Now it is the time of smiles through tears (yes, they flow now as I type this)...the funny things she always did (like dancing around the room like a ballerina putting up the shades and singing "good morning, good morning, time to get up now").
My greatest regret is not having spent time in the kitchen with her. Once I learned to love to cook, I was 1/2 a country away and not able to physically cook with her. When I was home to visit, I was always running to and fro to see everyone and didn't eat at home often. And then it was too late. I have no idea how to make her delicious chicken pot pie...looked EVERYwhere and called family members for the recipe to no avail. It's one of those 'in your head' one's I suppose that is lost to us now.
So, now I post these pix in tribute to this gift from God. I have my living room filled with her things that I took when she died. And this is now in my home what we grew up knowing as "the good room" - my brother and I would get in a water fight or something of that sort, and we'd run into the good room. It was a sanctuary, a haven - you didn't DARE bring food or drink or water pistols in there (altho' once I was in college she'd let me take a cup of coffee and homemade chocolate chip cookies to curl up on the couch in front of the tree reading all the Christmas stories and ideas in the December magazines she'd buy me every year)! Same goes now. My boys are not allowed to do ANYthing in there. They know and love and respect the treasures I have from their Grammy. They recognize the significance of those things in my life (and that I'm hoping they pick up on as something they will find of mine to treasure in their future).
Part of me wondered when I was putting all this stuff up in the house if it was some sick way of trying to hold on to the past. And then God's precious gentle whisper assured me, "What's wrong with that? It's part of what shaped you into the person you are. You're not dwelling in the past forlornly. You're not wallowing in your loss. You are enveloping yourself in the love you had -- a mother's undying, devoted love. So don't you worry about it at all. Treasure it!"
So, as I post this tribute, let me tell you ... if you have a loving, giving, caring mother (and, unmistakable, some are not I'm sorry to say), do NOT take it for granted. Stop to ponder exactly those things that you would love to do with your mom...AND DO THEM! Memories are precious things you take with you and that you leave behind for others. One of my favorite memories with Mom was when I visited the month before she died. She LOVED to do word search puzzles. I bought her a big book of them. We sent Dad on his way for awhile (needed some valuable girl time!), she had one page, I had the other, I laid my head on her shoulder and we did them together. Precious...precious gift from God. I thank you for the gift of life, and even her death...for I know we will be together again in our home you've prepared for us.
Cross stitch picture Mom made in 1984 that she gave me the month before she died. Pretty much says it all, doesn't it?!
Found this picture when we were going through pictures for the visitation. We all instantly viewed that as Mom's journey home to Jesus, through her beloved nature. A walk she had to make alone.
Mom loved collecting old keys. She made the above, and I took her keys I got and carried on her tradition (below)
This is a stitchery picture (set of two actually) that took her 3 years to make. (I can still smell her house in the fabric)
These are some decoupage pictures Mom made in 1975 that hang in my good room today
Mom LOVED this charcoal drawing (above), and I have the photograph of us giving it to her for Christmas 1974 (below). I remember the sheer joy I felt at that moment for the thrill it brought her. That embrace said it all! (Now that drawing hangs in my good room)