Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saying Good-bye...

My Mom passed away on Monday. Those of you who have lost loved ones know that there is a certain surreal feeling to these first days without them in your life. What will I miss? Well, for one, my Mom was quite a character. A real spitfire. You were never bored when you were around her.

This is one of my favorite photos of her. She is about nine. She told me that she didn't really need those glasses she is wearing, but that she liked the way glasses looked, and besides, no one in her class had glasses. So she faked her eye exam, and got herself some glasses. They made her feel special, until another kid in her class got them, too. So she stopped wearing them. That story has always made me laugh, and explained a lot about my own kids.

She was orphaned very young, and grew up on her grandparent's farm. It wasn't an easy life, and I think she was often lonely, but it gave her a life-long love of the outdoors, and an incredible work ethic. (She also had a soft spot for dogs.) 

She was smart, and loved to learn. She was always reading a book about something interesting.  Growing up, I can't remember a time when my mom wasn't completely up to speed on the news, and politics, and a hundred other things. She clipped articles and saved them for me to read. This is a photo of her in college in Texas. I think you can see a little of that spitfire in her expression.

She was a teacher. She taught sixth grade for many years. She loved those kids, the age they were; the fact that they were on the cusp of adulthood, but were still kids. She was a hard teacher, and very old school. But I remember her students from years past coming to our door and ringing the doorbell, just to say hi to her, so she must have been the right kind of tough. She coached baseball and ruled the playground with an iron fist (and a whistle) when she was on duty. Never mess with a farm girl.

Although she missed getting to see everyone this Christmas, it was a pretty good showing and we were happy to have this last time together.

Most of all, to us, Betty Lou was a loving mom and grandma. We'll miss her stirring things up, and calling us each to task. No one got past her. We knew it, and just got in line. It was her way of letting us know she loved us, and that she was keeping a watchful eye on us all.

Saying good-bye is tough. I'm hoping for some of her farm-girl strength and Texas grit to help me in the coming weeks. I know she'd want that for me.


  1. Oh Pam, I'm so sorry. My hugs and prayers to you and your family my dear friend. ::hugging you:: What a beautiful tribute to your dear Mother. You have her spunk. Those photos of her are just beautiful. My heart is with you dear Pam and I will say a prayer for you and yours and for your Mom. Love you.

  2. Oh Pam! I'm so very sorry and saddened to hear about your mommy. I have been wondering how she was doing and how you were doing.

    Such a lovely lovely tribute to her and testament to your love of her. I'm so glad you have that family photo of you all - not one family photo exists of all of us. :(

    You are in my thoughts and my heart dear friend. Sending you lots and lots of hugs and wishes for comfort and peace to you and your family.

    Sally xoxoxoox

  3. beautiful words Pam ... great story and photos of your mom
    I'm sorry for your loss ,I know you will miss her so much
    and like everyone else here I will say a prayer for you and your family too.
    love to you ,


  4. I am so so sorry Pam.
    You have written such a wonderful tribute.
    The photos of your mom reflect her strength and her spitfire.
    What a beautful smile.
    I wish I had some magic words to help you through this time and give you comfort.
    I know there is nothing to be said that can ease your grief but know that you are loved.
    Hold your family close and cherish the good memories and celebrate the time you had with your mom.
    I will have you in my thoughts and prayers.
    I'm sending you a big hug.
    Take care of yourself my friend.
    My deepest sympathies.
    xoxo - Cindi

  5. I enjoyed meeting your mom. How wonderful she could share herself with her students as well as her family. You are all in my prayers. Perhaps it's silly but I always look for the new star in the sky. I'll look for her tonight.

  6. Oh, Pam... It's too late to call you and it's hard to know I'm just a block away but can't run over to give you a hug. What a beautiful tribute this is to your mom. You are all in my prayers, dear neighbor. I wish you peace.

  7. Oh, sweet Pam, I am so very sorry. I've been told that when your Mother dies, it leaves a hole in your heart that you can feel for the rest of your life. I believe that. But, it sounds like you will fill that hole with memories and strength that you will pass on to your children.
    With difficult days ahead for you, please know that I hold you in my heart and will keep you in my thoughts.
    Much love always.
    audrey xxxooo

  8. Oh Pam, I am so sorry. My heart stopped when I saw your post title . You know I understand . I wish I could offer condolences in some helpful present way.

    I will be in touch and I will think of you and your Mom deeply and with love


  9. oh pam, i'm not able to find the right words. sending love and hugs and much understanding. your mom is beautiful.

