Friday, February 21, 2014

Tribute

On Wednesday, February 19th, I lost my mom.  I am at peace with her passing but miss her terribly already.  She didn't suffer, she was surrounded by family, and we were able to say goodbye.  I don't think you can ask for more than that -- although a miraculous recovery would have been nice.

My mom was born and raised in a small town in Illinois.  She played the flute, sewed her own clothes, and had a pet rooster.  After high school, she went off to university.  There she met, and fell in love with, my dad.



They were married in 1955, at her parents' home.  Her mother and aunts felt that the wedding dress she loved, which was off-the-shoulder, was too scandalous.  She said that if she couldn't wear the dress she wanted, she wouldn't wear a wedding dress.  She always had a sense of style and she was strong willed.  She told us that she hated the suit she wore in her wedding but I'm including the pictures because she looks so happy.  My father always reminded her that the lilacs were in bloom and the air was richly fragrant on their wedding day.



My dad was still in the Air Force when they married so they moved from base-to-base, and ultimately settled in California where I was born.  My sister and brother followed.  My mom loved the beach.  We made day trips to the local Southern California beaches and camping trips to all the rest of the beaches between San Diego and Santa Barbara.
Me and Mom

Ted, Mom. me, Dad, Marie

Mom loved clothes and she loved feeling pretty.  It wasn't hard.  She was beautiful.  I was a source of frustration to her on that front.  I preferred blue jeans and horse slobber covered sweat shirts.  I did learn to appreciate well tailored clothes and I can put together a nice outfit, complete with tastefully applied make-up.  She helped me create a professional wardrobe.  We spent hours in Dior, looking at fabrics and lines.  Then she would sew me something similar.  My favorite suits were sewn by mom.
Me, Marie, Mom, Ted

In the early 70s, wigs were all the rage.  I thought she was the most glamorous thing ever.  My dad gave me her mink jacket.  I don't approve of fur coats and doubt I'll ever wear it, but I feel like I have a piece of mom's glamour in my closet now.


Mom was not just a pretty face or a clothes horse; she had a degree in English literature and always had a book going.  She loved music, all kinds of music, from jazz to Frank Sinatra to the Beatles to Elton John.  I learned to be an adventurous cook from watching her.  She raised her children to be independent and strong; she instilled in us determination and drive; a love of sports and of the beach; the importance of champagne on holidays and marshmallows on hot chocolate.

Rest in peace, Mom.  You are on an eternal beach now with no oxygen tank, no sun sensitivity and no arthritic limbs.  Soak up the sun.  You earned it.
Dad, Kristin (granddaugher), Mom at Kristin's graduation a few months ago.




22 comments:

  1. What a lovely tribute. What a sweet married couple too.
    Thank you for sharing these photos.

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  2. Oh Annette this is truly a beautiful tribute and your Mom was one of a kind and truly beautiful. HUGS HUGS B

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  3. A lovely tribute. I'm sorry for your loss. Yesterday I saw a group of four elderly gentlemen racing through town in a 1950's convertible with the top down laughing together, and images came back to me of my own mother's stories of when she and her sorority sisters traversed the western U.S. one summer in a convertible and all the fun they had back then, just being free and acting silly. It made me happy just to remember her enthusiasm while telling me those stories.

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  4. i am so sorry, annette. but i am glad her passing was peaceful, and you were able to say farewell. she was a beautiful woman, and obviously a loving mother.

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  5. What a beautiful tribute Annette! My sincere condolences to you & your family.

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  6. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. Indeed, she was one glamourous woman and I love this collection of photos. Again, I am very glad that she was surrounded by her family at the end. Hope your Dad and all of you are doing better every day.

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  7. So sorry to read this news.

    What a lovely and moving tribute to your mom.

    I send my deepest condolences to you and your family, and hope that your loving memories will be a comfort to you. (((♡♡♡)))

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  8. Sorry for your loss . . . .

    May you find peace in your memories.

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  9. I am very sorry for your loss. This is a truly lovely tribute to a lovely woman. My condolences to you and your family.

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  10. Your parents were an attractive couple. I love your Mum's resistance to input on her wedding dress. Sincere condolences on your loss.

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  11. I am so very sorry to hear of her passing. What a beautiful, strong, and inspirational woman. *huge hugs* Keeping you in my thoughts...

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  12. Oh Annette, I am so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady. You are in my prayers.

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  13. I am so sorry and will keep you in my thoughts. What a lovely tribute. Your mom was just amazing! She was my kind of person. Thank you for sharing this.

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  14. This is just wonderful Annette. I learned so much more about you in this tribute to your mom. You indeed are very strong.

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  15. I am so sorry about your mom. Your tribute was lovely.

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  16. What a beautiful tribute.. I'm so, SO sorry that you lost your mom. You & your family are in my thoughts.


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  17. I'm so very sorry for your loss! Your mom was a lovely, talented, smart woman. The kind of woman we ALL try to be.
    Lee Anna

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  18. Such wonderful pictures and good memories. Well done to Mom and to you for the tribute!

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  19. Wonderful pictures and great memories. Good job to your Mom for raising a great family and to you for your tribute!

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  20. Wonderful pictures and nice memories.

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  21. Annette, I just read this a week after your mom passed, I did not know. I am so very, very sorry. Your mom was a beautiful woman, young and older... and I think her soul must have been beautiful, too. I'm so sorry she is gone... but she won't be forgotten, I'm sure.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.