Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Heaven's New Angel


She was movie star beautiful, 
with a heart to match, 
and we lost her this week; 
called to Heaven by our sweet Lord. 

I met her on a beautiful sunny day
in the summer of '69
when I was 13 years old and 
attending my first 'boy-girl' party
at her home. 

It was the day that I met her son, 
the man I was to marry, 
but on that lovely summer day, 
I had no idea that I would 
one day call this beautiful lady, Mom. 

With her first-born, whom I would eventually marry. 

She was as devoted a Mother as one could be, 
this lovely lady with the golden heart. 

Mother of four, as I would one day be, 
she was so easy to admire. 


She was just like Carol Brady of 'The Brady Bunch', 
but after 18 years of marital devotion, she found 
herself  divorced through no fault 
of her own. I can't imagine how difficult 
it was for a woman of her era, raised 
in the depression and WWll,
then a traditional 50's housewife, 
suddenly finding herself single with 
4 school-age children and no job skills of her own. 

Hard work was in her DNA, though, 
 and she joined the work-force
with the same enthusiasm she put towards 
everything in her life, eventually 
meeting a wonderful Navy man and 
embarking on the second chapter of her life.

They had many wonderful years together until she
found herself a widow the last years of her life.

Daughter's Donna and Terry helping out in the kitchen of the restaurant 

At the sink in her restaurant

The interior, completely remodeled by 2nd husband, Dick and family members
She opened and ran a successful restaurant, 
and was a devoted volunteer for the 
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), 
earning awards for her many years of service.

Her loving and giving spirit made her
many life-long friends, and she was beloved
in the small town she called her home,



When I married her eldest son and 1 year later
 left for distant shores, 3000 miles away, 
 I know it left a hole in her heart, 
but she made it her mission to always 
keep us close in heart, exchanging cards and letters,
 phone calls, and visits as often as possible. 

Nana with daughter, Heather

Her visits were precious and always filled with 
 plenty of love and laughter. 

Nana with son, Gabe

She was eventually a proud Grandmother of 8, 
and Great Grandmother of 3, and one on the way. 

Nana with granddaughters, Jennie and Heather

Dustin, Jennie, Nana and Gabe, along with dog, Petey. 

When she came to visit, she was 'Nana'
and stayed as long as she was able, 
giving my children her full attention and love. 


She even brought her only brother, Sonny, twice, 
and my children had the joy of meeting and learning 
from their Great Uncle who was a proud veteran 
of the Korean War. 


Most often she traveled with her daughters
and here they are with Ramblin' Man and nephew
Clayton in a halo of sunshine, 
back when they were young and golden, 
and full of life's promise. 

Oh, my heart breaks for how quickly time goes by..........


Nothing made her happier than being with her family
especially when she could get her children all together. 


She was always full of fun and laughter
and never had an unkind word to say - 
full of encouragement and support. 


Don't you just love Ramblin' Man's pink cumberbund?
This was his brother's wedding, back in the 80's. 


Her daughters lived close by, but not her sons, 
and she enjoyed every moment she had to spend with them. 


, Whenever they were together, 
the laughter would flow. 

Mom, Ramblin' Man, and I at daughter Jennie's wedding. 

Eldest grandson, Gabe as escort at daughter Heather's wedding. 

Eldest granddaughter, Heather, pinning corsage. 


She loved weddings and loved to dance
and I saved this note after she attended my daughter, Jennie's wedding,
telling us how she enjoyed dancing with her grandsons
and 'my son', and thanking me for saving the corsage for her. 



She was never one to sit still, and whenever she would visit, 
she set to work, doing whatever needed to be done. 

Here she is painting the front of our house when it was first built, 
and cooking her signature spaghetti sauce on her last visit here.

We're going to miss her wonderful spaghetti sauce :(

Our diminutive Nana - with two of her grandsons;
 Gabe and Clayton. 


After the kids grew up, I could travel to visit her
and here I am on my first trip 'back east' in many years,
with Mom, my sister-in-law's, Terry and Donna
 and niece Amanda - now all grown and a married woman. 

The last 10 years, she was unable to travel and we 
 tried to make yearly trips to see her. 


Our last trip was with 3 of our children and their spouses. 
By then she was mostly house-bound and on oxygen. 

Ramblin' Man made his final trip just a few weeks ago, 
in early October and he was so very glad that he did.

xoxo

We leave on Thursday for our long and sad journey
to say our final goodbye's. 

We've lost our family's bright light, 
but Heaven has gained another Angel. 

Please watch over us, Dear One, until we meet again. 

