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    AWESOMECAROL55   91,676
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The Letter....

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Good Easter Morning Sparkfriends...

Most of you have been with me the past 7 weeks as I have traveled a most challenging journey. I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions, going from frustrated, to hopeful, to happy, sad, and ultimately relief at the passing of my Mom.

There is one piece of the puzzle that I haven't shared with you...one incident that happened on the day of her death that was so incredible and I will never forget it! I wanted to wait until I had the time to share the moment in a blog so I could fully devote the attention to the "Letter" that it fully deserved!

Here goes: On March 26 a few hours after Mom's passing, we all gathered as a family at her house to support each other and decide where to go from there. We had all been discussing her funeral, the obituary, and her memorial, when we decided to into her room to look for her Mother's ring...that's when we found the letter. On her desk was an envelope that was unsealed and on it was written "To be opened upon my death", in my Mom's handwriting. Now , my Mom went into the hospital very suddenly for what we thought was a short stay, so the letter had to be written days or weeks before her sickness set in. It gave me goosebumps.

We decided to read the letter privately with just the 6 siblings present. It was heartwarming, sad in parts and comforting in others.....here is the jest of it. When I quote Mom it is loosely as I don't have a copy of the letter yet but will be receiving one as it is precious and we all want to keep it close in our memories!

*** She did not want a picture with her obituary! This made me chuckle...my brothers and sisters were surprised. Not me...she spent most of her adult life dodging the camera and hated having her picture taken. She thought her photos were terrible..I wish I had more photos of her now.

***She wanted her memorial to be to the Friends of Father Philip Allen memorial. This supported seminarians and she loved Father Allen...no surprise here.

*** She wanted to be buried in a size 20 gray dress that she had worn to some of the grand-children's weddings. Now it was hard to honor this request. When my Mom passed she maybe weighed 120 lbs...hardly a size 20. When we looked at the dress it had a stain on it that could not be removed. Mom prearranged her funeral...she had done this many years prior. She picked out a pretty dark blue casket with light blue interior but next to the gray dress it looked like civil war colors. We buried Mom in a pretty cream colored outfit, but secretly tucked into the foot of the casket and unknown to all but her family, the grey dress lie.. to be buried with her forever. We felt like we honored her request.

***She wanted my niece Laura to sing. She is a very talented singer who many times has sung at weddings and funerals. She sang the Ave' Maria before the funeral and it was stunning! I don't know how she held it together.

That was all the requests that Mom had and all of them were honored, but it was the rest of the letter that brought tears to our eyes and left me feeling sad that I had no clue what was going through my Mom's head in the months prior to her death!

Mom told us she loved each and every one of us and that a day didn't go by that she didn't pray for us! She said she would continue to pray for us after her death and that she "believed in the power of prayer!" She then apologized and hoped that she "hadn't been a burden" and said if there were any hard feelings..."she was truly sorry"!

Oh my goodness....the sadness I felt when I heard this. It was so comforting to me to know she loved us and prayed for us everyday..and would continue to do so after her death, but so sad that she thought she was a burden! If anything..we were the burden. She was widowed at 37 years of age and raised 6 kids from 7 to 17 years of age...how amazing. She did all of this alone...with no family to help her. If I did anything to imply that I thought she was a burden...I am so sorry! I sat in the hospital day after day and heard doctors say how frail and weak Mom was....how wrong they were! Physically yes... but they knew nothing of this amazing woman's spirit, her dedication to her family, her unselfishness and fortitude. A burden...Never!!

The letter we found is priceless....I find myself thinking of it often! I believe it was written around Christmas when Mom shared with another lady, that she was "tired and ready to go". The many years of suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, I believe, took it's toll. For whatever reason she wrote the letter, I just wished I could have told her some things before her death, rather than learn how she felt after. I have hope in knowing that she is smiling down on me from heaven, and she knows how much she is truly loved and how our hearts will miss her forever.




Thanks Mom for all your sacrifices...love you!!

Carol
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAMARIEZ1 9/28/2012 6:40AM

    Your Mom was a very special lady! You are blessed, Carol! emoticon

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MEMORIES7 8/29/2012 10:53AM

    I am so sorry for your loss carol. Hugs, Rose emoticon

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SWEETMERCYDAY4 8/28/2012 9:12PM

    Dear Carol, As i read your heartfelt words i couldn`t stop the tears. I am so sorry for the passing of your Mother. I can truthfully say i know how you feel. My Mother passed April 13,2001.(Good friday) at age 78. My son passed Feb. 21,2007 at age 35. Parents aren`t suspose to have to bury their children. Seems like we feel alone on this planet when our parents are gone. Even though we are all grown up and able to care for ourselves we miss them so much. Can`t tell you how many times i picked up the phone to call my Mother and my son the first few years after they passed. You are so fortunate to have a letter from your Mother. She sounds like a loving Mother and she proved it by writing the letter. You are truly blessed.

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SWEETMERCYDAY4 8/28/2012 9:11PM

    Hi Carol, Keep blogging.....You have a gift with words!

