Thursday, February 24, 2011

Memorial and Celebration



I am finally back home in Montana (after spending weeks in Baltimore attending my mother (Charlotte’s) funeral and staying on to make sure that Joe (Charlotte’s true love and longtime companion) was going to be OK.



I am so grateful that my mother lived long enough that I had the opportunity to completely heal our relationship. I am especially grateful to Joe who gave my mother the support and love (true love) that allowed the healing to take place. Of course, un-knitting cashmere sweaters together was a tremendously positive project; and as I survey the pounds of lovely yarn we created, I see this as Charlotte’s real legacy to me (and to everyone who gets to wrap up in a woven piece created with this precious yarn)

My mother died at age 92 in the arms of her true love on February 2, 2011 of a massive heart attack. She had 6 great grandchildren (two of which spoke at her memorial). We should all be so lucky.

I would like to share the words I spoke at Charlotte’s memorial service.

Recently I have begun to explore the path of Buddhism. When I shared this with my mother, she said “Oh no! I just got used to you being a vegetarian!”

We get to know our mothers from the inside out, so it is practically impossible to be objective. Hearing so many of charlotte’s friends talk about her from the outside in is a gift I will treasure almost as much as the 50 lbs. of cashmere yarn my mother and I created together over these last 5 years by taking apart some 200 old cashmere sweaters. The yarn which I call “Outstanding Moral Fiber” is a precious legacy wound in the countless meaningful hours we spent together un-knitting—following the thread miles and miles—all the way back to the beginning—not the end.

So many blessings--

20 comments:

Syne Mitchell said...

Sympathies, Bonnie. I'm glad you had the time you needed with your mother. And sorry it was cut short.

Hugs!

Syne

howpedestrian said...

It's good to hear from you, and to hear that you're approaching this with your typically wise and gentle reflection.

Pam Howard said...

Thanks you for sharing your thoughts with us. I hope that the little lavender pillow you gave me was one of the sweather you and your Mother took apart.
Hugs to you!
Pam

Surya Devi (Raquel) said...

What a beautiful picture of your mom Bonnie. Wonderful that you opened your heart to share your journey here.
Much love to you as you celebrate her life and honor her with your beautiful memories.

Sandra Holtkamp said...

Yes, everyone should be so lucky to have a mother such as yours, and every mother should be so lucky to have a daughter such as yourself. It's so much more than luck, of course; it's the love and work and blessings that you bestowed on each other that made your relationship so special. And Charlotte and Joe's loving spirits shine through so clearly in the lovely photo of them together. Thank you for being you, Bonnie.

Irene Laughin Cloud Schmoller said...

I love seeing your mother with her arm wrapped around her love and the handwoven scarf, surely you wove for her as a sign of your being present as well in that photo.
Once our mothers have left us, we grow up a little more and begin all over again to define who we really are.

You are such a warm, loving and dynamic woman and friend. My heart and spirit is with you. I surround you with love and compassion. Love, Iene

textillian said...

Deepest sympathies for your loss. I am glad you got the time with your mother that you needed.

Thanks for sharing.

Cally said...

I think every mother-daughter relationship must be uniquely difficult and uniquely blessed - and yet somehow we all know what it is! I am so sorry for the loss of your mother, but it does sound like a lovely end to a long and full life. Hugs.

margery meyers haber said...

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

Connie Rose said...

So sorry to hear your mom passed, Bonnie. All that you said about her and all that you reported about her last years with her true love is special and beautiful. You're right, we should all be so lucky.
Much love.

Gerri said...

I am sorry to hear of you mom's passing. She died within days of the one-year anniversary of my mom's death. I hope that your gratitude for the healing and time together can help carry you through. Peace to you. Wonderful that she had a true love in this life!

Valerie said...

Bonnie,

What a beautiful post. I am so sorry for your loss.

I love the idea of coming to know our mothers from the inside out...it is so true.

Bless your "Buddhist, vegetarian heart"!

Sandra Rude said...

My mother made it to 95, but never had a true love, and never was close to her daughters (or anybody else, for that matter). Your mother was blessed to have Joe by her side and to have you for a daughter. She'll be with you forever in your heart.

Joan Turner said...

Sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. She will live on in your heart and memories and in the projects yet to be woven with the cashmere you unknit together. Blessings Joan Turner

Rose said...

How blessed to have your mother for so long. How blessed your mother was to have found true love and to have had such precious time with you. Peace be with you!

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Peace be with both you and your wonderful Mother!

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sara shah said...

Sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. She will live on in your heart and memories and in the projects yet to be woven with the cashmere you unknit together.

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