“I have almost a complete disregard of precedent and a faith in the possibility of something better”. —Clara Barton
My dearest mom, Elaine, passed away last week.
In many ways, writing these words is surreal. As some of you may be aware, I am not from a big family. I am, in fact, an only child. I lost my beloved dad when I was a young woman. For many years, my mom and I have been together, linked arm-in-arm, facing this world and living our lives right by each other’s sides. Our many joys and deepest pains were always shared. We were never alone because we had each other.
There is so much I will miss about her. She was bold, brave, caring and deeply generous and giving of her spirit and time. She had a great sense of humor and loved to be teased. She was the most lovable ham. Too often is the phrase “larger than life” used, but it suited her perfectly. “Life of the party” was also an excellent fit (if you were seated next to her at a dinner, you prepared for fireworks). She was elegant and lithe in stature, but robust, mighty and refreshingly irreverent in the way she carried herself and lived her life.
When I was a young girl growing up in Missouri, many of my interests reflected those of my grandmother. I loved art and nature. I had a pony and, of course, a dog. We had baby chickens every spring. I loved playing and helping in the garden and making things with my hands. Above all else, I adored dress up! These were all things I did enthusiastically but in solitude, as I was shy and introverted.
A move from Kirksville, Missouri (population 9,000), to St. Louis when I was a middle schooler left me feeling very isolated and under-confident. Although my dad was the principal at my new school (this presented its own set of challenges for a 12-year-old new girl in town), I felt like I was on an island.
My mom was very concerned about my adjustment to my new life. Her advice to me at the time was that I simply needed to learn “how to bubble!”. While I was still scratching my head over the meaning of this suggestion, she was already busily executing an ambitious plan – I was going to run for school government (she coined this The Bubble Campaign)! This registered horror in the unassuming side of me. But before I could open my mouth in protest, my mom became my manager AND team, churning out ideas for platforms, strategies, buttons, posters, carefully crafted speeches, endless pep talks and many, many motivational snacks! Kids who were running for other offices even sought her help. Our “rec room” was our lively headquarters and my initial doubt was eclipsed by her unbridled enthusiasm. Much to my surprise, I won. Fast forward to my next run for school government years later and my mom charmingly coerced a classmate of mine to swing into my speech on a rope, both of us in costume, for a comedic “Me Tarzan, You Jane” moment (My middle name was Jane – Carolyne, my first name , would become my moniker after my move to NYC). Needless to say, that candidacy was a far cry from the shy girl who could barely muster the bravery to run years before. My mom’s confidence and gusto was infectious in my life. And there was no detail in my world unworthy of her enthusiastic brand of championing. Her belief in me made me fly. And with that new vantage point, the world began to open for me.
My mom was an educator, down to her bones. She earned her teaching degree in college and proudly pursued further degrees in special education in St. Louis. When I was in college at Washington University, she was working with a group of disabled children, some who were completely non-communicative. Her work with them was consistent but insufficient based on their needs. She applied for a grant and developed a program that allowed their time with her to be not only dedicated but full-time. With this new platform, she was able to tailor techniques and approaches to their needs that when applied consistently over time, yielded miraculous results. I remember going to see her for a second time working with her kids after some time had passed. The feeling of pride in progress radiated from that classroom and those children’s faces. I will carry the memory of seeing my mom doing what she loved best, what she was called to do, with me forever.
In later years, my mom was an advocate for children in the court system and went to great lengths to place these children with extended family members who may not have seen the potential in themselves as suitable guardians. Keeping families together was her main goal and her passion.
Later, she worked for the Red Cross, driving and distributing essential supplies in a DAT (Disaster Action Team) truck in St. Louis. She came to the aid of not only those in need in less fortunate communities but gave sustenance and provisions to firefighters and others who were also serving their community tirelessly. She assisted in relocating families in crisis to hotels and offered service and support to those who were suffering in their daily lives. The Red Cross gave her the Clara Barton award for her work and dedication. Few endeavors gave her more fulfillment and purpose than her work with the Red Cross.
Post-Hurricane Katrina, she also helped place evacuee students in St. Louis school districts who had been displaced and unable to continue their education in New Orleans. This included helping their families adjust to living in hotels and offering them support in picking up the pieces of their lives after that catastrophic storm.
In 2009, I urged my mom to come live with me in Connecticut. It was the time of the economic meltdown. This was no small feat – as she was quite content with her independence and the rich life she had built for herself in St. Louis. However, health reasons contributed to her decision to eventually come live with me. Upon her arrival, she got straight to work. She identified needs in local food banks and women’s shelters and requested a van that would help her deliver supplies to both these places. My love for her is on full display in the fact that I allowed her to take over swaths of my garden so we could yield more practical, heartier vegetables for donations (delicate mesclun lettuce was cast aside). Her work in our local community made everyone fall in love with her immediately. She was defined by the work she did to help others. Her role in CT, despite her aging or health hurdles, was no different. She even started a “10-ers Club” at my house. As a guest, you could not set foot on Weatherstone without giving $10 to fund her community projects. This endeared her to all my friends and kept us rooted in our community. Seeing my neighbors through her eyes and dedication was such a blessing.
