A New Life


My dad passed away on Christmas morning 2007. He and Mom had a strong and loving marriage of sixty years that rarely parted them. It was an old fashioned marriage where they did everything together. I worried about how Mom would handle her first year. I underestimated the grace and dignity she possessed. I underestimated her determination to rebuild her life.

We didn’t get tearful phone calls, not once. We called often and made long distance visits more than we usually would have. She was  cheerful and made efforts to keep herself busy. She dedicated a corner of her yard to my dads memory. She planted flowers, placed a bench, and put meaningful ornaments in it. She put in many satisfying hours there. She felt close to him in the garden.

On their anniversary date, no one was able to be there, so she planned an all day activity to keep herself busy. Something fun she could tell us about. She refused to dissolve in sorrow. Her determination to rebuild her life herself was amazing to watch. His birthday, Fathers Day, and the anniversary of his death were milestones she hurdled with power possessed within.

We watched carefully and realized what a beautiful example she was setting for us. Her treasured years with him were celebrated not mourned. She shared the difficult moments of the year with us, but without showing any fear of the future which she surely must have felt at times.

Now a year later we are still her daughters, not her crutch. I have always admired her, this was just another confirmation at my good fortune to have her as a parent.

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