Mar 21, 2018

Mom...I Miss You!

I have a sad story to share although some of the pictures you'll see are happy.

It's been one month since I received the dreaded message from my Dad that my Mom had suffered a stroke and was in the hospital.

I immediately found a flight to SLC, Utah.

I have never seen my Mom down, let alone in a hospital bed. She was the healthiest, most strong woman I know. Not to mention that her energy level surpassed mine by a long shot. I only know her to be happy, on the go and doing things for other people. Always giving us the time of our lives every Summer I took my boys on a trip to stay with her. 
On my long flight I was thinking about the fun times I have had together with my mom and our family, cherishing every one of them. There are so many.

I thought I might be staying in Utah for a few weeks to help my Mom when she got home from the hospital, cook for her, things like that. I was thinking she'd have some sort of side effect from her stroke that she would need help with. I could do that.

              ....While trying to be positive, fearing the worst kept a constant stream of tears flowing down my face the whole journey to Salt Lake.
Most of my siblings live close to my parents except for one of my brothers, who also flew in that day to be with Mom. We all kept in communication as best we could through that day as we traveled, hoping for the best.

No one in my family could imagine this beautiful woman, who has kept us close - our relationships strong and loved us unconditionally, would ever leave us.
I had not seen my Mom in six months and looked so forward to that extra long, tight, warm hug that she gives me after months without seeing her.
(I will miss those loving hugs!)

When I arrived at the hospital it was late but my Dad and two of my brothers were there.

I was not prepared for what I saw as I entered her room in the ICU.


I hugged my Mom desperately screaming to her "I'm here, wake up!" ...she held my hand strong to let me know she knew I was there as she lay there on life support.
The next morning after her MRI the doctors gave us news that the damage to the left side of her brain was worse than they first thought and that she must have had several little strokes in her sleep before my Dad found her unresponsive the morning before.

My Dad took in the terrible news with doctors and my siblings gathered around my Mom in her room. He looked to each one of us for a little clue as to what he should do. It was ultimately up to him.

At this point my Mom had not responded to any commands and according to the scan we had been reviewing with the neurologist she would not have been able to respond, let alone breath or swallow on her own.


Suddenly, at that crucial moment of my Dad searching for our responses, she opened her eyes looking straight at my him. Their eyes locked and Mom's face went red as her eyes poured tears. It was only for a second but it was enough for all of us to know what we had to do.
The next several days were filled with prayers, hard decisions, goodbyes along with condolences and so much love.

I found comfort in keeping my Mom's face washed with a warm cloth, her lips moisturized and her hair brushed. I clipped her beautiful finger nails and filed them down, pushed her cuticles back and massaged her hands and feet. I imagined that is what she would be doing for me if we were to switch places.  At times in my own life when words didn't come easy she taught me that you can show love in many other ways.
Outside the snow fell and we had beautiful views of the mountains from the hospital windows. The snow seemed to make the mood quiet almost reverent.

I remember a couple of years ago posting on Instagram that "Heaven Kissed the Earth with Snow".

It felt like the snow was there to calm us down and be still.
There was so much comfort having every one of my siblings there at the hospital. We prayed, cried, laughed and shared memories. Mom held on in a deep sleep for a couple of days.

    ....When her time came we were all around her in the dimly lit room embracing one another and holding on to the faith that she was off to a better place. We silently let her know - It's OK Mom, you can go, we can do this.
I used to think my Mom was silly when she'd say to me "If I die young please don't be sad for me because I don't want to be old". 
Some of my family follow the Mormon religion. My Mom led the way with her example, never ending service and faith. Some of her children chose a different path. People have asked me if that was disappointing to my parents. No way! Mom prayed for all of her children, especially through our struggles. When asked upon, her suggested solution to our inquiry was never based on religion but on wise life advice and love.

Now that my Mom passed at the age of 71 I do find comfort in knowing she lived her religion 100% every single day.

If there is a heaven, she is there!
So, while I try to heal I just remember the love she surrounded me with my whole entire life. I am thankful that my children have amazing memories with their Nana.
She gave time and patience to all of the grandchildren by doing crafts with them, taking them to special places and movies, giving a sweet holiday gift to each one - every single holiday! She hemmed dresses for dances and pants for work.

We could count on her for anything!

I am not sure what to make of this but I wanted to mention it. Just this past December I had a terrible dream that my Mom died and when I woke up I felt this panic to go home to comfort my Dad. Like I said, I'm not sure what to make of it but in a previous post I talked about how this past holiday season was so emotional for me and I missed my family terribly - I cried almost every day. 

I find myself searching for reasons why this happened but in that searching I find that my Mom left nothing undone. She was very well prepared to go.
I am proud to report that my Dad is handling our loss in such a strong manner. How he must ache when he's alone but still finds joy in talking with us and even shares laughter when hearing about his grand kids.
While we planned the service to honor Mom's life we came across so many happy pictures of her. Isn't her smile so genuine? It's who she really is - bright and happy.
      ....I will forever remember her smiling.

A traditional Mormon service is to have a viewing one evening for friends and family to pay their respects. The next morning another short viewing and then a funeral service before going to the graveside. 