She was a voracious reader. The Sharon Library was wonderful and set aside 4-5 books at a time. She wanted romance (but without “lurid” sex scenes!). She also followed the news closely and always sought to be well-informed. She spent most of her later days content and upright on a stool in her kitchen overlooking a bed of roses. Adjacent was a bird feeder and she marveled at the many varieties of birds that would frequent her favorite spot. This brought her comfort and joy. Through it all, she never lost her sense of humor. She was very self-effacing, insisting that any artistic talent I had skipped her and came directly from my maternal grandmother! But so much good came directly from her.
Even during this last year when she had times of pain and depression, she was always mindful of her many blessings, saying she was so fortunate to be surrounded by so much love and care. Through it all, she kept her Midwestern charm and strength (and her ability to strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere!).
She existed to help others and to make them feel safe, appreciated, valued, supported and inspired. I shall never stop trying to carry out that legacy, in my own way. I was incredibly blessed to call her my mom, and I move forward, carrying her in my heart always. I’ll start by gathering a truck of donations for those in need right now from her home because that’s exactly the way she would have wanted it done.
Stay safe and hold your loved ones close,
I feel blessed to have read your tribute to your mother. Not only enjoying the inspiring words on what one can do, but the smiles from you both in the photos. I’m coming up on one year anniversary on my mother’s passing, Jan. 1….
Thank you Carolyne.
All the way from La Plata, Md.
Brenda – I am so sorry to hear that you recently lost your mom as well. Mourning a loved one is very difficult right now, as there is too much going on around us every day and the external stresses may seem unbearable at times. Take the time you need for yourself. No doubt you have some wonderful memories – I hope they bring you some peace and comfort as we all endure this storm. Stay safe!
What a tribute! Love all of the pictures & details of your life together. My Mother was with us for the last five years of her life & I lost my Father at age 4 so she was a Father & Mother to me. What fun you have had together. Carolyne for many years you have brightened my life & you will carry on I am sure on the path your biggest supporter set you on. Much Love and Prayers.
Sherrill – your mom sounds like she was an amazing woman. I am so happy for you that she was able to spend her final years with you. Thank you for the condolences – they mean the world to me. Stay safe and take care of yourself!
Thank you for sharing your dear mother with us. She epitomizes the meaning and actions of Mother. She was a true Mother. She was a magnet to all who needed to experience her Mothering. I know she is Mothering those in Heaven. I know my neices will team up with her there.
Connie – I love the thought of her mothering in heaven. That truly warmed my heart!
A beautiful tribute Carolyne. Sincere condolences on the loss of your Mother
Margaret – thank you – that means a lot to me.
So very sorry for your loss of your beloved Mother. May your memories comfort you always and hold you close in heart. God Bless.
Thank you so much, Beth!
So very sorry for your loss of your beloved Mother. May your memories comfort you always and hold you close together in heart. God Bless.
Beth – there are many memories and those are my most cherished possessions right now. Thank you!
My deepest sympathy to you. My mother is 102 and I talk to her everyday, as I live in VA and she lives in TX. My sister moved next door to her this past summer ( thank goodness!) Your story about your mom is inspiring. She seems and looks like a wonderful mom, Lucky you to have had her all these years.
Anita – 102! God bless her. I imagine she has lived an amazing life. She sounds very lucky to have such loving and caring daughters and I’m sure you are quite fortunate as well. Thank you for your kindness.
I am so heartbroken. Your Mom was always a constant companion and chief cheerleader in all that you did. I hope all of the wonderful memories you have will comfort you at this trying time.
I am sending you tons of hugs, loads of love and comforting prayers.
My deepest condolences and love,
Timothy – she certainly was my cheerleader and for that, I was truly blessed. Thank you for your condolences – it means the world to me. I have so many wonderful memories, and thankfully, a wonderful support system here. Hope you are well and staying safe!
I am so sorry for your loss..2020 has certainly been enough without additional heartbreak. Your tribute is beautiful and inspiring to me as a mother of three daughters.
Elizabeth – the bond between mothers and daughters is a truly special one and I will treasure that for the rest of my life. I am so happy that she was able to be here with me for the end of her life and I know those memories will eventually bring me peace. Right now, the loss is new and it’s been difficult. And you are so right – 2020 is not our year:(. I hope you and your family are staying safe together!
So sorry for your loss. Your Mom was a remarkable woman. Keep in her spirit always!