You'll be missed forever, but always in our hearts. 

xoxo

53 comments:

  1. Karen my sincere condolences. A wonderful tribute to someone who was well loved. Safe travels.

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  2. Beautiful post. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a strong and remarkable woman and I know you will all miss her deeply. Such a lovely tribute, Karen...safe travels... xoxo

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  4. Dear Karen,

    So very sad for the loss of your dear Mother in law. A lovely tribute to a wonderful Lady. Hope that the happy memories will help ease the pain and you can find comfort at this difficult time
    Sending my sincere condolences.
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  5. I am so sorry to read of your loss. Your tribute made me cry it was so full of love for this wonderful family member. I miss my mother-in-law, too. Safe travels and God Bless. Deb

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  6. This is such a heart warming tribute to your dear Mother in law. My heartfelt sympathies to you and your dear family. May her memory be eternal. Pat xx

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  7. What a simply wonderful tribute, and so many very nice photo's you've shared here too.
    My sincere condolences to you and all the family.

    Wishing you safe travels
    God Bless ...

    All the best Jan

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  8. This is such a beautiful tribute to your dear mother-in-law. I'll be keeping you and your family in my prayers during this very difficult time.

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  9. What a lovely story Karen...my deepest condolences to your family 💔

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  10. Sis what a beautiful lifes journey .... every word is spoken with such love xxoo

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  11. My condolences on your loss Karen. I will be keeping you, your husband and the rest of your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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  12. Karen, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mother-in-law sounds like a beautiful person. Safe travels and God's comfort as you gather to say good-bye together.

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  13. Sending you a big hug... What a lovely tribute!
    Bella

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  14. Karen, what a beautiful story to remember your mother-in-law with. I'm so sorry to hear about her passing; she sounds like a remarkable woman who raised a great family with love and devotion. She really does look like Carol Brady in that picture. Her spaghetti sounds delicious. Sending love and comfort as you say good-bye to your dear beloved mother-in-law.

    ~Sheri

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  15. I'm sorry for your loss Karen. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman. She leaves quite a legacy. Safe travels and prayers. xo Deborah

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  16. Oh my dear Karen! Thanks so much for sharing such beautiful words and precious photos of your family. I'm sending the most giant hugs to you all and also prayers of sympathy. It's easy to see what a bright light she was in the family. And she's an Angel you can all call by name now.

    Blessings sweet Friend. xoxo

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  17. My dear friend Karen,
    I am so sorry for your loos of your dear Mother in Law.
    You did such a wonderful tribute to her with his post!
    My thoughts are with you and your loved ones,
    take caer and have a safe trip!
    Love , hugs and blessings to you!
    Claudia xoxo

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  18. I'm so sorry for your loss...the loss your whole family is feeling now. You wrote a beautiful tribute and I feel your gratefulness in having such an amazing woman in your life.

    Safe travels and a huge hug.

    Jane x

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  19. Such sad news for you all. She'll live on through your memories when you look back at all the good times you had together. x

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  20. So very sorry to hear such sad news. Your mother in law sounds like a wonderful woman and a great Mom and mother in law too! My hugs, good thoughts and prayers are on their way to you all. Thinking of you. xx

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  21. Hello, what a wonderful tribute to your mother in law. So sorry for your loss, My prayers go out to you, your hubby and family. Beautiful memories and photos.

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  22. Dearest Karen ~ What a beautiful tribute for a lovely woman who was your mother in law. You were all blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with her and with each other.

    Have a safe trip, love, hugs, and prayers for you, Ramblin Man and your whole family ~ FlowerLady

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  23. Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman, inside and out. Sending prayers and sympathy to you and your family Karen, and safe travels.

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  24. This brought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful tribute with wonderful photos. I loved and admired my MIL as well. This is our second Christmas without her and we are feeling it more than the first. You have such a beautiful family, Karen. My condolences to you and your family.

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  25. This is such a beautiful tribute! I am so very very sorry for your family's loss. Will be keeping you all in my prayers. Hugs and my deepest sympathies go out to you.

    Jill

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  26. What a beautiful and loving tribute. God bless you all and hold you at this time.

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  27. Thank you for sharing her with us, Karen. May the Lord comfort and encourage you and yours as you mourn her death and celebrate her life, xx

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  28. Oh my.. my hearts feel the lost after reading your post. God be with you and your sweetheart during this tough time. Your in my prayers
    Hugs

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  29. Dearest Karen, my thoughts are with you all. I'm so sorry for the loss of this beautiful lady from your lives. Mimi xxx

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  30. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your dear mother in law, Karen. What a loving tribute you've shared for us to read about heaven's newest angel. My prayers are with you and your family, sweet friend. Love and God bless you, Kitty

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  31. I'm so sorry Karen, for the loss of your dear mother-in-law. Wishing you safe travels as you go to say good bye. Blessings to you and your family. Hugs. Pam

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  32. Hi dear Karen , que bello reportaje ,,,yo lo siento mucho por l muerte de su suegra ,, ella debe estar en el cielo

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  33. I am so sad for the loss of such a beautiful lady but happy also that your dear mother-in-law is with our Lord and Savior. My sympathies to you and Ramblin' Man and all your extended family. Safe travels on your journey.

