Saturday, September 29, 2012

How does a daughter say goodbye?


Carolyn Marie Blacketer ca1943
Carolyn Marie Blacketer ca. 1943
How does a daughter say goodbye?

I remember most mornings you woke me up with, “Top of the mornin’ to ya and the rest of the day to me.” And that always woke me up because you made me giggle. And no matter how much I tried, I never, ever could beat you to saying it. 

I remember your big smile and the twinkle in your eyes.

And your fierce loyalty. I may have been completely and utterly wrong about something, but you were always there to back me up – no matter what. Do you know how rare that is?!?

I remember Saturday morning shopping at the mall and your generosity to everyone. No one ever caught you on Christmas unawares - even if they showed up on Christmas Day. You always had a present for them. And what about the Christmas where you made up all those rhyming clues and made me hunt for each of my Christmas presents?  Oh, how I loved that.

I remember your stories and pep talks. How could I ever, ever forget the life-altering story you told me of our long line of managing women? Or when I turned thirteen you said, “Now, Caroline, I’ve already been through three teenagers. So, I’ve heard it all. I don’t want to ever hear you say you want to do something just because everyone else is doing it. Would you jump off a bridge if everyone else were doing it? No. No, you wouldn’t.” [The 'Duh.' was understood.]

I remember watching our T.V. shows together. I still watch them. When I'm watching Designing Women and The Golden Girls, you’re always right there laughing with me.

I remember watching you cook, learning how to measure ingredients in my hand, and now I can’t make Gran’s potato salad, Gran’s sausage stuffing, Gran’s peanut brittle,Gran’s refrigerator cookies, and Gran's pralines without thinking of you and Gran while doing it.

Carolyn Marie Blacketer 1954 1955 Providence High School San Antonio Texas
Carolyn Marie Blacketer 1954-1955 school year.
I remember all those times you took me to the library. And now I can’t walk into a library without thinking of you. [And considering what I do, that happens a lot.] And what about all those romance books you used to read? I somehow picked that up from you.

I remember your big strong hugs when I needed them the most. And every time you said, “I love you.”

I remember being grounded by Dad numerous times and not being able to go outside or watch T.V. for a week. And how while we’d read in the living room together after dinner during that week, you’d stop reading and say, “When is your father going to learn taking away your reading would be a better punishment?” And I’d answer, “I dunno.” Then we’d go back to reading. *snort*

And your other words of wisdom? “People in hell want ice water, Caroline. Doesn’t mean they’re gonna get it.” And, “If wishes were horses, beggars could ride.” And the sayings I know you got from Gran: like saying “God bless America and all the ships at sea,” when all you wanna do is damn whatever it is that’s upsetting you. And the ever-so-wise, “’To each his own,’ said the old lady when she kissed the cow and the old man who peed in the sea to keep the boat from sinking.” And now whenever I'm upset or stumped, I can't help but think of blessing America, of blessing her ships at sea, of an old lady who must have really loved that cow, and of an old man with creative problem-solving skills.

So. 

How does a daughter say goodbye?

Carolyn Marie Marshall and Caroline Martin Marshall West Texas Ghost Town Jul 1977
Mom & me in a Ghost Town in West Texas in Jul 1977.
The answer, of course, is...

...she doesn't.

She laughs.

She cries.

She remembers.

She laughs some more.

Then she cries again.

Then she tells.

And then cries some more.

And then she says, “I love you. And I’m gonna miss you somethin' fierce, Mom.”

Then she sighs. And smiles with tears in her eyes as she says,

“Top of the mornin’ to ya and the rest of the day to me.”

~Caroline

Carolyn Marie (Blacketer) Marshall
b. 3 Mar 1939, San Antonio, Texas
d. 28 Sep 2012, San Antonio, Texas
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44 comments:

  1. Caroline, so sorry to hear about your loss:( Hugs!

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  2. Caroline,

    A brilliant tribute to your Mother and your relationship with her. Very touching.

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  3. Oh Caroline, that was beautiful! Such a beautiful and moving tribute to your mom. Your love for her and her love for you shines through this post. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of your life and loss with us.

    I wish I could tell you that the road ahead is easy, but I will tell you that I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and that I wish I could just give you one big hug. There aren't any words I can offer of comfort, but know that you have lots of shoulders (including mine) to lean on.

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  4. Absolutely beautiful. I hope that it was healing for you, it appeared to be as I read it. Said with such grace, C.

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  5. That was a beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing.

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  6. Very touching. You seem to have a bunch of great memories of your mother, and those will always be there. You're right, you never do say goodbye, as they are always by your side. May God Bless Her.

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  7. Caroline - some one told me that as long as a memory of some one is kept alive, that person isn't really gone. You are blessed to have very special, warm and loving memories of your mother. I hope they give you some comfort during this very painful and sad time. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  8. A loving tribute to your mother, Caroline. Hugs and thoughts to you and your family.

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  9. I'm so very sorry for your loss, Caroline. May God bless you and yours. I hope you are comforted by happy memories of your mom in days to come.

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  10. Caroline, so very sorry for your loss. What a blessing to have such wonderful clear memories of your mom. In the midst of our grief there is nothing as comforting as taking a moment to remember special moments. A certain song, a perfume scent, an amazing adventure, words of advice and those quiet moments. Your mother gave you those and many more. Will be keeping you and your family in thought and prayer.

