Last evening I found a beautiful gift.
I was looking through pictures of Ali when she was little, and was searching for a particular picture. I never did find the picture, but I found something so special to me. It was a letter Mom wrote me–from her and Dad–on my Walk to Emmaus (a Christian weekend retreat) in June of 1999.
It brought me to tears.
It brought Ali to tears…big tears.
Oh, how I miss Mom and Dad. I guess this is one of those times that rise up every now and then when I miss them terribly and the tears flow.
The letter is on pastel floral stationery I gave Mom years before she wrote this. It has her name on the top. Reading her name felt as if it took my breath away, as I haven’t seen her name written for a very long time.
Her letter read…
I hope you are enjoying this weekend and getting closer to God. It is so nice you have the opportunity for this.
I have told you many times how very special you are and want to tell you again. Being at the hospital for both of us, having lunch with Dad in his room, bringing Alissa and Zachary in. All of those things mean so much. You play with the kids and enjoy them (a lot of mothers don’t). Your success with Mary Kay has made you a nicer person and brought you many friends because of your caring and personality.
Bill is so proud of you or he couldn’t say all the nice things he said at the Sheraton. You can tell by the kids they are in a loving home. It meant so much to Edna that day when Zachary said, ‘I love you.’ She comments about that often.
You keep your mother up-to-date so she doesn’t look like a dud and supply all my clothes!!
I feel because of you our family is close. They boys turn to you so many times.
And above all–it takes a very special daughter to escort her mother to her 50th class reunion and act like you are enjoying it when you were probably bored to death. Thank you. Should we try for the 60th?!!!
We will really miss the visits when Alissa starts to school and you don’t come to Norway as often.
Love you very much,
Mom & Dad”
A little background…Mom and Dad were both in the hospital that year. Dad passed away just a couple of months after this letter was written.
We had a Mary Kay event at the Sheraton and Bill shared some special things about me.
Edna is my grandmother, and Zach told her one day in particular he loved her. Zach would be have been two years old when this letter was written.
Mom and I used to shop for clothes together. She valued my opinion of what was “in style” at the time. Gosh, we used to have so much fun shopping!
They “boys” Mom mentions are my brothers.
I did escort Mom to her 50th class reunion that year. I had a blast, and it meant more to her than I knew at the time. The memories from that evening are priceless to me…seeing her with her classmates made me invision her as a high schooler. I got to see as side of my mom that I never was able to before. It was a beautiful experience. We never made it to the 60th, as Mom passed away seven years after she wrote this.
Seeing Mom’s handwriting made me miss her all over again. I sat on my floor and read her beautiful words over and over as tears streamed down my face. Today I can read them with just tears welling up in my eyes. There was no one like my mom. No one will ever be able to replace her or fill that void that has been there since the day she passed away. The same goes for my dad. I talked to my brother Pat tonight and he reminded me of a saying Dad used to say, which made me smile to think it. Pat said it to his daughter earlier tonight.
Some days I feel like such an orphan on this earth with having both Mom and Dad gone. But I’m reminded that this earth is not our home. Our home is in heaven. I have hope…some day soon I’ll get to be reunited with both of them again. Oh, how I can’t wait for that day.
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Julie I found your family info in your Uncles’ recent obituary …and this led to your blog. I looked at your picture, and my you look like your Mom ! She was a wonderful friend when we lived in Lisbon. When our youngest son, Ken was born she was willing to watch our other two boys while Bill worked. Kevin is close to your age and Christopher to Pat. The “gang” had many fun times ! When you moved I hated to go by your house knowing you were no longer there. We stopped for a visit when you first lived in Blairstown. Then in the fall of 1979 we moved to Northwood, Ia.where we still live. Xmas letters were sent and time went by with losing touch over the years. Now computers have changed everything! I always called your Mom, Margaret Ann, because I thought the name was so pretty.
May you have a wonderful day, and the happy memories bring you joy !
Faye, oh my goodness! It’s good to hear from you! Thank you for connecting with me. I remember you and your family. After Eugene’s funeral, we drove past your former home and I mentioned to my brother Pat “the Stambaughs used to live there.” I wondered how you and your family were doing. I will email you soon to catch up. 🙂 Thanks again for reaching out to me here!