Friday, August 17, 2012

Momma Momma Momma

My mom passed away yesterday in the wee hours of the morning. We held vigil bedside from last Saturday night at 1 am until early Thurs morning. Each hospice nurse or aid treated my mother with dignity throughout her stay and in her final 5 days with the most respectful care one could imagine.

From the night nurses entering the room as if walking on air for they made almost no sound, with small flashlight in hand to check her, or if they needed to turn a light on, to cover her closed eyes with a tissue.

To the day and evening nurses ministering to her body with soft touches and repositioning her body regarding her as a fragile vintage china plate and gently whispering in her ear perchance she could hear them.

To the nun who came each day to pray over her and with me and my siblings. Offering us a chance to connect to a spiritual power to ease mom's pain. 

At times, I've shared a bit about my momma here here  here and here. I hope you don't mind if I share a few pictures of her busy hands and help me grieve for her.

My parents on the day I was born when she was 42.
I asked my mom to write a bit about this photo. She had 12 births and not all of them survived more then 10 months due to illnesses.

"Picture 47 10-17-60. Chris was born. It seemed (believe me) every child we had...It was a new lease on Life"

Mom removing my stitching at my request.

Making rugala cookies at my house

Ironing at my house

Deconstructing a silk blouse for me to use in my artwork 

Bertha Sulak 1918- 2012
One of her crochet-circles hanging in my window

The love she gave to every one of us is embedded in her legacy of over 71 progeny, of children, grand children, great grand children and even great great grandchildren.

In the river I know I will find the key
And your voice will rise like the spray
In the moment of knowing
The tide will wash away my doubt
'Cause you're already home
Making it nice for when I come home
Like the way I find my bed turned down
Coming in from a late night out.
Please keep reminding me
Of what in my soul I know is true

Come in my boat, there's a seat beside me
And two or three stars we can gaze into...

I'll wait no more for you like a daughter,
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you forever
Like a river... 

Carly Simon


  1. Very beautiful tribute to your mother. She lived a full life and leaves much which I know made her proud. xo, T

  2. That was a beautiful tribute for a wonderful woman. You are so lucky to have had her for a mother, and I feel blessed to have known her. She touched the lives of so many that the light her life cast will never be extinguished completely.

  3. Your love for her runs through every word.

    My very sincere condolences to you and your family.

  4. Such a very, very beautiful and moving tribute. Thank you for sharing a glimse of your wonderful Mom with us and bringing back the memories of my own dear departed Mom. Sending you a warm hug.

  5. Thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I lost my mom last year, and it reminded me of her, and how lucky we are to have mothers.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  7. A beautiful tribute to a fabulous woman. May she be at peace, and may you and yours find peace. Hugs

  8. You are so generous to share the memories of your mother.... Thank you, Christine. May God hold you tenderly, gently through the coming days.

  9. Chris, it is always good to have a close contact in heaven. I know she is watching over you with pride and pointing you out to every one in heaven. She is at peace.

  10. Your tribute is as beautiful as the crochet circle she made.
    Thank you.
    It helps those of us who never knew her, but know your family.
    Our hearts feel your loss.

  11. just huge hugs christine. i know how much this hurts. she was a beautiful woman. i'm thinking of you with love.

  12. I am touched to my very bones by your kind words and meaningful thoughts. Thank you for allowing me to share my grief and a bit of my momma with you.

  13. As an endI am an end-of-life doula, and I am deeply touched by your words, your photos, your memories, and your presence at this very important time in your mother's life. I'm glad you were there with her at this very important time in her life, and I love that you introduce us to her through her hands, busy with women's work. Sending beams of peace.

  14. Christine, I am sorry for your loss, but know your beautiful memories from her lifetime will bring comfort in the days, months, and years ahead. Thank you for sharing about this lovely person.


  15. A very beautiful post, Christine, in honor of your precious mom. These images are so telling...beyond vocabulary (as photos often can be). Views of Bertha's hands at work ~ ironing, deconstructing, removing your stitches ~ such intimate moments, priceless, you are so fortunate to have them. Peace.

  16. You write so beautifully and eloquently and your love for your mother comes through with every word and image. My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family.

  17. My sincerest sympathy.

  18. Dear Christine, I feel your grief and can only offer an online hug ( ) and the promise of a prayer for her and all of you left behind. What a lot she has seen in her long life and obviously she was much loved.

  19. So very, very sorry for the loss of your mama.

    I'm seconding Mary Ann and Velma's comments.

    XOXOXO Treena

  20. I wish I could say this to each of you in person. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Her influence is in me. Where she once was is a space that I will fill with joy and life and love.


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