Because I Asked For Prayers

ImageI thought the time had come for me to let you know about Mom’s passing a month ago.

In my head, I’ve written a thousand lines about her, but now, nothing very eloquent seems to come to me. Which is probably very fitting because Mom was never much of a fancy-pants.

She was hilarious in that natural way that some people have. She never realized when she was being funny. Like the time when a car ran into the window at a restaurant, just a couple yards from where she was eating lunch. “Oh my Lord, Mom. What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, I finished my peach cobbler,” she said. “It came with the lunch, you know.”

She was very smart, too, an English major who graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University. But she didn’t go around quoting Shakespeare.

Um…you know what? She actually did quote Shakespeare and other literary luminaries like Sir Walter Scott. But not because she’d studied them at Vanderbilt. She shared her mother’s quotes, and so I do, too. And I suspect that someday my daughter will tell her kids, when caught in a lie, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

And so Mom lives on. And life goes on, and these days, I often find myself remembering a line from a Christina Rossetti poem, Remember: “Better by far that you should forget and smile, Than that you should remember and be sad.”

Thank you for all the prayers and kind thoughts sent her way and mine.  And finally, when I was looking for that Rossetti line, just to make sure I had it right, I saw a lovely sonnet, directly above Remember. I’d never seen the title and began to read. I hope Mom won’t mind me ending with a bit of fancy pants poetry, but it seemed heaven-sent today:

[Sonnets are full of love…]

Christina Rossetti1830 – 1894
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
Has many sonnets: so here now shall be
One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:
In you not fourscore years can dim the flame
Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws
Of time and change and mortal life and death.

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18 thoughts on “Because I Asked For Prayers

  1. Cathy … I am so very sorry for your loss. I do understand what it feels like to lose your mother … and my thoughts and prayers are with you. She sounds like a remarkable woman.

  2. Oh wow, Cathy. So sorry to hear this. It’s not an easy thing. What a wonderful bit of fancy-pants poetry. Thanks for posting that. Praying for lots of happy memories to fill in the places in your heart that miss her.

  3. Cathy–I lost my mom a year and a half ago, and I still cry at times. I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds like she was a pistol …Imagine that (since you’re full of spark yourself).

    Write about her–when you’ve given yourself some time. That’s a way to keep her spirit alive.

  4. Oh my gosh, Cathy. I’m sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. Each time some health issue rears its head with elderly parents, we are grateful to still have them around and we try to imagine what it will be like without them. Keep all those wonderful and funny memories in your head and heart to help you get through this difficult time. And lift a glass of cheer in honor of the woman who inspired and loved you! Hugs

  5. I’m so sorry about your loss. My momma has been gone for over 40 years now… egads, guess it’s more like 46… and I still miss her. I think it’s harder when you’ve had your mom for longer as you’ve become closer (or I would think in most cases as I have heard of those who aren’t close to their mom and it always makes me wonder why). And it does sound like your mom was a wonderful lady. Sending love.

  6. Lovely. You look like her, so there’s another way she lives on. Look in the mirror and say something funny. Because you have that natural humor, too. Sending hugs.

  7. Cathy, I’ve followed your blog for about two years, and have always felt that your sense of humor was part of a tender heart. You obviously inherited your mom’s wit and outlook. She will always be present through you. I miss my mother every day, and her loving influence is in everything I do. The Rossetti sonnet is beautiful, and I’d like to share the last lines of “A Woman Mourned by Daughters” by Adrienne Rich:

    And all this universe
    dares us to lay a finger
    anywhere, save exactly
    as you would wish it done.

    Keep up the good work and smiles you bring to everyone. Your mother would be so proud.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. What a lovely tribute to her. From what you’ve written about her, she was a wonderful woman and loving mother with a marvelous sense of humor. Her love and spirit lives on through your words and deeds.

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