Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I am sorry I have not written sooner. You were on my mind before I wrote you that text a few weeks ago, and then when I received the information that your Mom had finally passed, I was slammed by my Studio Tour and many other responsibility’s, and did not get to tell you that I am so very sorry. I too lost my Mom this year. How strange we lost our Mom’s the very same year. Now we both have fathers who are lonely and very sad. I am still now realizing that it will be difficult for me to come to terms with my Mothers sudden death. She was here, then gone, so quick. I was busy painting, planning another trip to France, and many other things in my life were happening. I really did not have time to give her death much thought. Now I am paying a price for that. I think about her so often now. Much more than I did when she was alive. She would call me rarely, never wanting to disturb my busy life, and now I wish she was here, so she could. Although your Mom deteriorated for many years with Alzheimer’s , I understand your sadness over the finality. We just need to keep living and loving. Thank heavens we had great ones. Our Mothers were the best. They were both young and beautiful when they had us, and they raised us so well. I still remember your Mom, she was a lovely, tiny, dark-haired, very neat woman. Like my Mom, her years were spent raising her children, giving all she had to them. You and I have different lives than they did. We have careers. Thank heavens for careers.
I am in West Virginia right now, visiting my husbands’ family. We have traveled the 500 miles at Thanksgiving every year since we very first met, for over 35 years now. I have come to love these people who are my second family. So many of the oldest family members have died now, and that means we are getting to be the old ones. There is a farmstead here in West Virginia that was acquired by service in the revolutionary war. That very property is still in the Shaver family, and the ancient family graveyard, up on the hill is where my body will be when I die. (actually, God willing, I plan on being scattered here there and everywhere, the way I am now!) The holy graveyard ground, is a lovely, but at times very sad, old cemetery, up the steep hill, with large holly trees, heavy with their bright red berries this time of year, pushing and shoving all the ancient gravestones in odd poses. There are slaves that worked the old farm years ago, and when they died they are buried at the edge of the cemetery, marked by a jagged standing rock, now covered in moss, with an illegible name carved crudely into it. Babies, only days old were buried here, a few others came to be buried there from the huge mining disaster a few miles away. Some were taken by influenza in the early part of the 1900’s. Now a modern gravestone, in the shape of a bench for two people has been placed for a young woman with breast cancer from the Shaver family who recently passed. That is where I sat contemplating today, with the November sun warming my face. It was dedicated to that lovely young mother, and I said a prayer of Thanksgiving. So many 30 to 40-year-old women seem to be getting cancer these days. I suppose we are the lucky ones Carol. We are still hanging in there and healthy in our 60’s. I know that these years are flying by now, and that we need to be generous, kind, and loving all the time, but sometimes I wonder if it is possible to live up to all that I want to be. So… I live by my faith in the great hereafter! Hoping that I will have lots more time in eternity to become all that I am destined to be!
Happy Thanksgiving to my dear friend Carol, Love to you always!