comes to me now:  I want to broaden my life.  I want to live a full, deep, wide life.  This means going outside my comfort zone, saying yes to opportunities when they present themselves,  making time to do what is important.  I don’t want to be fearful about stretching, about doing new things.   I don’t want to hold back and play it safe.  I want be sure that I help others in whatever way they need to be helped.  

Death reminds us that this life is finite.  This time is precious.  This world needs hope and optimism, not more darkness. 

At the end of my life, I hope to look back over all the miles I’ve traveled and see that I have left a long, long line of light.

Good night, Mom.  Thanks for everything.  I love you.

32 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm so sorry! Prayers for you and your family. It doesn't matter when it happens, it's never easy.

Shelly said...

I am so very sorry to hear this. My prayers and sincere condolences to you all. Hers was a life well lived, that is clearly evident.

Olga Hebert said...

So sorry for your loss. It does sound like a life well lived.

Out on the prairie said...

Sorry to hear f your lose. I still recall moments with my parents and savor the thought of how close we all acted alike. Life can be too short, which is why I live it to the fullest.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Betty,

How wonderful that your mother lived such a fruitful life. That is surely what we would all wish for. But, her death will inevitably leave a large hole in your life, it is as if one is orphaned and, suddenly, that support us missing. You now will become someone that the family will turn to for wise advice and it is all such a responsibility.

And, life is indeed short. The death of your mother will inevitably bring time for reflection and reappraisal. So, do step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges and adventures. We are all far more capable and resourceful that sometimes we give ourselves credit for.

Daisy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family during this difficult time.

Hilary said...

So sorry for your loss, BB. But happy that your mother had a good, long, loved and loving life. Wishing you and your family strength.

Alison said...

Sorry to hear you've lost an anchor in life. No matter what age or degree of closeness, I don't think anything could possibly prepare you to lose a parent (I say having both mine still here, bless 'em). I think you already live a wide-open life, but if you want to open it a little wider, you just go for it.

Ms. A said...

Deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers.

Brian said...

We are so very sorry Betty. Love and hugs from all of us.

Nat said...

So very sorry for your loss, Betty. As you look back and celebrate her life, may it bring you some comfort that she lived it to the full
xx

Gigi said...

Oh Betty! I'm so sorry for your loss. Despite knowing that she was ready it doesn't make you ready for it.

Ann Thompson said...

So very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you

Leah J. Utas said...

So very sorry for your loss.

Lin said...

Oh, Betty, I am so sorry! That is a great loss. May you find comfort in your memories and your love for her and from her.

I'm glad you are back, but I'm sad to see this news. :(

Ami said...

I'm so happy you had your mom for so many years. That's a gift.
I'm very sorry she has passed on.
(((hugs)))

Pat Tillett said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Betty. Your mom sounds wonderful and it seems like she led a busy and fruitful life. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Madi and Mom said...

Dear BB
I am so very sorry to read about your precious Mom's passing. Knowing you tells me what a wonderful and loving person she was. Take care of yourself. We surely missed you and do so look forward to visiting you.
Lots of love and hugs
Cecilia and Madi

Mary said...



Hi BB - Sorry to hear about your lovely Mum. Thoughts and blessings from here.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

So sorry, Betty. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person. Sounds like her hometown appreciated her.

Baby Sister said...

Oh Betty, I am so sorry for your loss. I can only hope to leave behind such a legacy as it sounds like your mom did. I kept thinking I should email you, but I never took the time to do it and now I wish I had. I hope you can find comfort and peace in this hard time. You will all be in my prayers.

marlu said...

You have a wonderful mother to remember. My mom has been gone for fifty years and I still have wonderful memories of her and her life and what it meant and means to me. Find peace and hope in your memories.

jenny_o said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear mother, BB. It is hard no matter how or when it happens or how much we think we are prepared. Please know that others are thinking of you.

Green Monkey said...

Always enjoy reading your processing. :)

Your Mom will always be at your side. I know you know this.

Sending love and comfort your way.

MonkeyMe

Leanne said...

Thinking of you, my dear friend Betty - and sending you hugs of strength and love this very minute. Some of your most memorable posts (for me) have been those moments when you shared stories of your parents. No matter how long she was with us, her parting is one that will leave a hole inside. May you fill it with those sweet memories of good times. And love, my friend. My condolences. xo

Retired English Teacher said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflective piece about your mom. I am sorry to hear of her passing. She lived her life well.

The death of someone close to us does cause us to look forward as much as it causes us to look backward. What do we want to do with the days we have left? "Teach us to number our days,,," I am sure you will have a great deal more to process. God bless, Betty.

Unknown said...

BB I am sorry to hear about your Mom's death. As you said, she was ready. She sounds like my Mom and she passed away at 91. Long, good lives. Of course you will miss her. I hope all the good memories carry you through your sad days.

She would be proud of your resolution. Hugs, Mardy

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I'm thinking there is gonna be a string of lights, Betty.

So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. Tough, I know. Yes, she was old as people remind you, but she was your mom. And you don't get too many of those. Peace to you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Dear Betty - I'm so glad she was with you all for so long - and then you were able to share a memorable farewell - it does sound a thoroughly good day - and one you'll be pleased you had.

Take care and with thoughts: my Ma went 2.5 years ago now ... it's such a difficult time ... so with plenty of hugs - Hilary

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I'm so sorry, Betty. Our moms are like the air we breathe and ground we stand on. It's earth shattering when they die, at whatever point in life and our relationships with them.

Love and warm memories to see you through.

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Joyful said...

I haven't been here for a visit for some time. I'm so sorry you lost your mom this year. But I am glad you had a lot of good years with her and that you learned from her example to get beyond your fears. Hugs and may you have a wonderful 2016.