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  34. Oh, dear Karen - what a testimonial. I am heart-sad for your loss - the love, admiration and respect for her is so obvious. I am heartily sorry for this....especially this time of year - it's tough enough alone.

    I will light a candle for her on Saturday when I sing choir at church. And will keep you all in my prayers. Hugs. ♥

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  35. So sorry to hear about your sweet mother in law. It comes through in your words what a special lady she was to all of you. Love to all.
    xx Beca

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  36. So sorry to hear of the passing of your sweet mother-in-law. She sounds like an amazing woman, who has obviously touched each of your hearts and left an imprint there. It's a blessing for you to have had her in your lives for so many years. I know what you mean when you say it's heartbreaking to see how quickly time passes! Best wishes to you, and safe travelling to the east.
    Wendy xox

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  37. I'm so sorry for your loss Karen. You have me almost in tears. Of course I'm missing my Daddy this second Christmas without him.

    You posted a beautiful tribute to this beautiful and gracious lady who one day you will see again. Safe travels to you.

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  38. so sorry for your families loss, you have done a wonderful tribute for her. So glad your hubby was able to go not to long ago. Wishing you peace and strength as you celebrate her life. Hope you have safe travels there and back.

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  39. A lovely tribute to a lovely woman. My most sincerest condolences, and prayers for the family left behind.

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  40. Such a lovely post Karen of an amazing woman. Hugs to you all in this sad time. B xx

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  41. So sorry to here about your dear mother-in-law. She was such a loving women and cared so much about her family. Safe traveling and bless you all.

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  42. I love how this was written out chronologically...so touching and lovely. I am sorry for your loss and I am sending you my thoughts and prayers <3

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  43. I'm so sorry for your loss, dearest Karen, especially during this period of the year, to lose a Dear One is so hard ... I've lost my dearest Grandma some years ago just ten days before than Christmas arrived, and her empty place at our table was a reason of such a pain for us all to see ... may the Lord help you all and embrace her with His warmest hug !

    P.S: She was truly a wonderful Beauty !

    MUCH LOVE

    Xx Dany

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  44. I'm sorry for your loss. The love between you really shows in each sentence of your post.

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  45. I was so moved to read this beautiful tribute and am sorry for your loss. A big big hug.
    Amalia
    xo

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  46. Karen, I send you my condolences and a big hug. It is always hard when someone we love dies but it is especially hard when it happens at Christmas, when the whole world seems to be full of joy and laughter but your heart is breaking. My mother-in-law died in December last year and it was dreadful. I shall say a prayer for you and your family. x

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  47. I am so very sorry for your loss, Karen. But what a beautiful tribute to your mother in law. She sounds like a wonderful, amazing woman. I pray that your family will have a blessed Christmas that will help ease the pain of losing a very loved one, and no doubt recalling many memories that you all have of her. xo

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  48. I'm so sorry I missed this Karen! What a wonderful tribute to your mil. She was most definitely a beautiful lady, inside and out. She endured some trials and tribulations, but persevered and nurtured a loving family. She's left behind a wonderful legacy.

    xxx

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  49. I'm so sorry Karen, hugs for you and your family from Spain.

    Marina Pérez

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  50. Such a special tribute to a beautiful woman. Oh that we all may strive to walk more in her footsteps. My heart goes out to you, Karen and the entire family.

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  51. Oh Karen I am so sorry for your families loss.The memories you share will always keep her alive in your hearts. Take care Karen. Hugs and prayers. I am sorry I missed this post. HUGS B

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  52. Dearest Karen,
    So sorry to read about the passing of your special and very dear Mother-in-law.
    Life is never easy with a vast number of miles in-between.
    But like you wrote so beautiful, it is the many fond and happy memories with lots of laughter that will survive as eternal memories.
    Sending you and your loved ones, especially your husband, blessings for this difficult period.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  53. I just saw your comment Mamas Mercantile blog and missed this post. So I hopped over to read what happened. Sorry for the loss of your mother-in-law. Thanks for sharing the photos of her thru the years. What a blessing to know she loved all of you for years and was such a great woman who enjoyed helping out wherever she was. Makes for good memories that will be in your and Rambling Man's hearts forever! Hugs and prayers through this time of loss although so thankful for the promise of heaven all because Jesus loved us so much that He came to earth to dwell with us! That's what Christmas is all about!

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Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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