Saturday, October 20, 2007


Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
--Charles R. Swindoll

On the Fuh River in China--Mom as an infant with her mother and two older siblings.

My mother died last Thursday. It's been coming and we've been prepared for it, but it is sad none the less. Mothers are the heart of the family unit. I truly believe that. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the one I had.

My mom led an interesting life. She was the third of four children all of whom were born in China. My grandparents were missionaries there from 1909 - 1940. They were there during the war and during the Communist uprising. The family lived in the Chinese interior and the children were homeschooled. It wasn't until high school that Mom's family moved to Shanghai. All of the children were college educated with two becoming doctors. After college Mom joined the American Red Cross which enabled her to tour Europe and Asia before moving back with her parents who had retired in Nashville, Tenn. She met my dad while playing piano in a USO club where he happened to be.

I feel very lucky to have the memories I have. My mom had several traits that made her special.

She always looked at the bright side of things. I can remember times as a kid when things seemed hopeless and she would always sit down and help me find the positive in almost anything.

She had a sense of adventure. No matter what we were doing, Mom could make it fun. Even chores! She was always able to make a game out of the most monotonous chores! She was always ready to get up and go try something new. Everything was always an adventure!

She was ready to lend a hand to anyone who needed help. Whether family, friend, neighbor or stranger-- the first words out of my mother's mouth were always "How can I help?"

Mom's funeral, while sad, was a celebration of a life well-lived -- one that is a shining example of humor, civility and kindness.

My hope is for her legacy to live on through me and my children.

For my fiber loving friends, here are a couple old photos I came across,

That's me in the 4th grade sporting my new permanent wave and my leopard sweatshirt! My mother taught me to knit when I was about 10 years old! You can also see part of a cat in one of the photos. Somehow we always ended up with all the homeless animals in the neighborhood. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Mom was a home economics major, so it was important to her that I learn to sew and cook as well. She agonized over the fact that I never took home economics in school. I didn't disappoint her! I think the need to create is genetic, so I learned all these things on my own.

Funny--Ems was speaking at the funeral about how she remembered her grandma. She was always silly and fun. I was honored when Ems said she sees her grandma everyday in me. I'm becoming my mother! Even funnier is that KC told Ems that she was becoming me! I guess we really do live on in our loved ones!


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. The story that you shared of her is beautiful and I am sure that she's very proud of the legacy that you and your daughter carry on of her. I'll be thinking about you and your family...

  2. I'm sorry about your mom. She sounds like a wonderful person. Your commentary about her living on through you and your daughter was very touching.

  3. So sorry to read about your Mom's passing! She sounds like she was quite a wonderful and interesting person. You are truly blessed to have known her as a child and an adult, but that doesn't make the loss any better.
    Thoughts and prayers go out to you!

  4. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother passed away a little over a year ago, so I have quite a bit of compassion for your grief. Your mother sounds like a fascinating person; I love the picture of her family on the boat. Thanks for sharing this part of your life, and be especially kind to yourself in these first grief-days. In my experience, the grief process is filled with blessings, if you can just take a little time for yourself and fully live through this transition.

    All my best,
    your pal