When I met Jim’s forward thinking Mom who he described to me as a very bold individual who “told it like it was,” I was extremely nervous. I held my breath to see what she was going to say when I walked through the door – so much younger than her son…Catholic and because of such, he had to go through a tedious annulment so we could marry in the Church.
Well there was no explosion… not even a scenical sigh.
Mary was very gracious, welcoming and warm. In fact, she and I became good friends. Mary introduced me to “spray starch” (in place of water for ironing) and showed me how to fix “the perfect steak” (I could cook but we didn’t eat steak at our house growing up – too many of us).” She was a friend when times were hard and listened endlessly when I called. She was also the first person I called following Alex’s birth. She supported me when I wasn’t sure which end was up as an insecure step mother whose own mother had passed away. You would think she led a charmed life by how pleasant and warm she was, but that wasn’t the case.
She knew pain and heartache all too well. I won’t go into the specifics, but she was tough and didn’t compromise her principles even in the face of intimidation and threats. Not a religious person but she stood up for what was right. She made her own way in life. She walked the walk.
Sadly, Mary passed away Wednesday.
She was 92 and led a full life. Most of her family, friends, etc. have gone before her. She was ready. It’s a blessing to know she died in her sleep. A peaceful ending. There have been a lot of tears the last few days as we prepare for the funeral services. Our hearts ache and we love and miss her. It’s hard knowing she isn’t with us anymore. It was difficult even returning to my blog knowing the last time I posted was prior to her passing.
She chose to be buried in the dress she wore to our wedding – 27 years ago. I was so touched by that gesture – I feel like it was her way of reaching out to us. Also, I can’t deny that she just really liked that dress too. I will cherish that last gesture of hers forever…
So here’s to Mary with all of our love –