Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year

Although my computer has languished untouched for almost two weeks and for fairly long stretches even before that, I appreciate visitors who dropped by as well as comments of comfort and encouragement published on my blog, on Facebook, and offered in person, through email and traditional mail following my mother’s death.

I think it will definitely be a good sign for me when I finally get back to visiting other blogs and posting at least semi-regularly on Retirement Daze.

In the meantime, I appreciate daughter-in-law Katie’s post “Grandma Carpenter," about my mother” on The Daily Skup. I also appreciate that she and daughter-in-law Sarah made sure that the grands were secure physically and emotionally during my mother’s visitation and funeral.

Katie’s post included images that assured me that good memories from being with cousins were created for our grandchildren. Funerals and visitations (“Wake” wasn’t in my vocabulary until I was older.) were a regular feature on the terrain of my early years and the childhood memories are good ones with the sadness of the occasions seasoned with loving family and time with cousins. I know I will be returning to Katie’s post and those photos.

I will also return to the memory of arriving at our motel after the Friday night visitation. Sarah, and maybe our son Walt (I am sort of fuzzy on details), arrived at our door with pizza, ice, soft drinks and a salad assembled just for me sans any ingredients with high sodium content.

Sarah went to work and turned the room’s sturdy wooden bench for luggage into an inviting table for husband Walter and me. She arranged utensils and my salad conveniently for me to negotiate easily with one hand. She set out napkins, a plate for hubby’s pizza, loaded cups with ice, popped the top on soft drinks and filled our cups.

I was so tired and thirsty and hungry, and her care was extra special to me. During this experience I have seen the spirit of my mother in Sarah and Katie as they quietly and without being asked met physical and emotional needs of Walter, me, our children and our grandchildren. My mother is no longer physically with us, but the love in action that was part of her character lives on. Thank you Katie and Sarah.


  1. You are very fortunate to have such wonderful daughters-in-law and it is a fine tribute to the way you raised your sons. My thoughts are with you during these difficult times. Take care of yourself, too, because you have done wonderfully following your stroke.

  2. It is so good to have people who step up to the task, regardless of who they might be, then it is even better when they are people who will be around us to savor for a long time. You are blessed, for sure. :)

  3. Thank heaven for people who are able to step up and take charge during difficult times, I call them "angels among us".

    I visited your DIL's blog, and the family photographs I saw there are priceless, and sure to be family treasures for many years to come! I love photographs :)

  4. Julie said it all. How very thoughtful and caring was the treatment you were shown. It is one thing to want to help, another to know just what to do.

  5. When I went back to my family's birthplace for an aunt's funeral back in the 90's, I listened to my aunt's brother preach a beautiful sermon full of anecdotes about my aunt. Suddenly, I connected my extended family's love of storytelling with my own career as a writer, a connection I hadn't made previously. I learned that a cousin I hadn't seen since childhood had become a writer, too. Funerals are about more than grief, aren't they? They're bonding experiences, a time to reconnect with one's roots, as trite as that phrase may seem. It sounds as thought it was a time for you to see once again just how much others care about you.

  6. A really lovely and touching post Linda. I believe the spirit of the departed lives on in each of his or her children and grandchildren. Looking forward to hearing from you via your blog in the New Year. Dianne

  7. This is a lovely tribute to your mom and daughter's in law. I am sorry for your loss. My mom died last year a few months before I retired. It is a pain that can not be known until it is endured. God bless you and help you remember her with happiness once again.


  8. A wonderful tribute to the character of your family.
    What a lovely memory of the family rallying around each other to get everyone through the difficult times.
    I pray that as the days melt away that the Lord will hold all of you close to him and you will find strength and Hope together.

  9. And if you get over my way, please let me know..Dianne