Comment edited on: 8/28/2012 9:19:18 PM

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JOYFULROAD 8/17/2012 11:32PM

  this made me cry too! How precious that your mother went to the trouble to write down her thoughts - I wish my mother had, I would have treasured that - I am going to try to do the same thing - but not yet!

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LEANJEAN6 7/6/2012 8:25PM

    Aww--You made me cry! --No one can replace yer Mom---I'm so happy I read yer blog---She sounds like she was a wonderful Lady--Lynda

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ANHELIC 6/3/2012 6:49PM

    Thank you for your awesome blog. I have about 80 lbs. to lose. I need some inspiration and you gave it to you in your blog. I weigh 240 and want to get down to 160 lbs. or even 150 lbs. I am doing it one pound at a time. I will go back to inspiration from your blog. I am 69 years with really bad arthritis in both knees and am diabetic. I need help and I know Sparkpeople is the place to be.
thank you for your help.
Joan. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RADAZZLE 5/27/2012 5:33PM

    Thank you for sharing this. I lost my Mom in 1993, just after she turned 78 (stomach & esophageal cancer). I still miss her so much. I wish I had found a letter from her. I think it would have brought a lot of peace with it. Treasure the letter.

It is possible that your Mom was apologizing just in case she had ever been a burden (or what she would consider to be a burden, which could be almost anything). It's a normal worry of parents. I don't believe she really thought that you felt she was a burden. She was just covering all the bases. :-)

I'm sure your Mom was/is VERY proud of you! emoticon

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ELLFIN3 5/8/2012 8:00PM

    Oh My!!! My Mom has been gone for 3 years and I miss Her everyday, but especially around Mothers Day!!! The Letter is wonderful!!! My Mom told My Sister which dress She wanted to buried in. Well she had two dresses that were similar. And You guessed it We buried Her in the wrong dress!! I think She would understand! I hope You have had an awesome day!!! emoticon Thoughts and Prayers You way!!!! (((((HUGS)))))

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1BEACHWALKER 4/27/2012 10:05PM

    Sorry I missed this from earlier when you posted it. Brought tears to my eyes Carol...such a wonderful blog. What a blessing to find that letter and to be able to honor her wishes and know what she felt in her heart. I think all parents feel like that, about the burden part...don't let it hurt you or bother you. I feel sure she knew how much you all loved her and cared-especially there at the end when you were there with her constantly during her time at the hospital. Thank you for sharing this. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARANN56 4/26/2012 10:45PM

    Your mother was obviously a very wonderful woman. I wonder if she really realized what a powerful last memory she gave you all in that letter.

Carol - you were very blessed to have your mother with you for so long, and I am confident she knew how much you loved and cherished her also.

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By the way - you look a lot like your mother - beautiful women!

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KNEWMETODAY 4/21/2012 10:03PM

    I am sorry for your loss and glad that you had the strength and desire to share her final thoughts.

I've read all of your blogs now and left comments on most. So much of your journey does resonate with me and my journey, and I thank your friend for suggesting I contact you. I have eleven years on you and yet so much is the same and will be the same. I want you there when I reach my goal AND I'll buy dinner!!

Kathy emoticon

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ACIMPEGGY 4/20/2012 7:46PM

    Mom probably couldn't have found the words if she tried to say the things in the letter face to face. Now you have another cherished memory.

I still feel my mama's spirit with me sometimes as well as her love and assistance.



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CAMOGIE3 4/20/2012 7:32PM

    Carol, your mom sounds like an amazing woman! I also think you've definitely got a lot of her genes! Thank you so much for sharing about the letter. Love ya bunches!

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LESLIESENIOR 4/20/2012 4:52PM

    Dear, dear Carol,
I am so sorry that I am so behind in reading my favorite Sparkfriend blogs. I am home today on a furlough day and have devoted the day to "catching up" on everything including my Spark friends.
This account of your experience after your mom's death was joyfully chilling. I have goose bumps reading your words. Your mom had to have been so very proud of the woman you are. Your family received your amazing love, support, and strength all through your long journey with your mom's illness and death.

I am honored to know you. Your positive spirit is inspiring and uplifting. Thank you for sharing your feelings so honestly and transparently.

In admiration,
Leslie

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MTNGRL 4/19/2012 8:28AM

    Just beautiful Carol. What a wonderful gift from your Mom. A few years ago I began writing my children letters for when I am gone. I wish I had started this sooner.
Thank you so much for sharing this precious letter with us.


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CINDYSUNFLOWER 4/16/2012 7:23PM

    What a beautifully written blog! I truly enjoyed reading it and thank you for sharing it with all of us!

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JESSIKA_56 4/11/2012 12:40PM

    I hope the letter will remind you of beautiful memories that you hold about your mom. :)

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BEARSFANNDENVER 4/10/2012 10:21PM

    emoticon

Wow Carol! How touching and what precious insight your Mom gave you and your siblings into her life and her deep love for all of you. Clearly she has passed this wonderful heart and spirit on to you! It is no surprise that you have been able to make such remarkable accomplishments in your Spark-journey!

Many blessings to you my friend!

