Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude

Gratitude.
Gratitude.
Gratitude.

That's all that's been coursing through my brain this past week.



Gratitude.

Gratitude for the nurses who treated my mom like a human being, even when she wasn't conscious. They'd still walk up to her blank face & say, "Hello Marie, I'm Lee, & I'm here to take your temperature. You'll feel it in your ear." It brought me to tears every single time.

Gratitude for the doctors who worked tirelessly to save my mom. They continued to try because she said she wasn't ready to give up, even though I could see on their faces they knew she wasn't going to make it.

Gratitude for friends who dropped everything so I could be with her in the hospital, who let me vent & cry, and who organized endlessly.

Gratitude for my husband who held my hand as I watch my mother slip away and who cried with me as we said our goodbyes.

Gratitude for my mother-in-law who understood my obsessive need that I "had to buy my mom new underwear to be buried in", who cleaned my whole house & never once complained about my blowing my nose on her shirt.
Gratitude to all the people who not only brought my family meals but brought us really tasty meals that included dessert.

Gratitude for friends who not just took care of my kids but treated them to new funeral clothes & got their hair cut.

Gratitude to my dad, who organized the financial mess that was left behind, & sat with me understanding why I cried going through her clothes.

Gratitude for all the Facebook messages that I have read, and re-read over and over. Memories shared & expressions of sympathy that have left me in tears.
Gratitude for the store that had the dress for me to wear that my mom would have loved & matched her broach that I HAD to wear to her funeral.

Gratitude for friends who insisted that I look beautiful for the funeral. Who came early to do my makeup & helped make me feel lovely, despite feeling downright dull inside.

Gratitude for Larry, our mortician, (yes, we're on a first name basis) who wears flannels & jeans and reminds me of my grandpa. And his dog Sable who lives at the mortuary, & who freaked me out at first but somehow petting her is exactly what I needed.

Gratitude for the people who stopped by and didn't comment on my 5 days worn "mourning clothes" consisting of a Nintendo shirt and black leggings.

Gratitude for the memorial blog posts from Heather, Malea, & Esther. Plus pictures of my mom posted by my Aunt Susy.
Gratitude that I actually felt joyful at the funeral because so many people who loved my mom traveled from all over the country to be there.

Gratitude for the knowledge that my mom is in a better place, that Heavenly Father has a plan, & that she's out of pain.

Thank you everyone, for being there in my biggest time of need. I hope someday I can repay all the kindness & love I received.

34 comments:

cat said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Kristie said...

You are amazing! You look beautiful in these pictures. I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. You, with this post, just made me appreciate all the things that I think we forget about until we lose someone. Thank you.
I am so grateful for the plan of happiness that Heavenly Father introduced to us. And for knowing that the loved ones we have lost are in a better place.

tom + lisa said...

You're perspective is so great, Livs. Truly inspiring. And, I'm sure that picture of you and the ladies is going to be priceless forever--what great friends they have always been, and especially these past weeks. You're about the most loving, non-judgmental person I know, and so I'm glad you've felt that love expressed in return. Many hugs lady!

Natalie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Nothing anyone can say can take away the pain you are feeling. I am so glad that you have such wonderful people around you to support you. What a wonderful blessing it is to know Heavenly Father's plan for us. You and your family are in my prayers!

Liv said...

This is a wonderful outlook to have in such a crazy time. I hope that you're finding peace amidst the chaos.

Ashley said...

Man, you got me crying like a baby! I really wish I could have been one of those people there to hold you and help you. And I wish I had known your mom better. It is the way I feel about Papa - I think that my older siblings knew him better than I did and they knew your mom better too. Someday I'd love to hear more about her.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Beautiful post my dear. The celebration of your sweet mothers life and the fun memories shared were enjoyable. It was a wonderful service.

Malea said...

Oh, Liv. I'm so grateful you were taken care of by such wonderful friends and family. It just goes to show you that what you do unto others comes back in your times of need. Thank you for the details from the funeral and the pictures. You looked amazingly beautiful and well. I'm glad it was so positive an experience.

stephanie said...

Beautiful.
Beautiful.
Beautiful.

You. This post. Memories (although few) of your mom.

Em and Russ said...

We love you Olivia!!!!!!

Merf said...

a good friend of mine---my age---just lost her mother---it doesnt matter your age---losing mom is hard... how grateful we have to be to know that Marie is not gone forever---she just wont write much for awhile... but she will be watching you and her sweet grandbabies and rooting for you all the way!

brooke said...

what an inspiring post. I'm so sorry for you loss, but totally appreciate your spirit and perspective! glad you could make the most out of an experience we all go through at one time or another with someone we love.

M said...

Beautiful. I'm so grateful to have been a part of that day.

the mama monster said...

i'm so sorry for your loss. your post was very beautiful and your mom sounds like she was an amazing person. isn't it so great to have the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation?

