Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tribute

Those of you who read my blog know how excited I was that my best friend was coming to town for a visit. Actually she was coming in to attend her husband's high school reunion this weekend, but whatever reason they come into town, they always reserve a few days to spend with my family. My friend arrived Tuesday night and on Thursday morning she received a phone call with the sad news of her mother's passing. It was not at all expected, however she was 94 years old. She died in her sleep during the night, which is the way that most of us hope to go when our time comes. Unfortunately my friend was not able to get a flight home until Saturday and I could sense her feeling of helplessness at being stranded here. (And did you know, airlines no longer offer bereavement rates due to people using them when they really didn't need to. As the saying goes, one bad apple spoils it for everyone) Of course the reunion plans were cancelled and we spent her remaining time here together reminiscing about the past and eating. . .I think we ate in 3 days what we normally eat in an entire week!

My birthday was last month and my friend's mother, Mildred sent me the card pictured above - the last one I will receive from her. It is one that she made herself out of violets carefully cut from fabric and glued meticulously in layers onto card stock. Mildred was in charge of sending birthday and get well cards (handmade of course) to the residents in her retirement home. Mildred and I shared a love of crafting and card making, something that my friend is not at all handy at. This evening I got a call my friend, who spent the day going through things at her mother's apartment. She told me she found a drawer of handmade cards I had sent her mother through the years for various occasions.She had saved them all. I was so touched to know that such a small and simple act meant so much to another person. I guess we just never know how much day to day kindness can mean to other people.

My friend will get through this loss, as I did when I lost my mother at an early age 31 years ago. We all get through painful times eventually. My aunt (Mom's sister) is still going strong today at 95 years old and she has been my surrogate mom for all these years. We are very close even though she lives 1000 miles away. Mildred's passing has made me all too aware of my aunt's mortality due to their similar ages. It's something I rather not think about, but it haunts me all the same.

I think the lessons to be learned from these past few days is first - appreciate the people around us everyday, all the time. And second - those random little acts of kindness are appreciated more than we can ever know. Both of these are things I have known all along, but sometimes we need a reality check to bring them to the forefront of our daily lives.

7 comments:

dede warren said...

Jeanne I am so sorry for the loss of your friends mother, as well as the loss of your own. Life is precious, all of it... the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's good you were there for your friend when she really needed you. Mothers are special and an especially great loss to thier children. You are in my thoughts, be well my friend!

jeanetta said...

you are very right. its funny how we dont realise things until a person is gone.

PJ said...

What a nice tribute to a very special lady! I clicked on the card to see the detail and take it all in. The love was so apparent....you say it so well. My best wishes to your friend and the whole family.what a special tribute you made!

Heartinmyhand said...

Jeanne, I'm so sorry for yours and your friends loss. I have to admit I sitting here crying. Guess I'm thinking of my own mom. I'm glad your friend had you to be there with her. It's always strange how things work out. Eating is always good therapy. Best Wishes to you and your friend

Alison Gibbs said...

Jeanne, What a sad loss for your friend. What a wonderful she got to be,
Alison

paige said...

thank you for sharing such a tender story.
sending you a hug

Casii said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend's mother which is a loss to you as well.
Lovely words; a reminder to live with appreciation and gratitude.

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