My mother, Marie Carter, would have been 82 years old today. She’s been gone 22 years.
Mom died 22 years ago this morning.
My father did not keep a journal, but kept a calendar with various jottings. For some reason, he started to journal the week that Mom took sick, and he faithfully journaled for about two weeks, then he stopped.
I have that journal, and was re-reading it this weekend, thinking that I might post a bit of it. But the tears came too quickly, and I realized that his writing was really meant for himself, and maybe for his three children.
Pop was not with Mom when she died, but was rushing there from the office. Everything was such a blur that day, since we all knew she wasn’t going to make it, and the mission office in Buenos Aires (they were missionaries) were already working on getting cargo space on a flight home for repatriation of her remains, plus getting him a seat on a flight, plus working on funeral arrangements.
He got the call that she was slipping away, and rushed to the hospital. He did see her after she was gone, and kissed her goodbye, and told her he’d love her forever.
I have some faith that they are now reunited somewhere.
I spent Christmas Day with my sister Beth’s family in Lee’s Summit, and saw them again on Thursday.
Friday was a morning and early afternoon for me. I got two Circus Harmony charts finished and posted. And I went to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, more of which later.
Then Friday afternoon, for the first time in two years since father’s funeral, all three of us Carter kids and the children and grandchildren were in the same place. Photos will follow later, but great-niece Lily finally warmed up to me:
I only cried twice Friday during gift-giving. Karen presented me with a memento book of scans of recipes in the handwriting of my mother Marie, G-ma Blocher, and Aunt Esther. I was a puddle.
Then Beth passed along to me a fountain pen that had belonged by Aunt Esther’s husband John, one that after his death she gave to my father, along with a hand-written note. To see Aunt Esther’s handwriting nearly six years after she died was just a bit overwhelming. And what a joyous gift were both of these treasured items as well!
SONGS I WISH MY MOTHER
HAD TAUGHT ME
Tuesday, February 25, 8 p.m.
Tentative venue: the new Blue Strawberry in Central West End
Featuring such songs as
I love a piano
Bye, bye blackbird
Accentuate the positive
The man I love
and more by
Michel LeGrand, Jerry Herman, Irving Berlin, Morton Lauridsen,
Kander & Ebb, Goldrich & Heisler, and of course P.D.Q. Bach!
This is ticketed event. Stay tuned for details.
58 years ago today . . . .
As I was cleaning out some things last week, I saw this note in Mom’s handwriting, tucked into a box with what was probably her first computer. That computer is now in the electronics recycling bin.
Her writing, though, is etched in my memory, and quite happily.
Posted by a friend today:
Legacy is not leaving something for people.
It’s leaving something in people.
I hope that my legacy is this true.
And on this 21st anniversary of her death, with only one little cry today, thanks, Mom!
Mom’s been gone 21 years today.