My siblings and I all paid tribute to our Mom by sharing memories of her with our audience at the funeral. It's pretty incredible that we're all so different but were all deeply loved by her. We are tremendously grateful for how she gave of herself her entire life, especially to her family. 
Prior to the viewing I wanted to put my personal touch on the display of the photographs and flowers. 

I snapped a few photos for keepsake just before all the flower arrangements and guests arrived but you can see that there was love flowing in from friends and family everywhere even early in the day.
We showed off her beautiful hand stitched quilt.
I wrote a post about that one HERE.
The mortuary made a video of some pictures that rotated to music the whole evening.

If you want to see that video it plays at the bottom of her obituary in the following link - turn your sound on. Those songs have played in my head every day since. Some were her favorite and the one from Ed Sheeran was from us, her kids.

I still cry every single day. There is a weight that feels heavy on my chest and my heart hurts but remembering her legacy of faith, service and love gives me some peace. I'm hoping I can accept the reality of this some day.

One of my dear friends wrote a message to me recently that said... "She was such a beautiful person...I literally left her service vowing to be a better human! It was so touching!!"

I want to be a better person because of her too.
Now she lays in the town where she raised her kids under a little tree.
A Beautiful Mother and a Life Well Lived.

     ....Mom - I love you - I miss you - Thank you.

This was a hard post to write because it seems no words could be grand enough to describe my love and admiration for my Mom but this is her tribute for today. I'm sure more will come in the way I let her love and example lead me through the rest of my life. 

Some of you follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you for all of your support. Your thoughts, prayers, hugs and flowers have lifted my family and I up so that hopefully we really can do this.

With love and sweet memories,

Feb 16, 2018

Let Your House Shine & a Glimpse at the 2nd Floor

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Feb 11, 2018

10 Trends I am Taking Home in 2018

Let me show you some trends that I have seen around lately that I just have to bring home this year.
1- Light walls with high contrast floors and accents such as the black backing of the shelving area in the picture above.

Nov 22, 2017

Lightly Staging a Charming Ranch House

Thanksgiving is tomorrow...I can't even believe it. 

I am sad not to be spending the holiday with our families. But I have to admit that I am so excited to do all the cooking. I love making the whole traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Marc and the boys. It's back to the four of us and our own family traditions now that we are here in Virginia.

Nov 10, 2017

Choosing Light Fixtures

This week has been one of those that every day has been packed full. Now that it's Friday, I am glad we are done with it.

Nov 5, 2017

Feeling at Home

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Nov 2, 2017

Living Down to Earth and Our Appliance Selection

My boys and I are the type of people that stay home on holidays and hit popular vacation spots off season just to avoid the crowd. Since Sunday was gloomy and rainy we found our opportunity to tour these Massey Street of Hope houses with a little less foot traffic to compete with (link).

Oct 28, 2017

My Kitchen Crush

Photo by Don Ziebell 
Browsing around the internet for kitchen inspiration can be overwhelming. There are so many beautiful kitchens that I can see myself loving to make dinner in.

Oct 23, 2017

Wood Floor Color Choice

My wood flooring appointment took maybe 10 minutes max. I had an idea what I was looking for....brown. Just brown.

Oct 22, 2017

Carytown Inspiration for Home & Life

Hello All!

I took my son to the city this morning, by his request. We live near Richmond, VA and one of our favorite streets to stroll here is Cary Street.

Oct 20, 2017

Tulip Hill Lot Walk

Hello blog friends!

The building process is moving right along. This week we picked our exterior colors (link) and did our lot walk with the builder.

Oct 12, 2017

Staging a Retail Space

Hello Friends!

You all know I have a shop space in Virginia. This is my happy place where I can fluff, stack and do things to stage furniture and accessories that normally wouldn't be displayed the same at home.

Oct 5, 2017

Lovely Vanilla Apartment Tour

Hello Lovely,
WELCOME to our apartment!

We are in the long process of building a home so while we are very patiently waiting we are living in a 1300 square foot apartment.

Sep 29, 2017

Colonial Architecture and Crowded Gardens

While I grew up in Utah and love the mountains and rustic aspect of the West, I have always been drawn to Southern or East Coast style when it comes to houses. I used to watch HGTV a lot when we built our first house in the the late 1990's and the cottage gardens were the most charming feature to these homes that I found myself falling in love with.

Sep 27, 2017

Finding Inspiration in Town & a Walk Down Memory Lane.

My family and I spent the weekend in Connecticut. We lived there for 10 years and we were craving a trip down memory lane. When our boys were a few months old we moved to Guilford, CT. Here are some pictures from around that town that influenced my decorating style in a big way.

Sep 22, 2017

Fall, Men and A Few Shop Pictures

Happy Friday!!!! I am sharing some pictures of items that are around the shop where I am a vendor.

Sep 2, 2017

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Hello Friends! Happy long weekend - the last weekend of Summer. It's rainy here and I have allergies so we are taking it super easy. That gives me a chance to update my blog page. I am sharing pictures of the shop where I sell my creations and I am also going to show you a sketch of our new house-to-be-built.

Aug 10, 2017

Fresh Linen Farmhouse Table

Heeeeey Friends! This is a quick post to show you my latest project. It's a seven foot farmhouse style table.

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