She made the world safer for us all, gave us a sense of security, stability, knowing she was there always on our side, no matter what we did, whether it was something wonderful, or something that disapointed her. We knew we were loved. No matter how badly she might hate something that was happening in our lives, she didn't judge us harshly. She would worry, oh how she would worry about those she loved, but she kept that hidden away most of the time, knowing in her wisdom that we would all eventually find our way, make peace with the lives we lead.
She spent the majority of her life bearing others burdens, never questioning why that was her lot in life, just doing it. Just being her, providing all who knew her with the gift of herself.
I am not sure I ever truly thanked her for the hours she used to listen to me, listen to my fumblings at trying to learn how to be a good wife, a good mother.
I was not of her blood, but she welcomed me from the beginning, even on those days when I felt that I was failing her....she never stopped letting me know that she loved me...that in her eyes I was special. In her eyes we were all special.
When life would get so busy that we would forget to take a breath, she would somehow with just few words, enable us to take the time to admire a clematis vine in full bloom, or the color of the autumn leaves, or the sound of a woodpecker hunting for insects in the mulberry tree. At sunset one could always find her gazing out her kitchen window reveling in its beauty. If it was especially spectacular, she would stop whatever she was doing to go outside trying to get closer, trying to take it all in. She taught us to look for the simple beauty in all the many things that make up our world.
If we took the time to observe her, we learned the art of patience. I cannot count the nights she would prepare dinner for her farmer husband and grandson, then set it in the oven to stay warm, the hours of solitaire, the hours of gin rummy we used to play, while waiting for our men to come in from the field at 11:00 or midnight, she always waited, we ate when they ate, our work was done when their work was done.Those many long evenings, as we waited, playing cards, talking, she gave me the gift of her wisdom, the gift of doing small things to show our love.
She loved all things beautiful, and worked very hard to bring that beauty into her home, into her life, into her soul. In doing so, she brought that beauty to us all.
She taught her family the value of hard work, the luxury of a dinner table laden with good food, and filled with conversation and laughter.
In the 28 years I knew her, I only heard her raise her voice twice, in both instances the person who gathered her ire, had pushed her beyond a point no other person could bear.
For years I used the serenity prayer as my daily chant, to get me through the day, or an hour of a day. But in reality she was my serenity, just being in her presence could calm me, bring a peace to my soul, allow me to know that life has those moments when you think you can take no more, but that if you dig down deep within yourself, you will always find that you can take more, that you will survive, that life will be good again, maybe even better. That from all things bad, something good will come.
Our anchor is gone, but she will live on in the memories of those whose lives she touched, of all those she loved and loved her.
I am just not ready yet, I am unable to say goodbye, I am unable to envision our lives without her. I know that someday I will, but tonight, tomorrow, next month I can't do it, not yet, I am not ready for her to be gone.