Friday, February 22, 2013

Legacy of Love



How do you sum up a lifetime of 92 years with a few words and do it justice?


My mother, Carrie Mae, was born a little before Christmas in 1920. She was named after her mother, who died within the next two weeks. Mostly reared by her grandmother and two aunts, she never lacked for love, even when her fatherly relationship was strained.





She played piano beautifully, although she always hated that she let it go, went to college at a time when most women didn't, worked shortly for the War Dept. in Brazil before WWII ended, took flying lessons, and came back home, still with that independent spirit.




After dating my father (16 1/2 yrs. older) for 3 years, they married and had four children in five years, of which I'm the baby.








We had an idyllic childhood out in the country running around at a time when that was the norm. Many stories later, some involving water rockets, bikes, homemade gunpowder (don't ask...), explorations, rope swings, etc., we moved to a nearby town. Can you tell I had three older brothers??  LOL

Mom bore the brunt of initially raising us when we were young, as jobs were scarce and Daddy had to travel for some years. And they both instilled in all of us the importance of honesty and integrity in this world.



She later went back to work as a fourth grade teacher for 20 years until she retired and then looked after my dad with his health issues.

After his death, she moved near us and started anew at the age of 69. Somewhat reserved and quiet around people, though delightfully funny, she was determined to forge ahead with this new life. And that she did! She traveled extensively for ten years, joined the local church group, volunteered, played a mean hand of bridge, read to her heart's content, and was a wonderful grandmother to my children and mother to me and my DH - and of course to the rest of the family, too.

It was our privilege to have her come live with us in April of 2011 when her health started failing. She went to be with the Lord before Christmas this year, exactly on her 92nd birthday. She waited for everyone to get here for our Christmas gathering. We were richly blessed to have had her for so many years, and I am eternally grateful for that.

We have so many cute, endearing memories of her - Lawrence Welk, Perry Mason, Liberace, duck feet, her horsey laugh as she called it, collecting recipes, always feeding someone, her love of grammar and reading, her curiosity, organizational skills, tree-climbing abilities, just to name a few; I could fill the pages. But through it all, she was always there for her family.

So how to convey a real picture of her lifetime? With love, pure and simple, just the way that she did.




I really miss you, Mom, but I'll see you by and by. With all my love forever.


Carolyn

16 comments:

Sharon said...

Carolyn, that was a beautiful tribute to your wonderful mom. She makes me feel utterly lazy as I was reading over her life's accomplishments. She sounds amazing and very loving-a true blessing to her family. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Karen said...

What a sweet post about your mom. I know how hard it is to lose a parent but you certainly have some wonderful memories. Sending positive thoughts to you....

CameoRoze said...

What a beautiful tribute, Carolyn! We really are never ready for them to enter the next life, are we? I can't help but believe that she is utterly proud of you. What a sweetheart you are.

Cindy's Stitching said...

Sorry to read about your mom, but a great story. She was beautiful. Sorry for your loss. She is with the lord.

Kathy A. said...

What a lovely tribute to a lovely lady. Heaven has a sweet new angel.

DJ said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Carolyn. What a lovely remembrance of your Mom. She sounds like a wonderful woman, and so adventurous. I'm so glad you have such wonderful memories of her. Praying for you and your family! *Hugs*

DUSTY said...

I am sorry for your loss Carolyn, I lost my mom almost 11 years ago and it still seems like yesterday. Our mothers leave a large hole in our lives when they move on. I hope all the memories will sustain you through the moments of sadness. God bless !!

Carol said...

I loved reading about your dear mother, Carolyn, and know you will feel her absence every day. She sounds like such a strong and amazing woman and I know you know how very lucky you were to have been blessed with her for so many years. Remember all the happy times for that is what she surely would have wanted...

Parsley said...

Wonderful tribute to your dear Mother. Sending you hugs.

Meari said...

What a touching recap of your Mom's life. It brought tears to my eyes.

So sorry for your loss.

Pam in IL said...

Sorry for your loss. What wonderful tribute to your mom!

Siobhán said...

Carolyn, I am so, so sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was an amazing woman who has left a wonderful legacy for you and your family. My thoughts & prayers are with you all.

silentsgirl said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I'm sorry for your loss, but thrilled that you have such marvelous memories of love.

Chris said...

How wonderful to have your mother for all those years. I felt very emotional reading all about her. My mother died when I was 2 and going home to Wales each year is to put flowers on her grave. I never knew her, just a very faint memory of someone in a bed..
So reading about your relationship with your mother was wonderful.
Chris x

*-* said...


What a beautiful tribute to your Mother, Carolyn. She was indeed an inspiration.

I understand how you must miss her & her rich qualities. It's hard when that enfolding Mother love has gone.
Kay.

David Wadsworth said...

Very interesting post!