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THEADMIRAL 4/9/2012 7:36PM

    What a blessing to have this letter from such a loving mother! She's a lovely example for all of us to follow. Thanks for sharing her blessings to you and your siblings, Carol. emoticon emoticon

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JAYMAXX 4/9/2012 10:36AM

    Carol, God bless you. i'm too broken up right now to think of anything else to say.

love jay

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LUCKYME2G 4/9/2012 9:05AM

    Beautiful. That brought tears to my eyes. She would be very proud of your family for handling everything with such grace.

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DEBIGENE 4/9/2012 9:01AM

    Carol, you are an amazing awesome woman and it sounds like you got that from your mom !!! Thank you for sharing such private thoughts of her with us.

My eyes filled with tears as I read your blog and have to tell you that I thought of my own relationship, broken as it is, with my mom and will write her a letter for my birthday and thank you and tell her all the good things I want her to hear from me before she dies. I don't want her to leave this life knowing anything less than the love I hold in my heart for her and my dad as well. So again I thank you Carol and you will stay in my prayers for GOD's love and comfort to be with you the rest of the days of your life also.

HUGS my friend.

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PCSEEKSSUCCESS 4/9/2012 12:43AM

    Carol ~ Thank you for continuing to share such personal aspects of your life journey. Your mom was an amazing woman and you are and amazing daughter. I know that you will continue to keep in touch with her in new ways since her passing. What a blessing that she could share in this way with you... emoticon

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GOOZLEBEAR 4/8/2012 9:40PM

    Carol, that letter was truly a gift from God from your Mother. How very special for you and your siblings to have those memories. I wish my Mom had thought to do something like that but it will be something that I would like to do for my kids.

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RUBYCLAIRE 4/8/2012 6:11PM

    Oh my dear Carol, you are such a sweet, sweet friend. Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate part of your life, love & sorrow. To lose your Mom is one of the most difficult things that life throws at us.

May it give you, & your family, some form of comfort to know that you are surrounded by MANY who love you.

Big hugs being sent to ALL of you in this very sad time.
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RAINBOWMF 4/8/2012 5:54PM

    A letter left for you all to find, what a beautiful thing for your Mom to do.

You all know how special she was and this letter proves it.

Hugs and Love Carol. emoticon

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CANINE_MAMA 4/8/2012 5:39PM

    That is truly a special letter. I think that being tired and ready to go to the next life is why my dad died so soon after my mom. I have been thinking a lot about them today, as I'm sure you have your mother. Hugs and prayers. Vickie

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KIMBERTA99 4/8/2012 4:44PM

    Oh Carol..you brought tears to my eyes while reading about your mom's letter!! I am sure she knew of your love for her..you were with her til the end! It shows that we need to tell our loved ones daily how much we love them..just so we are sure they know! Just look in the mirror my dear friend and you will see your mom..you look so much alike!! I am glad that you were able to honor all her wishes including the grey dress!!

Sending you BIG emoticon your way!!

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2BMYOWN 4/8/2012 3:46PM

    What a marvelous, marvelous thing, Carol.....and how very much your mother loved you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing such a wonderful experience with us, your mother is certainly a precious, precious soul, and now your advocate in heaven. You have been incredibly blessed to have had such a parent, and she must have had a cast iron constitution to live the life that she did. She seems like one of the best examples of courage in the face of life that I have ever heard of. I didn't know she had RA, I can certainly empathize with that and I am sorry she suffered from it, but even that was not enough to knock her off her path. You have been blessed, sparky bud, and while I am very, very sorry for your loss, I am also glad that you had such a wonderful mom in this life, and such a perfect example of strength. May God bless you today and fill your mind and heart with only the best of memories.

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 4/8/2012 3:25PM

    Carol,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you found the letter she wrote in time to honor some of her wishes.

Hope you are having a good day!

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DANA564 4/8/2012 3:14PM

    What a beautiful and caring woman your mother was and you have every right to be proud. How amazing that she had the insight to write such a loving letter to her children. Thanks for sharing such an intimate detail of your mother's life with us. I pray for peace and comfort to the family left behind. Blessings to all. emoticon

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MELLABELLAS 4/8/2012 2:41PM

    Oh Carol I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful thing to have found the letter though. I can't believe your mom wrote it so long in advance. Amazing! I wanted to thank you for writing this blog and sharing your amazing story with us. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

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PURPLESPEDCOW 4/8/2012 2:13PM

    I know how special that letter is to each of you. You honor her each day by being the person you are. emoticon

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JANNEPERRY 4/8/2012 2:03PM

    Carol--

What a special find for your family. I was blessed to read it on Easter Sunday! I'm sure your mom was a strong, wonderful, powerful (through prayer) person. Blessings emoticon

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CINDHOLM 4/8/2012 1:45PM

    Sorry for your loss and a BIG HUG!! emoticon

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LOLAJO54 4/8/2012 1:40PM

    oh Carol I am crying tears -- of emotions for you -- from smiles to happiness to tears of anger and deep sadness.. Hugs my Spark Friend -- Know that your mom is at peace with no more pain. Remember the good times you and your siblings had with her.. emoticon

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LYNNE_08 4/8/2012 1:02PM

    I'm sorry for you loss. I pray God will give you comfort and peace in your time of sorrow.,

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