Maria – her spirit filled our entire home and I will do everything I can to keep it alive! I will always carry her with me and continue to share the wonderful parts of her – her kindness, generosity and desire to see positive change in her community!Thank you so much for your kind words.
Such a beautiful tribute. I know your pain and only time will help❤️❤️❤️
Tutti – that is what everyone tells me so I believe it to be true. It’s still very new and the loss feels too great during some moments, but I have so many joyful memories to give me comfort. What a life she lived! Thank you for your support – it mean so much!
During a time when “there are no words.” You have shared a treasure chest of gems for us to embrace your precious mom…and a beautiful reflection of your bond in love. Thank you for blessing all of us with her…and you. Stretching from Here to Eternity is difficult and a challenging process. And while I believe you will be surrounded by her in glorious ways…I believe to you will see her beautiful smile and embrace again. I join with the army of those who adore you…in lifting you up in prayers as you press forward …carrying the shining, beautiful torch of your legacy. We all carry a bit of her in the inspiration and special touches we enjoy from you. Blessings.
Beverly – those beautiful words brought a tear to my eye. But I do, as you say, have a “treasure chest” of memories and I will hold them close to my heart. My mom helped so many people in her lifetime and their personal successes were her legacy. She wanted everyone to have the best life they could and she never stopped striving for that. I cannot tell you how much your thoughtful words mean to me. Hope you are taking care of yourself and staying safe!
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother.. Having lost both my parents, I understand how difficult it is to lose someone who brightens your world! What a wonderful woman! How proud you must be!
Sending hugs to you and your dogs.
Grace – I am so proud. At every turn of her life, she was always someone I could look up to and admire. I am so sorry for the loss of both our parents. It’s what they put into us that keeps them living on. May your memories give you comfort and moments of happiness.
I am so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing.. I, too, had an amazing mother so I understand. I miss her every day and my life was all the richer for her.
Deborah – How lucky we are to have had mothers who enriched our lives! I suspect I will be missing mine too every single day, but with that longing comes the beautiful memories that I will always cherish. Missing someone keeps them present in our days and I find some comfort in that. Hope you are getting by OK and staying well.
Dear Carolyne, I’m so sorry for your loss, I lost my mother three years ago, and I think of her everyday. The pain in the beginning will subside, because she is a gentle reminder of how blessed you were to have her in your life. I was lucky to have three siblings, my sister is my best friend and we each have a big part of my mother in our personality. Take care of you and hold on to her, for she will always be in your everyday life.
Lisa – You and your sister will carry the love of your mom on in your similarities with her. That is the best way to keep her in your lives. Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.
Such a beautiful tribute to your lovely Mother. My Mother and best friend has been gone for 15 years and I miss and think about her every day.
I’m so sorry for your loss. XOXO
Betty – I am so sorry for your loss. I know, in time, the pain will ease but the longing will always remain. The memories will keep me getting out of bed every day and living life the way she would have wanted. Wishing you good health, peace and comfort.
I am so very sorry to hear you have lost your beloved mom. She sounds like she led an incredible life, full of joy and meaning. I missed my sweet mom’s 80th birthday last March, as the pandemic hit right before we were to fly from NY to Texas. My mom reminds me in certain ways of yours. This is a reminder that I need to cherish her and make up for the missed celebration.
Thank you for sharing your memories with us — wishing you peace and healing.
all the best, Elizabeth
Elizabeth – Happy 80th to your dear mom! I’m sure she understands you not being there – moms never want their children to be unsafe and travel is just that right now. You will find time to celebrate and there should be A LOT of that once we are all able to be together again!
I’m sad for you at the loss if your much loved mother but rejoice that in your grief there are not regrets of love not shared.
I’m certain I’m not alone in your many admirers who have wondered how you have been so amazing! Thank you for sharing the secret weapon, your mother! Does she sound like a pistol!
Her life of service can be an inspiration to us all. First, the power of motherhood. What a blessing. But we are all reminded that our love and care for others has far reaching consequences. Thank you for sharing the story of your life together.
We share your grief in the loss of you mother.
Christine – Ha! She certainly was my secret weapon. I have no regrets because we shared so much and although we had our moments (as ALL mothers and daughters do!) we were very good to each other and so appreciative for what we had. I feel so supported my my loved ones and this online community and for that, I am deeply grateful right now.
