Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One year ago today, my Mother, Ann, passed away from Breast Cancer. She was first diagnosed about 5 years earlier – but with surgery and chemo she survived well for three years until the cancer was found in her liver. Then she started a intensive chemo treatment that left her uncomfortable and limited in her activities. Ironically she was scheduled to have a cutting edge treatment where they inject her liver with radioactive beads that goes right to the cancer. But she was not healthy enough at the time and was unable to have the treatment. She died peacefully in a wonderful hospice facility that took care of all of us. It was a long journey for all of us.

She was an especially well loved woman – with an incredibly large group of friends – a few that she’d had since kindergarten! They were the ‘naughty nine’! When she married my dad and moved to Portland her circle widened to include my dad’s childhood friends. They were married for over fifty years! (This picture is from the 50th Anniversary Party) This huge group of friends is an amazing thing to me – a huge group of people. I do not see this phenomenon today – we are all so mobile we don’t seem to make these long lasting relationships.

I also believe that it was my mother’s personality that fostered these relationships – she really was a good friend to all. A great listener, a supporter of many causes – especially those involving less fortunate children. She was a nurse who spent years volunteering at the hospital – including making weekly batches of cookies for the cute young interns! Many of whom she adopted for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

She created beautiful needlepoint and made every new baby that she knew beautiful cross stitch quilts – I bet over 100 of them over the years. I have an unfinished one that someday I will complete for my daughters to pass on. She taught me how to knit when I was a teenager and I use her needles everyday – they are my favorite double points.

I’d like to share this poem that was read at her family service.

Let Evening Come

Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon
Shine through chinks in the barn, moving
Up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
As the woman takes up her needles
And her yarn. Let evening come.

Let the dew collect on the hoe abandoned
In long grass. Let the starts appear
And the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
Go black inside.Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
In the oats, to air in the lung
Let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
Be afraid. God does not leave us
Comfortless, so let evening come.

I miss her and am honored to have been part of her life!!


Pat K said...

What an absolutely beautiful poem! I got rather misty reading it. Your mom certainly was special.

Love and hugs from me.

Rhonda said...

Special memories ... I know you miss her. I was just thinking of my grandmothers in the same way yesterday. Two died of cancer ... pancreas & liver. I miss them also.

p.s. such a beautiful poem

Jenn said...

What a great rememberance of a remarkable lady!