Better Than Friends
A Beautiful Relationship
I lost a dear friend this week. Our relationship spans forty years of memories. The stresses and strains of life have made us closer as the years have passed. My grief feels close as the remembrances of times past emerge from my mind or I see something she treasured.
The Fall season was her favorite. A log cabin in the woods, birds chirping in the morning or drives in the country reflected her love of nature and life outdoors. An avid bird watcher, she went on several bird expeditions to spot a unique bird, found only in her many birding books. Though she walked with a limp, her enthusiasm in the bird search was catching as she scanned the skies and listened for a special chirp.
Creative in her younger days, she often made special gifts. I treasure a detailed needlepoint with the tamily name and its complimentary decorations hanging over my piano. Her gifts for Christmas and birthdays were generous and very thoughtful.
I remember many evenings spent around the dining room table playing a competitive game of cards. She won her share of those games and then some. The laughter was frequent and we discussed many life concerns during those times.
As a registered nurse, compassion was evident in her words and actions. Concern for others was easy for her. After retiring, she still related as a caregiver with medical experience. Listening to the doctors discuss her own health issues, she often probed and questioned their decisions, holding her own opinions up to them. In return, she received respect from them.
Full of love, enjoying each day and all it held, was the theme of her life. She loved her family and friends deeply. We felt that love as she encouraged us all to excel and succeed at whatever we faced.
As she awaited her final breath, there were moments of clarity and heartfelt goodbyes. She encouraged the younger generation to carry the torch and reach the goal. She generously thanked her family and friends for their support and encouragement when she was encouraging us.
Standing around her bed those final days and hours, we sang hymns, remembered events of the past and listened for responses or reactions. The biggest response of surprise came as we whistled "Yankee Doodle Dandy", her father's favorite song. Her eyes opened wide in surprise and she grinned with amusement at our attempt to replay the melody.
As those last few breaths came, the tears fell freely. She will leave a big void in our lives. Grateful for all poured into my life, I bid you good-bye Marie, my Mother-In-Love! We won't forget you!
Rest in Peace
Today is the day Mom, Momma K, or Grandma will be laid to rest. It is a beautiful sunny day in Missouri. The cemetary is peaceful and green. Other family members lie close by under a large oak tree. The headstone has been cleaned and the grave prepared. Family and friends have begun to gather. Meals and memories have been shared as we wait for the final ceremony to begin. Today will be a day to rejoice that pain is no more. She is in a far better place where we will once meet again and dance on streets of gold. Her long ago departed husband has already welcomed her to her new home and many reunions have taken place on the other side.
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