Rebecca said...

Your words and these pictures and you are beautiful! I'm so sorry for your enormous loss, and for the difficult time of adjusting you will be going through. You are in my prayers, and I'd love to help you however I can!! xoxo

Anelieze + Franco Castrejon said...

Olivia, I am so incredibly sad for you. As a friend, I hope you know that I'm thinking about you and your sweet family. Thank YOU for who you are as a mom, daughter, and friend. You are truly blessed!

Loves,
Anelieze :)

Susan said...

I am so sorry I couldn't be there. Please let me know what I can do. Love you lots. I loved this post.

Emma-Jayne said...

What a beautifully written post.
This had me crying into my cornflakes.
Your Mom's funeral looked very lovely, a wonderful celebration of life.
Wishing you and your family as calm a grieving process as possible.
Love to you all x

PeaceLoveApplesauce said...

This is such a beautiful post.. and it made me cry!!
I am so, so sorry for the loss of your mom!

Kristal said...

I'll also add that this was a beautifully written post. You're awesome Olivia, and we love you!

EriKa said...

Love you!

Em and Russ said...

We love you so much. Seriously, I thought your Mom's funeral was one of the best funerals I have ever been too. I think I only really met your Mom at your wedding, so I never got to know her, but I felt like I had known her all her life at the funeral. It was so beautiful and uplifting! Please call me anytime you need to talk. Can't wait to see you in a week.

Esther Noelle said...

Oh Liv such a wonderful post! So glad I can be here for you like you are ALWAYS there for me. Love you!

andrea. said...

olivia,

i cannot imagine what it would be like to go through what you just did. you have been on my mind so much lately. i hope you really are doing well and standing tall. death is such a bitter sweet thing!

please know that although we don't know each other well that i am here for you for anything! i would be happy to watch your kids if you ever need some time away...or a girl's night with esther!

xoxo
andrea

Holly said...

I'm so sorry for you. I know what a journey it is to go through a family death, and I know you will make it. I'm so glad that your aunt posted those pictures on facebook--I looked at them and thought, "Yes, THAT is Marie!" She was so beautiful, and I learned a lot from her, especially to play the piano! She will be missed.

Michelle said...

i am so sorry for your loss

Katie said...

Loved your post and all the beautiful pictures. Couldn't comment for a couple of days because every time I went to this post it would send tears streaming down my face.

katherine said...

Olivia I never knew your Mom but I know you are a FINE individual and she I'm sure had a lot to do with that. I'm glad you took care of her needs and that your needs were taken care of by all the people who surround you and love you in moments like these. We send our prayers and love your way :)

hotpants™ said...

I am so sorry, Olivia. This was a beautiful post. I'm so glad your mom was loved by so many.

Christie said...

I'm with my sister, Katie, tears streaming down my face. And, like Ashley alluded to, I'm grateful for the memories I have of your mom. And I'm really crummy at offering sympathy/condolences, but that is a really beautiful post.

Rachel C said...

I hope you don't think it's weird I'm reading your blog! I'm very sorry for your loss. Like I said on facebook, I have good memories of your mom and I am eternally grateful to her for her kindess and love she extended to me during those years my mom was single.

This year my husband and I lost a most beloved best friend to cancer and it was a very terrible, heart breaking experience. Even though we miss him dearly, my testimony of our Heavenly Father's plan has grown tremendously. Our sweet Father does have a plan for us and we will someday be reunited with those we love so much. The atonement is a living reality of the love our Savior and Father have for us and the gospel is a gospel of happiness and hope. May it bring great comfort to you that your mother isn't in pain anymore, that she is well and will always, always be near to you.

As mortals with limited knowledge and understanding, we wish those we love could be with us forever and for those who lose someone they love, they can never live long enough. Thank goodness for the plan, the atonement and the miraculous resurrection! We will be with our families forever and we hope that we will receive a joyous reunion with our loved ones someday.

Much love to you and your beautiful family this holiday season. Listen for you mom in the quiet moments of your heart and mind. She is there and she will always be close to you.

Rachel "Mulvay" Crane and family

Real Life Reslers said...

I've been pretty much out of the blog loop for awhile and I'm just catching up. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. This post was just beautiful. It's got me all teary eyed this morning.

Susie said...

Have not read your blog lately. This is the first I saw the photos and read your beautiful message about your mom. It made me cry. I miss her a lot and she was very proud of you and your beautiful family. Merry Christmas.... Miss you. Aunt Susie

lexylou said...

Oh my goodness Olivia....
I must have missed this post, but I am so sorry for your loss. My heart, prayers and love and hugs go out to you. I am crying for you babe, I lost my 14 year old brother and my grandpa who was more like a father to me (since my father passed away) in 1 year two month's apart. This post was so touching and beautiful, I wish I was that eloquent when I was grieving.
XOXO