Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’


Yesterday Gar and I traveled back to a place that holds a lot of rich memories for us. We went, mainly, to attend the funeral of one of my best friends in life, Mary Lorraine. We met in 1986 at an evening PTA meeting. I enjoyed those evening meetings when I was younger. I suppose it was a chance to get a different perspective than that of my daily life as a stay-at-home mom. Don’t get me wrong- I loved that life more than anything and feel so blessed that God found a way for us to manage. As usual, I digress. That night, I found a friend who has stayed close to my heart for 26 years. We shared life, our kids, our husbands (no, not like THAT!) and good times galore.

After we left Richmond, we moved to Pennsylvania and 2.5 years after that, we moved to Western Maryland. By then, my two kids were in 4th and 9th grades and it was lonely and much harder to find friends than when they were younger. I was sad and depressed for a long time. I didn’t even send out a Christmas letter that first year because I didn’t want to sound ungrateful and negative. Sometime the next spring, I went to get the mail and there was a small package addressed to me. I stood there by the mailbox and opened up a pack of SnoBalls. I don’t remember the note exactly, but it alluded to the fact that I loved coconut. Mary had sent them; she wanted to send me something to smile about. She wanted me to know that she was thinking of me and that she hoped things were going better. It was so Mary. She was always trying to please people and wanted to “do” for everyone she knew. She ended her life last Tuesday.

There were dark days for Mary in the last 10 years. She couldn’t seem to hit a stride. She went from having everything, to having nothing, to having little to having everything. Materially. She seemed to be good at adapting to whatever situation she found herself in. Seemed to…though at the last, Mary couldn’t please all the loved ones in her life. She was a loyal wife and wanted to be a loyal mother and loving grandmother. This proved, in her mind, to be impossible.

Mary had a mental illness and as the presiding priest at her funeral said, it was like dying from terminal cancer. It took a long time and led her on a harrowing journey, but the mental illness finally won. He went on to say that our heavenly Father would have mercy on her and would give her peace and a heavenly home where she would be happy and cared for forever. We all needed to know that.

That doesn’t make me miss her less. She is still gone. I have memories, the last phone message she left me, pictures, recipes, gifts she gave me. There is anger, disbelief, and so much sorrow. I grieve for the moments going forward that we will never share. She won’t be at my son’s wedding and we won’t rock our grandbabies together on our laps.

Oh, Mary. I will always treasure our friendship and all the things you taught me about mothering, being a housewife, being frugal and “making quilts out of the scraps” we have been given. You are finally at peace and there are no more struggles. Thank you for being my friend.