violets_closeupJust about a year ago now, I received this note in response to a column I wrote for Mothers Day.  No words that I could add or bookending remarks that I could possibly add to it to make it any more meaningful than it is already.

Here then the letter from Pattie Wesley of Woodbury Connecticut.

“This is my first mother’s day in almost 65 years without my mom.  She died in January, just shy of 88.

“It is my first spring without her. She loved spring.

“This is my fist violet and dandelion season without her.

“As a young girl, I would run out on the morning of mother’s day and pick violets and dandelions to fill the construction paper pocket I made for her.

“She loved it.

“When I first returned to this part of the world 26 years ago, I went out one day in my parents’ yard, picked violets and brought them in to her. She burst into tears.

“’You always brought me the violets,” she said.

“This is the first spring since, that I have not been able to hand her the violets.

“My mother was in the geriatric unit at Bridgeport Hospital for more than a month before she died. The nurses would tell me she kept asking, ‘Where is my mother?’ apparently not a good thing to hear from an old person.

“Indeed, one day when I walked into her room, she was asking the nurse, ‘Where is my mother?’

“The nurse said, ‘Jane, your mother is not with us.’

“Looking straight at me, standing in the doorway, she said, ‘She’s right there.’

“I do not think my mom thought I was her mother. 

“I think she lost the word daughter.

“I think she knew, after years of holding me, that I was now holding her.”

And so she was. She held one parent and then she held the other as I learned just now when I wrote to Pattie to ask of I might share this tale:

I do want you to know that my dad, closer to 98 than 97, died in October of 2013, after my mom died in January. He was doing okay until we buried my mom in March on her birthday. Then he slipped down hill. His sweetheart was gone and he died, 24 hours after my brother and sister in law had said good bye and 30 minutes after I told him I loved him for the last time.

“They were excellent human beings and the best parents. I miss them every day and I don’t wish them back. Each, in his or her own way was ready to go. Their children are the luckiest people in the world.”

As I said at the outset, no words that I could add…. No  bookending remarks except a word of thanks to you, Pattie, on behalf of us all.