My wife’s mother passed in her sleep Friday night. She had been fighting some health problems for the past couple of years and seemed to have them under control recently, right up until we received the early morning phone call that we all know will come but are never prepared for. She was a remarkable woman with a heart as big as…well, how big can a heart be. She will be sorely missed.
Michelle is taking it particularly hard as she and her mother had an uncommonly close bond. Losing her father to a boat racing accident at the age of two and with her older brother and sister mostly grown and starting their own lives, it was just the two of them until her mother remarried six years later. She inherited her mothers mischievous, passionate personality and they were co-conspirators in living life to the fullest right to the end. She visited just last weekend for mother’s day and we listened as they sat alone by a fire on the beach, speaking softly and laughing loudly of adventures that they had shared when even after her remarriage, it was just the two of them against a world that couldn’t quite keep up. Tales of Michelle at age seven arranging to aquire and board a horse without her new step fathers knowledge, until he recieved the first months stable bill. He was understandably furious, but Betty negotiated a stay of execution and Michelle got off with a few weeks of restriction. Of secreting a large goose she found wandering a field on the way home from school into her room, begging and receiving her mothers reluctant approval in keeping it, and how that goose escaped from her room, noisily and filthily infiltrating an important business meeting her step father was holding in the living room. Of her mother catching her with her boyfriend “in the act” as a teenager and instead of being angry, laughing hysterically until the boy in question fled in humiliation. Partners in the crime of life, and although one is now departed from this world, partners still forever.
Rest well Betty Lou. Until one fine day, we meet again.