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  11. Caroline, what a wonderful tribute and a beautifully written memory of your relationship with your mother. A healing for you and a legacy for your children. Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

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  12. Caroline - a great tribute to your Mom and I'm thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

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  13. So very sorry for your loss, Caroline. Your mother was far too young for you to lose her. But what wonderful memories you have of her to comfort you and help dry those tears.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this portrait of a wonderful mother.

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  15. Caroline,

    Prayers for you this Sunday morning! Beautiful Memories of your mother.

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  16. Caroline, I'm so sorry for your loss - what a beautiful tribute to your mother. She sounds like someone we all would have loved. You and your family will be in my prayers.
    Mary Beth Marion

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  17. Thoughts and prayers. Such a beautiful blog article. Reminds me that I twist the line from Love Story so that it comes out, "Love means never having to say goodbye."

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  18. Caroline, as you remember your mom with these words, it's obvious where you got much of your personality, spunk and grace. A beautiful tribute, artfully written by a loving daughter. Blessings to you, your entire family and those who were in your mom's life. She was clearly a remarkable woman. ((Hugs))

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  19. Pam Smith (@genejean) Yorkshire, UKSeptember 30, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Caroline, a moving tribute to your mum. Thinking of you at your time of loss

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  20. Oh Caroline - that made me cry...in a good way. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I know that your Mom will always be with you. My mom once told me that even 10 years after her father was gone something would come up in her life and she's immediately think, "Oh I need to call Daddy and tell him...." before she realized that she couldn't call him, but at the same time she was sure he already knew.

    Love and prayers for you - and thank you so much for sharing your Mom with us this way!!

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  21. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  22. Keep laughing, keep crying, and keep remembering and feel God's hands holding you. Your Mom is waving at you from heaven. I bet you can see her smile. Blessings.

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  23. Beautiful. May the wonderful memories of your mother bring you peace and comfort.

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  24. Sending you and your family comforting energy and prayers. Keep writing and sharing your memories. This was beautiful.

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  25. Prayers and sympathy coming your way. Sorry to read about your loss, you wrote a beautiful tribute to your mother.

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  26. so sorry for your loss Caroline. This is a beautiful way to remember your mother, love and hugs to you

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  27. You have written a splendid eulogy of your mom, full of the best kinds of praise. She was there for you, and she was there with you. She modeled for you a sparkling sense of humor, wisdom to weather the absurdities of life, and an unshakeable confidence. These must be only a few of the amazing gifts she gave to you, all showing her love for her fourth teenager. Her hugs and her pep talks instilled in you a self-esteem that no one can take away. Reading your tribute, I'm convinced that your mom is the reason that the tiara belongs to you. How very, very fortunate you are to have had a mom who loved you unconditionally, and who was also your pal. You don't have to say goodbye, really, because she'll never leave your heart. My beloved sister passed in 2002, and I'm always telling her photo what she would like to hear -- some relationships seem to continue past death. Be consoled. We are all grateful for your eloquent post.

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  28. Carolyn,

    How happy I am for you that you have such beautiful memories of your mother, yet I sorrow with you that your mother is no longer here to create more with you. May you find comfort in this time. My prayers and best wishes are with you and your family.

    With hugs and kind regards,
    Valerie

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  29. Caroline - I loved reading your sweet memories of your dear mother. I'm so glad that you had such wonderful times together, and so sorry that you had to lose her. You and your family and in my prayers as you grieve her loss.

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  30. Caroline,

    This is such a beautiful tribute to your mother. She sounds like she was a loving, kind, strong and fun mom. Sending my sympathy and prayers to you and your family. ~Jana

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  31. Oh, Caroline, what a touching tribute to your wonderful mother. I wish I'd known her. Blessings to you and and the rest of her family.

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  32. What wonderful memories you and your mother created together. Sending prayers and hopes for strength your way. This has been a difficult month; we also lost my wonderful mother-in-law recently. Now we must pass down memories of these wonderful women!

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  33. Caroline, that was a beautiful, beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Renate

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  34. Caroline, what a lovely tribute to your amazing mother. I can feel her sparkle radiating from your words, and the warmth of your memories. I hope those memories bring you comfort and strength. My deepest sympathies to you and your family at this sad time.

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  35. Gosh, how this brings it all back. I feel your loss. And you're right, she never really does say goodbye. She'll be right there on your shoulder when you need her...

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  36. Sista, I am so sorry for your loss. You've written a very lovely tribute to your mother! It's beautiful, and so is she. May she rest in peace. Love and hugs, your Pointer Sista

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  37. Sounds like you had a truly wonderful mom. I'm very sorry for your loss. Big hugs....

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  38. So difficult, so many tears. I am so sorry.

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  39. I am so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your mother!

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  40. We have your family in our prayers. So sorry for your loss.

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  41. I'm so sorry for your loss and I'm so touched by your words.

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  42. I asked my Dad once how long do people live? He told me as long as someone remembers them. Tell her story, share the wonderful things she taught you.

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  43. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your touching words are such a great tribute to your mom.

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