Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rest from Her Labors

Pausing during our niece's wedding reception
My sweet mother in law departed this world last night, peacefully, and at the end of a fairly uneventful day.  She had been living with my brother- and sister-in-law in Denver, as her 91 years began to catch up with her.  Living alone in her home in Idaho just wasn't a good idea any more.  She had actually been feeling stronger and healthier than before her move to Colorado.

But when it's time, it's time.  She just took her last breath and was gone.  We're so grateful that she wasn't in the hospital, ill, undergoing procedures, or separated from her family.  God was merciful. 

I'm so grateful to have had Julie in my life.  Not only was she the matriarch of the incredible family into which I married, but she and I just hit it off immediately when we first met.  We had a lot more in common than loving her son.  Julie was the first generation of her family to be born in the United States.  Her parents had come from the Ukraine.  They brought with them all the artistic skills that we now value as crafts, but at the time were just necessary for daily life.

She's wearing the cotton wrap I made her for her birthday last summer
Julie taught me to knit and crochet.  She taught me how to braid rugs.  She made lovely quilts and was an outstanding seamstress.  She grew a lovely garden, her own arbor of grapes, and fruit trees.  Every Christmas we'd get a package of her home made fruit leather, raisins, and (my favorite) raspberry jelly. 

The sunset from Julie's back porch
Julie's house was one of the most restful and rejuvenating places on the earth to me.  Her back porch looked out over a gorgeous landscape - the Snake River, with Oregon on the far side.  Inside the house, the walls were decorated with hand made textiles and family photos.  Ted's dad actually built the house, and you can feel the love and planning, labor and effort under your feet and over your head.  I'd really be mourning the loss of that home, but I think it's staying in the family.

Roses in Julie's garden
So I'm going to knit a little tonight, and thank God for the gift of Julie, and that she taught me skills I'll use and love for the rest of my life.  I love you, Mom.

7 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss - I guess God felt that her job was done. At least you and your family will be able to carry on her wonderful legacy through the things you do and the memories you share with one another.

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  2. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. But, how wonderful to have had such an amazing woman in your life.

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  4. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Cindy and family.... I'm so sorry for your loss... you'll be in my thoughts and prayers during this diffucult time. What a wonderful woman.

    bj

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  5. She sounds like a lovely woman. How lucky for you to have such a mother-in-law. Hugs.

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  6. What a beautiful tribute to a blessed and blessing mother-in-law! Even though I never met her, I have much to be grateful for because she passed down so much through you and Ted!

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  7. Anonymous8:09 PM

    What a beautiful tribute from a loving daughter-in-law. Alpacamama

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