Thursday, October 24, 2013


We’ve been away for a time---an expected time, a dreaded time, a time of joyful reunion and of letting go of the dear Matriarch of our big extended family.  

Chris' Mom passed away this week, as we sped down I-65 in hopes of seeing her again, but alas.   His brother called with the news, we pulled into the parking lot of a donut shop and Chris called all the children.   Then we each ate a donut with sips from a shared carton of milk---a sort of numb, sweet Communion, and drove on.  

We arrived too late to speak again, but Chris called her every day---they say you should choose a husband by the way he treats his Mother, and she and I---we two later-life friends, eldest of the lot, have both been extraordinarily blessed.

I'm still so stiff I can hardly move, partly from stress and tension (though it was a FABULOUS time---I cannot tell you what a celebration it was, of a wonderfully-lived life), partly from standing rapt around the huge group of story-tellers gathered around that familiar old kitchen table the night after the funeral, and partly from riding those 1500 miles.

I'm trying to write down all the sayings and the doings while I still have them fairly fresh.   Some were so touching and beautiful, from the heartfelt “She’s with GrandDad in Heaven,” to “Do you remember the time . . .?” as a preface to yet another funny remembrance of such a witty, charming, ever-smiling woman, greatly loved and greatly missed. 

Every single child, Grand, and Great gathered, along with one tee-ninecy GreatGreat, who wandered amongst us in his just-walking little gait, stepping right out onto the path begun so long ago..

Moire non, for wisps are floating away every second, fleeting as air. 


donna baker said...

So sorry, Rachel, for your great loss. What a wonderful way to say goodbye to a family member.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Donna. We're all still tender, but the memories are more than priceless.

Dirty Martini Queen said...

Sorry for your loss but what a wonderful tribute to what sounds like a wonderful woman.

racheld said...

I don't know how I came in as Anonymous up there, but I do thank both of you Donnas for the kind words and thoughts.

And indeed she WAS special in so many ways. I've been in the family for 27 years, and have never in my life known ANTBODY so beloved by her family.

And she would have LOVED that last night of talk and reminiscing and laughter.

Beverly said...

My condolences to you and your Chris. We have so much to learn as we experience the cycles of life. And, what a tribute that Chris' mother taught so many by a life lived in love. She must certainly be smiling at her legacy.

Sending love from me to you.♥

Chesapeake said...

Oh, Rachel, hugs to you & Chris. I just loved telling people that she was my high school teacher and that I was still in contact with her. We last visited in, I think, 1999. She will remain in our memories, most especially for the warmth her household furnished for my husband, who still proudly calls Chris his best friend.

racheld said...


She was a wonderful teacher, in more than just her classroom, in which she taught for decades. And those cycles of life---I wish you could have seen all the thirty-something Grands and Greats and a Great-Great, all in her house at once, and all lively and sweet and you cannot imagine so many kids in one place without a squabble.

Thank you for your sweet words.


racheld said...


You know how fondly she remembered you, and mentioned you often on our visits. They all talked a lot about friends who were more than friends, and who felt so at home in their house.

And Chris is equally proud of your Dearie's friendship.


jeanne, backyard neighbor said...

Dear Rachel, I am sad to hear that Chris's mom was gone before you were able to arrive. Celebrating the life of a loved one IS a blessing and a time for being together with all who loved this dear person so much. Our memories of those who have gone 'home' keep them in our heart always. We can't take away the sadness but that's because the loss is hard. However, we must have joy for the blessings of the promise of life eternal.

Just know my love and sympathy goes our to you all.
Love, Jeanne

A Super Dilettante said...

My dear Rachel,

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time. I'll read all the memories which you said you would kindly share in your future post and hopefully, keeping one's memories alive is one way of coping with our grief and the absence of the loved one.

With my deepest sympathy, ASD

Kim S. said...

How lovely, when so many old folks are neglected and forgotten, to hear of one so treasured and lovingly remembered.

racheld said...


You are just the dearest friend, always kind and remembering the moments, sharing joys and tears.

You and she and I could have sat down for long conversations, for we could just talk til the teapot cooled.

Thank you for your kind words and your always THEREness. Isn't the blogworld a magical place?

love and


racheld said...

Oh, ASD,

From so far away, and so close in mind. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and I'd be so glad to think that you were out there strolling those paths and hills of the place that calls my heart most. Someone in Scotland knows my name---what a dear thought.

All best from so far away,


racheld said...


You know my heart.

love and,


Kouign Aman said...

so sorry to hear of your loss. Tawa sounds the epitome of a person with a life well lived, and that other saying about making a difference in the life of a child. A person to treasure, in life and in memory; thank you for sharing her with us in some measure and your heart-touching style.