It finally happened. My gorgeous, vibrant, hilarious, dear mother died. She was miserable in her final years and had become confined to her bed and wheelchair in the last months of her life. Her death: a blessing…and an unfillable void.
She lived a beautiful life. She had beautiful children. Her children had beautiful children. And life goes on. We love her and we miss her terribly. Such a beautiful sadness I have in my heart.
I wrote her obituary and a poem, both of which my dear friend of many years read at my mother’s funeral service. I wanted her to have a special send off–one befitting such a lovely woman. (Some information has been left out/changed for privacy purposes).
My mother passed away peacefully on the afternoon of February 25, 2015 at the age of 66.
A loving mother and grandmother, Carole was born in St. Louis on November 29, 1948. In 1967 she married Tommy and made her home in Southeast Missouri.
She worked very hard to provide for her family, enjoying the years she spent as a secretary most.
Each spring, Carole took great pride in planning and planting her many flower beds and large vegetable garden from which she would spend her summer canning fresh green beans, tomatoes, and pickles.
In winter months, Carole decorated every square inch of her home for the holidays. She bought an obscene amount of gifts for her children — and later in life, her grandchildren. She cooked and baked for days in preparation to host extended family on her favorite holiday, Christmas. She also enjoyed reading and shopping; she simply could not pass up a good sale.
Carole once said her greatest accomplishment in life was her beautiful family that includes her children whom she loved beyond measure, and her grandbabies who were her greatest joy in life.
Carole is survived by two sons — Eric (Amy) and their three children, Michaela, Hadley, and Haydon; Matt and his two girls, Molly and Autumn; two daughters — Tammy and her two daughters, Jade and Lily, of New York; and Becky (Dave) and their two children, Layni and Lucas, all of whom treasured her beyond words and will dearly miss their sweet mother and grandmother. She is also survived by her husband Tommy, two sisters, Mary Ellen and Linda, one brother, Michael, numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of wonderful friends who will remember her for her kind and compassionate nature in troubled times and for her one of a kind sense of humor and witty comebacks.
Carole was welcomed home by her parents, Anna Marie and Homer, and firstborn son, Wayne Thomas, Jr.
In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the American Diabetes Association in Carole’s honor via mail or phone.
For a time, we held her hand with our tiny hands,
While she held our whole world in the beating of her heart.
We grew and changed and gave her new hands to hold;
New babies full of sticky kisses and eyelash wishes.
She watched them grow as she grew old,
Treasuring every moment spent, every memory made,
Reveling in the love and the legacy unfolding before her watchful eye.
And though she is gone from this world,
We can never be apart
Because her heart beats in our hearts:
Every thump, every beat, a reminder
Of the rhythm of her love passing through the ages.
Toward the close of the service, my sweet husband, who loved my mother very much, sang In the Garden while my cousin played the piano. It was beautiful. They had a special relationship, my husband and mother…
After the service as we lined up in the procession that would take my mother to her final resting place, several people saw a bald eagle swooping low and circling over us while we waited. I can’t help but think this universal symbol of freedom was more than a mere coincidence.
If I am being honest with myself, I have been stress eating since she was hospitalized on October 8th. The main reason I started my weight loss journey was not only preventing the same outcome for my life, but to help honor hers. I have been out of sync with myself for months, and it’s time to get myself back on track for myself..and for my momma.
I’ll post more in Part Two, and I promise to be more upbeat. I just wanted to get this off of my chest and out of my mind.
Thanks for listening. 🙂