  10. Pam, I am so sorry sweetie (((hugs)))

  11. I do know that surreal feeling in the wake of loss...you have my thoughts and prayers. Your tribute to this lady strength and fire is a wonderful way to help you heal, just roll around in it for a while, and honor her the way you're doing. Hugs.

  12. Such wonderful memories of a beautiful lady. I like her! I'm sure each life she touched was enriched in many ways.

    I know that surrealness. Consider yourself embraced by myself and many others here on the blogs.

    Love and hugs, and blessings to your family.


  13. Pam, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's impossible to find the words to say something that might make this easier for you. This post is a beautiful tribute to her and it is obvious that you and she had a wonderful relationship. She may be gone from this world but she will be with you always in your memories of her. Thank you for telling us about this lovely person. xoxox

  14. So sorry for your loss Pam! Your mom sounds like one amazing woman! Look for her in your dreams she'll come and that helps a little when you're mising her. Sending you and your family hugs! xo Becca

  15. You already know my feelings...but seeing her photos and knowing her true grit... know these next days...weeks... will be difficult but she is with you always. I am sending you peace and hugs over the internet... Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  16. many many hugs sent your way, I feel very bad for you and your family. Your mom does look like a spitfire and is also very beautiful and spunky looking. how tough this is!
    sending you peace and many more hugs, Mim

  17. I'm so sorry for your loss! She sounds like an amazing woman, and I love the pictures of her! Peace to you.

  18. Pam, your mom could have modeled~~she was a beauty, outside and INSIDE! You share her spitfireyness.....trust me.
    You know that you have the love and prayers of the blogworld surrounding you and yours right now.
    I've been down your road and know the feeling.
    You were a good daughter. You have that farm-girl-tough.
    I think she would have said that.

    Much love my friend~~

  19. Oh, Pam. :( I'm so sorry. Reading about your wonderful mother makes me realize the enormity of your loss. Sending you great big giant hugs and warm thoughts and wishes for peace. xoxo

  20. Ah, dear Pamee... there are no words that will ease that ache in your heart...but you know your Mum lives in you....she taught you so much....to relish books, news, to have humour - to be an individual...she is a reflection in all that you do and create. I am sure she was (and still is) VERY proud of you.... I love what our friend Anne said: "You have that farm-girl tough*...and *you were a good daughter*.

    Keeping you all in my prayers,


    ♥ Robin ♥

  21. What lovely words and photos.
    She did have amazing strength
    and so do you too. Wishing
    you peace and love,

  22. Lovely words from a loving daughter.

  23. dearest Pam, I have been there just 3 short years ago. It hurts, and it will. But youve done the beautiful part - sharing her with us. She was a wonder. Sending love. Ande

  24. She didn't look terribly old. It's vain to hope it, but I do hope she didn't suffer much.

  25. What a beautiful tribute to your mother.
    Sending loads of love, comfort & peace your way dear friend.
    Much love & strength from all of us xoxo Susan & les gang

  26. Dear Pam, my condolences.What a beautiful tribute! What a special lady you Mom was. And yes of course you have her spirit! And you will be strong and make your Mom proud, but it is OK to miss her and to feel pain too. She taught so many kids and you and yours too such good things.
    This last Christmas will always be special. She will leave such beautiful memories behind.
    Take care........
    big hugs

  27. Oh my dear Pam, my heart breaks for you! I'm so sorry for your loss. And thank you for posting such a lovely tribute to your mom. She was an amazing lady and a reminder to hug my loved ones more. You are all in my prayers. :)

  28. Pam, I am so sorry about your mom. What a wonderful tribute you've written, makes me cry.


  29. Beautifully written homage, Pam.
    Full of humor and tenderness.
    It's a tough thing, life.
    Love, Lisa

  30. Pam, I'm so sorry for your loss. But of course you haven't lost her. She will be with you forever. I love the photos you posted. The one of her in college, wearing pants? Wasn't that unusual for the time, to wear pants? That says a lot about the kind of woman she was. I believe you have a lot of her personality in you, from the little I know of you. Hugs to you and yours.

  31. Oh Pam, I am so sorry about your Mom's passing. This is such a loving, beautiful tribute to a life well-lived. Just look how cute she is in this last photo! While gazing on all of her photos, this song came into my mind (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IFldaJlAmY). I am pretty sure she keeping a watchful eye on all of you. Sending you all my love on the wings of a desert sparrow. Love, Deb

  32. Pam, I remember when you were finding the right place for your mom. I'm so sorry to hear of her death. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    Love, Kim

  33. Oh Pam, I am so, so sorry. Sending hugs your way....


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