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Posts tagged ‘Grief’

Saying Goodbye: Dad’s Memorial Service

My dad, Raymond F. Ross, died almost two weeks ago.  His Memorial Service was yesterday, Saturday (15 February) at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arcadia, CA.  It was a beautiful day, sunny, temperature in the mid-70s.  Dad—who was always cold—would have liked sitting in the sunshine.  It was a small gathering. Family, friends, church members all shared some memories and said their goodbyes.

Mom died a bit over a year ago.  It seemed especially apt that Dad passed this year in time for Dad and Mom to be together again to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  A restaurant near them always offered a free dinner and a photo to couples married more than 50 years.  Mom and Dad were married over 70 years and enjoyed surprising people over the length of their time together.  They never quite looked—or acted—their age!

MD Valentine's Day

Mom & Dad Valentine's Day 2000

Now that they are both gone, I like thinking of them once again being together for birthdays and holidays, adding more years to their lives together.  I do miss them!

My main tribute to Dad at the Service was this PowerPoint Slide Show that showcases his life and family.  It is comparable to one I prepared about Mom at her passing.  Sharing the photos, the memories, somehow makes this time of sorrow a bit easier.

I do feel lucky that I saw Dad a few days before he died.  It was a typical visit, and we parted saying, “I love you” and sharing a hug and a kiss.  Thank goodness!  Please tell your loved ones how much you love them and show them by giving them your time and attention.  You never know when they could be gone.


mom blowing candles 70I have been thinking about my mom a lot today.  Today is her first birthday since her death. She would have been 92.  I miss her a lot, but this week especially the memories are bubbling up.  I also have been reviewing some old photos.  When I was kid, I was never thrilled when people said I was just like Mom.  I can picture myself rolling my eyes and giving an exasperated sigh as only a bored thirteen year old can do.  But now, I welcome the comparisons!

Some photos show that we even looked a bit alike.

Me about 4

Me about 4

Mom about 4

Mom about 4



me and mom about 1957


I wish she were here to celebrate.  But I’ll make a point to see Dad this weekend, maybe bring a birthday cake for us to enjoy.  I will buy some flowers to brighten up the house.  I’ll actually cook—an activity I do not always practice—and make some of her favorites:  pork roast with lots of onions, scalloped potatoes, and maybe even her orange spice Jello salad.  For the last year, Mom and I had the habit of watching movies together on Saturday night.  This weekend, I will watch The Music Man, the movie I had planned to watch with her the weekend she died.  She would have loved it—romance, music, nostalgic times!  It will be a bittersweet weekend, but I value all the memories I have of her.

mom and gorillaHappy Birthday, Mom!  I love you.  I miss you.  I trust you will be looking down on us as we each celebrate your life in our own way.  As you celebrate with all the friends and family there in heaven with you, don’t forget to tell them about the time a gorilla serenaded you! And remember that we treasure the many gifts you have given us over the years including these:

  • A love of Nature, especially dogs and birds and gardens
  • A willingness to help others
  • A positive attitude that demonstrates you just need to decide to be happy
  • A love of poetry and quotes
  • A friendly approach to life that makes everyone a friend

Thanks, Mom, as I try to live your life lessons, I hope to make you proud!

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My mother… she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her.   Jodi Picoult

As mothers and daughters, we are connected with one another. My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is the beating of my heart. I cannot now imagine a life without her.  Kristin Hannah

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.  Ambrose Bierce

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.  Jewish Proverb

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.   Tenneva Jordan

The phrase “working mother” is redundant.   Jane Sellman

Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.   George Eliot

Time is the only comforter for the loss of a mother.   Jane Welsh Carlyle

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