Three Months without Her.

Of course all I did was think of Mom today. Whenever I think of her and the things she did and said, I have to smile. It’s only when I think of the rest of us, who can’t bear to be without her, that I cry.

I cry the most for my Dad, who can’t pretend that she’s still here and just an hour away. Every moment of every day I know he feels the loss. I know, no matter how much we love him or how much we want to spend time with him, we can’t fill the space that was Hers. I think of all the times he told me “I still get weak in the knees when I see her face.” It’s something I tell my friends when I want to give them a glimpse of the love they shared. I don’t think anyone, even those of us who lived with their love can comprehend the depth of it… and now, the depth of the loss.

But as Mom made so clear to us in her words and what she had written on the back of her prayer card, it was important to Her that our memories were happy ones. She didn’t spend her life, not even in her last months, being anything but optimistic, grateful, courageous and even happy, to her last days. And what I find most amazing is that she wasn’t faking it for us. That was the real Her. Here are Her exact words from an email (9-3-06), when I had questions about her conversation with God.

Dearest Lenore –
Yes – my darling daughter – you’ve understood. When I mention talking to God to you or any of the other kids I’m hoping to open the door to whatever kind of talk you or they feel ready for. Just remember – I promise never to put on a show, to lie or be “brave” for you. On the phone, in an e-mail, when we are alone or with people. this isn’t the time for that. Ask me anything. My answers may bring tears to your beautiful eyes but I don’t think they will make you sad.
We’ll write or talk more in the coming days and weeks. Heart to heart. I just realized what a beautiful expression that is. My heart to yours.
I love you Lenora. And because you are a mother too, you know how much.
Good night.
Mom

She was happy, she is happy and she wants us to be happy.
We miss her, she misses us and still she wants us to be happy.

I know when I’m able to laugh at things when I talk about her, it makes her laugh too.

I hope she knows how hard I try to be happy more often than sad. I know if I don’t try, she’ll be sad.

Wanted to share with Mom…..

I was very happy when I got home from work today. I had received good news from my landlord on a repair I’ve been waiting for for years. As I changed, I recalled Mom asking (throughout the years) if it was done yet. I instictively went to the phone and began to dial. I stopped, looked at the phone. I had dialed Mom and Dad’s number to share with Mom it was finally getting done. I could tell Dad. Not while crying I couldn’t. I heard Mom telling me, “I heard you Patty”. When I finally came out of my room. It was a quiet night.

Some days are worse than others… like today.

Don’t know why but I’ve been crying all day. I don’t want to work, I don’t want to go out, I don’t want to be cheered up… I just want my Mom.

But I have to work anyway. Luckily I don’t have to see any clients today, so I can cry. And I do, all day. As I’m working I go to my notes in Entourage to look for something and there I see a note titled “Anyway… from Mom.” Below is the email she wrote on August 5, 2006 and below that is the poem she sent. It’s sooo Mom. It doesn’t have anything to do with why I’m so sad today, but it makes me feel good anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Kiddles -I NEVER forward e-mails that are sent me. I tell friends,”Please don’t ask me to forward messages to 5 (6?10?) deserving people. I DON”T forward.” But – I just had to share this one with all of you. The photos are sweet but it’s the words that – well, see what you think.

Love ya -The Mama

P. S. Dad says I say “Anyway” all the time.

~~~~~~

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Success anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of being selfish and having ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

What you spend years building, some may try to destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If your honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you have anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it’s between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.

“With Your Face To The Wind”

I was sitting on my couch this evening listening to one of many ipod playlists when this song came on and once again it brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes…

Over a year and a half ago I went to a Peter Paul and Mary concert… while I was there Peter Yarrow sang a song I had never heard before. He said he wrote it for a woman who was battling cancer. I tuned in immediately with my Aunt Helen in mind. The song moved me so much tears came to my eyes as he began to sing: “With your face to the wind… I see you smiling again… spirits moving within… I know that you’re going to win…”

Once I heard it, I knew I wanted to share it with her. So I did, and sent it along with a note and package. Now I share it with all of you who miss her so much… hoping it gives you a little comfort as it does for me. Although, true that it makes me cry a little, but it also makes me smile, because every time I listen to it, it makes me think about how privileged I am to have not only known Helen Haddad, but I was part of her family and she kept us all connected. She was a gift we were all given… and I know she is still smiling down on us.

WITH YOUR FACE TO THE WIND*
(Harriet’s Song)
Peter Yarrow

Chorus:
With your face to the wind, I see you smilin’ again
Spirit’s movin’ within, I know that you’re gonna win

You’ve been down this road before
Somethin’ inside tells you what’s in store
Gotta remember what we’re all here for
Ya gotta eat up the apple and spit out the core

(Chorus)2x

You can get angry, you can curse
You can shout it out in rhyme or verse
And you can tell me that it’s never been worse
Then take that old sows ear and turn it into a purse

(Chorus)

There are gifts that come like the rain
They make the plants grow, they drench you all the same
And there are gifts that took you years to see
Like the gift of the friend that you’ve been to me

Yes there are hands here to comfort you
And if you need there are tears to cry with you too
And there are hearts that will sing with you
And voices to cheer when you’ve finally made it through

(Chorus)2x

Sometimes it takes the dark to let us see the light
You can’t have that victory unless you’ve fought the fight
Sometimes it takes a winding road to lead us home
While you’re windin’ ’round my friend just don’t go windin’ ’round alone

(Chorus)2x

*If you are looking to listen to the song. It is on the Peter, Paul, and Mary album entitled: “Flowers and Stones.” It goes by “With your face to the wind”

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First Communion Photo / Confirmation

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I think Eileen was asking about this photo, so I thought I would post it here. If you click on the photo is will open up the full size file, which would be more suitable if you wanted to make a print.

We have been calling this “First Holy Communion” but I think Mom looks more grown-up than 7 years old here. Doesn’t she? Could it be her Confirmation? Either way, I think it’s a beautiful photo and Mom looks so lovely.

Click to Enlarge

 

This photo reminds me of what Matt said in his eulogy, about Mom’s First Communion:

When I was getting ready for my first communion my mom told me how close to God she felt at the time she first took communion. She said she felt God’s love so much, that He was so real, that if she died then (as a 7 year old), that it would be okay because she knew she would be with God. So in a sense I think my mom has been ready for heaven for the last 68 years.

A Family Vacation

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familyVacation500I like this photo of our family, particularly of Mom because she looks like such a natural beauty … even camping with five kids. (Click to see larger photo, and you’ll see what I mean).

I don’t know where this taken. The scanned file is tagged 63 camping. We seem to be in a cabin … which isn’t technically camping! And 1963 would make me about 2 years old at the time.

 

Those must be Mom’s sunglasses that Henry is wearing. Cute!