Monday, August 13, 2007

Legacy


This is a rough time of year for me. Mom died in my arms on the 15th of August, 2001, 5 days before her 75th birthday. The doctor told her they couldn't do anything for her cancer and had given her 6 weeks to 2 months to live. An hour later she was gone.

It took us a year to spread her ashes. The family gathered at the place where she was raised and her brother Nels opened the lid and she sailed away on a gentle mountain breeze.


I miss her every day. When the phone rings the first thought that comes to mind is that it is her calling to see how my day went or tell me something cute the dog did.

When I see a flock of birds landing on the lawn, I think of the joy that they brought her.

Fall, her favorite season, is now my favorite too because it reminds me of her.


I don't suppose the ache of missing her and her wise counsel will ever truly go away.

I guess that is her legacy.

30 comments:

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I think the ache does go away. My mother has been dead for years but hardly a day go by that I don't think of her fondly and repeat the life lessons she taught me. In particular, I often hear her voice on how to treat women with respect, kindness and gentleness.(something very important to her) I wish that many more men had mothers who taught them this. She also loved people, was funny and a bit of a ham. She read widely and often entertained me late into the night reading chapters of her latest book. When she died suddenly, it was OK with me for we had no unfinished business between us.

Within Without said...

Geez, you love big.

And I guess that's what a legacy is all about -- the impact people or things have on us after they're no longer here.

What they leave behind, or at least how we think and feel about what they leave behind.

As long as we treasure that legacy and want to live it and maintain it, I'd think it's got to be a good thing. :-)

jen said...

some of us never even get the legacy...so truly, even with the loss, i know you know how lucky you are. i am sorry you are hurting in august, friend.

A North Central Montana Weblog said...

Dad passed away in late 1989.
And even to this day, in so very many ways I still find him alive... in me.

Though he be passed on, he is never really very far away.

Anvilcloud said...

My dad's been gone for more than 8 years now, my mother for 4, my dear FIL for 17. In the strangeness of time, with all of them, it just seems like a few days in many ways. Do you find that too? Does it help at all?

Q said...

Dear Laura,
Your love of your Mom is the legacy. She is alive and well in your love. It is because you love her so deeply that it hurts not to hear her voice or have her arms to hold you.
When we tell the story of those that have gone before us we give tribute to them. We honor them.
Thank you for allowing us to share in the story of your love for your Mother. Thank you for honoring her.
I shall think of you and your mother on the 15th.
Moon beans and star dust,
Bird songs and butterfly wings,
Love,
Sherry

Courtney said...

My mom died about six years ago and sometimes, all I want in the world is my mommy. I don't expect that feeling will ever go away. But the ache did.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

The death of ones we loves can create voids within us; however, through our memories of them and retelling their story they continue to live on. Thanks for sharing, Laurie.

ThomasLB said...

I never get over anything, so I'm hardly the one to give advice here. (So I won't.)

But for me, the ache eventually fades to bittersweet, an odd combination of fond memories and melancholy.

Time is so elastic. Sometimes long ago feels like yesterday, and yesterday feels a million miles behind.

LauraO said...

The ache does go. My father has been gone since 1972, but he still lives in my heart and memories. My mom is 90, and although she is in good health, I find myself trying to prepare for the inevitable. No matter how much you prepare, you're never ready. But you and I are among the lucky ones - so many sons and daughters today have such horrid parents. We are blessed, and it's a tribute to your Mother's legacy that you remember her the way that you do.

Snoskred said...

This family has a couple of losses in August too - on the day Elvis died, to top it off that is also my Aunt's Birthday. I'm sorry for your loss and I do not think the ache does ever truly leave. Though sometimes it changes to a different kind of ache.

Snoskred
http://www.snoskred.org/

Mary said...

Laurie,

I just sent you an e-mail before I read this. You got me all choked up. When my phone rings, I remember it's not her. When I have a story to tell, I'll still reach for the phone but pull back.

My thoughts are with you.

Love,
Mary

After reading Sherry's message, I really need a Kleenex! A good cry is needed here.

Bonita said...

When one of my babies was born, my Mother sent me a bouquet of flowers with the words, "You are in my thoughts". I've had it hanging on my bathroom wall by the mirror. So I think of her every morning and evening when I brush and floss my teeth while looking at that note....you see, that was something she always said was so important. We live our entire lives heeding the important messages imprinted by our mothers. I know you feel about yours the way I feel about mine.

Dave said...

The longing to the person as they were will always remain. But the feelings that they are still here is great. The knowing they are near when you are in a quiet place and something stirs inside and you smile to yourself. The breeze on a warm day that brings you comfort. The person who just happens to be there when you need a door opened or a wave that tells you some notices you. The dog that comes from nowhere to be your freind for a few minutes. Your loved ones may change their mode of transportation but the never leave. Your mother is a very fortunate woman to have you in her old and new journey.

