In looking at the date, it's hard to realize it's been more than 4 weeks since my beautiful Mother in Love left this realm for the next.
Arlene and I were close. By default, I was her favorite Daughter-in-Law. (Bob's been divorced for years!)
I was looking forward to her coming to stay with us.
She bore six children, four girls and two boys. The eldest was Joni. Joni was a beautiful little girl that suffered from seizures, and passed away when she was five years old. Arlene and I talked about losing children. Joni passed when Tom was two, Angie was three and a half. She didn't have time to process her loss- the chaos of life propelled her forward.
Arlene was 87 years old. She told me many stories of her growing up. She was a handful, as the youngest girl. (She had two younger brothers- one passed away at 7 years old, of something that could of been cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics hit the market some six months later.)
Arlie was a beauty. Vain, by her own admission... she didn't like to see age on her face.
She was strong, and opinionated. Always caring, she was often exasperated at the behavior of her children. "I just birthed them, and did my best. I can't help how they've turned out," she would say as political arguments broke out at the picnic table on her deck. But she loved them all dearly.
Arlene always had a song. From silly little ditties like "She has freckles on her BUT she's pretty!", to old commercials, or classic songs from other eras.
She set an example for me, as a grandmother, to get the cousins together and do fun things with them while they visited. From visits to the beach at Lake Logan, trips to the zoo, the Firemen Festival, or the Pumpkin Show; to visiting state parks and hiking, or simply playing Scrabble around the dining room table... she made memories with the grandchildren. She attended ball games, and traveled hundreds of miles to watch stage performances. She was a regular at the ball games, school events, and GrandParent days of her local grandchildren.
On April 17, two days after Arlie would of turned 88, there will be a graveside memorial service in Raymond Ohio. It will be followed by a Celebration of Life at the Raymond Community Center.
I am struggling with grief. As a Christian, I know where Arlene is now. She's beyond our sorrow, renewed in her youth, all cares of this world left behind. We should be happy when our beloved have moved on. Grief is for those who remain here. We miss the place that belonged to those who have left us behind. I don't think it is wrong to mourn our losses.