TigerYogi said...

((HUGS))

KC said...

The love you shared should always be remembered. Hopefully not always ached, perhaps spread to others like ashes to wind.

threecollie said...

So sorry to read of your hurt....I was just missing my late mom in law who passed away six years ago now..we were very close.

NatureWoman said...

{{{HUGS}}} Laurie. Your post made tears come to my eyes. I've decided the pain never goes away (after asking several people who have lost parents), in fact it seems to be intensifying for me as time goes on. I guess there will also be that big hole in our lives that nobody else can fill. Thankfully we have memories to help us through.

Pam said...

June is my month, Laurie, my dad has been gone for 10 years and sometimes it seems like just yesterday. But they're never really gone, are they? They live in our hearts through sweet memories.

Ginnie said...

No, I don't think the memories ever go away. It has been 19 years since I lost my Mother and I often think that I want to call her to ask her advice about something. But the pain is gone and has been replaced with a blessed acceptance.

Nick said...

God Bless. It gets better sometimes.

Cathy said...

Sweet Laurie,

Your lovely narrative honors her memory. The photos are so lovely - that's dear Wolf with her in the first one - right?

I know that ache, too well. Here's a tender hug for your tender heart.

{{ Hug }}

LauraHinNJ said...

That song is a hopeful one - and one of my favorites.

Time changes things, I think, but we'll always miss them.

KGMom said...

No the ache never really goes away, but it lessens. And the memory of your mother stays with you forever.
You touch us all deeply with your sweet sadness. You express what many of us have felt.

Menchie said...

I can feel the longing for your mom.

I am fortunate to still have mine and living with me.

Thanks for reminding me how important it is to appreciate your loved ones.

MsLittlePea said...

Big hugs today Laurie. I'm definitely calling my mom today to tell her I'm happy she's my mom.

Laurie said...

Tossing, I hope you are right. It sounds as if you had a wonderful mom. I'm so glad there was no unfinished business between you.

WW, I guess I do. And that is probably a character flaw, but it's who I am and I can't change it.

Jen, thank you dear lady.

North Central, that is wonderful. I do see a lot of mom in me. At one time in my life I would have been upset by that, now I'm thrilled. Thank you.

AC, Sometimes it does seem like it was only yesterday and sometimes it seems a hundred years ago.

Q (Sherry), you are right, I know. She is alive in my, in our, love. It's just that I miss her so...

Courtney, I understand completely. Thanks.

Nick, I know you are right, thank you.

Thomas, I'm like that too. I take things literally to heart.

Laura, we are blessed to have wonderful parents. It breaks my heart thinking of those that don't.

Snoskred, I'm sorry that August is a difficult month for you as well. You are in my thoughts.

Mary, I do exactly that Mary. Exactly. **hugs**

Bonita, I love that. I absolutely love that. Thank you for sharing.

Dave, "your loved ones may change their mode of transportation but they never leave." That is beautiful and it gives me great comfort to read it.

Tiger, thank you for the hugs!!! Great big hugs back to you.

KC, thank you. I won't forget.

Threecollie, I'm sorry you are missing your mom too. **hugs**

Naturewoman, It does for me as well. I'm sorry, Pam, the loss is so new to you, it will lessen eventually. It really will.

Pam, you are right...they do live on in our hearts. Thanks for reminding me.

Ginnie, I am looking forward to the acceptance stage. Thanks.

Nick, thank you.

Cathy, that is Wolf with her. She was a wonderful grandmother and always Wolf's staunchest ally. He was with her when she passed as well. He always seemed to take it better than I did. He's such a spiritual man. ((hugs))

Laura, I love that song too.

KG, I remember my mom so well...I am glad that the memories won't fade. Thank you.

Menchie, I'm so glad you have both of your parents. I wish them continued good health.

Littlepea, thank you for doing that. Big hugs back.

Pink said...

Oh dear. I know this feeling.

I don't think the pain ever goes. And in a way, I think it would be sad if it did. A heart that isn't a little broken in a few places is a heart that probably hasn't loved passionately enough.
xx
pinks

Squirl said...

I suppose that ache never will entirely go away. I hope you're making it through this time all right. Hugs!

Cathy said...

Laurie -

I read this again. Maybe it's my mood today - made me teary. It's just so beautiful - and sad.

What are your personal feelings about cremation? I'm pretty sure that's where I'm leaning, but my own mother feels it's so important to have that grave site where others may come and read and think about the fact of their ancestors being 'right there'.

Maybe since I'm probably not going to have grandchildren - it doesn't seem as important to me as her. Any thoughts?