Carolyne – What a beautiful and moving tribute this is. The words tell so much – and the pictures even more so. The love and life in her is so apparent in these photographs. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Mother. I hope that her amazing legacy, these beautiful memories, and the support of those you love will provide you with some small measure of comfort during this difficult time. I could not help but read so many parallels in your story and mine – my parents were both educators and fiercely dedicated to the community and helping those most in need. We had a second home in Kent, Connecticut for many years – and so we all knew and loved that beautiful corner of the world well. My own daughter is an only child – and like you and your Mother we are as close as can be. My parents passed seven years ago. While time doesn’t ever quell the pain of their loss it has made it less acute. I can look back now and think of them with more happiness than tears. These are such challenging times for everyone – and they will be so especially difficult for you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. – Francesca
Francesca – I love finding out all we have in common. If we sought out that which connects us in each other more often, the world would be a better place. Enjoy that beautiful bond you have with your daughter – it is the very best way to honor your wonderful parents. Thank you for sharing and for your comforting words.
What a beautiful tribute for your mother. The pictures said it all. So very sorry for your loss.
She was such a bright force – those pictures capture her perfectly! Thank you!
Carolyne, you are such an inspiration in all that you put your hand to do, I now understand that a large part of that source came from your dear Mother. I pray that the Holy Spirit will surround you and all those whose lives she touched and bring peace, love and comfort as only HE can do. Jesus’ Love, Ann H.
Thank you so much, Ann!
What a beautiful tribute for a beautiful woman. Carolyne, I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Mother. May beautiful memories of her bring you comfort. May she rest in peace and may God hold her in the palm of His hands.
Thank you, Eve. That is a beautiful thought.
Such a lovely tribute to your dear Mother Elaine. Her life of service and dedication to the most vulnerable Is so inspiring !
Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures & special occasions.
May your wonderful memories together bring you peace and comfort in these difficult times.
Lisa – they do bring me comfort and I’m so lucky to have had that time with her. Thank you so much for your kind words.
That is just lovely! People like her are what make the world great! I have no doubt she will continue to guide you here while amusing many fans up there!
Kris – I absolutely love that thought so thank you!
So very sorry. Wonderful woman.
You have wonderful photos to look back on. I wish I did.
Jill – I have been doing nothing but looking at photos and I know how lucky I am to have them. The memories are just as important, and I hope you have many of those. Thank you for your kind words – I truly appreciate them.
For those of us with more problematic and fraught relationships with our mothers, it is a pleasure and a comfort to read your tribute. The path of grief is long and never a straight line but how fortunate you both were to have each other: kind, supportive, nurturing on both sides. No matter what the social or economic circumstances of a mother and daughter, love and mutual appreciation are to be treasured and the unique irreplaceable source of strength to deal with whatever challenges life offers. I’m sure your mom valued having you as her daughter as much as you cherished her.
Julie – although no relationship is perfect, yes, I feel so fortunate that it was a source of joy and support for us both. I count myself among the lucky for that. “The path of grief is long and never a straight line” is a beautiful and wise statement though. I think for those with more complicated relationships there are discoveries along that winding path of grief that bring you closer to your loved one who is gone – be it shared experiences or commonalities that you never realized before or things that happen to you as you move on in life. There is a place of peace for us all where the good memories are cherished. Wishing you good health and that place of peace! Thank you for your kind, thoughtful words.
Dear Carolyne, I have always loved seeing your Mom in your posts and in your books (her joyful singing at a Christmas party comes to mind). Your loving tribute has allowed us to clearly see what a wonderful woman she was to you and to so may others.
Tale good care of yourself during these sad days in your life. Heather
Thank you for reminding me of that wonderful memory – she loved the holidays so very much! I am so touched by your kind words – thank you. Yes, I am trying to be kind to myself during this period of time, which is hard, but necessary. I hope you are well and staying safe.
THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL………………….THANK YOU for SHARING her LIFE.
I’m going back now to look at the photos again…………….LOVE PHOTOS One can never have TOO MANY!
Thank you so much. I keep going back to the photos as well! Those images are keeping me going right now.
Please accept my condolences on the loss of your wonderful mother. It is apparent through your many talents she was an inspirational and guiding figure, practicing what she instilled in you. Time does replace the heartache of loss with special memories to hold dear. Stay safe and take care of yourself.
Thank you, Susan. Sometimes I wish to fast forward through time because everything seems so hard right now but it is that heartache that leads us to our most cherished memories. Thank you so much for your lovely words. Stay safe!
Thank you for sharing the wonderful photos of your mother. All the memories you have of how she helped others will always be with you.
You bring such beauty and joy to our lives. We grieve with you. The pain will subside.
She will always be in your heart, and you in ours.
Thank you. All these words of support mean everything to me. I cannot thank you enough. My mom would be so touched as well.
What a lucky girl you are to have that wonderful guidance and companionship from your mother. I wish I could go back in time and thank my mother for all the things she taught me. I have appreciated her wise words in my life as she brought a love of the finer things in life to me. A bouquet on the dining room table even when you weren’t expecting guests, a linen hanky in your handbag, a good book to delve into and the importance of volunteering.
Eden – you mom sounds like my kind of woman. And wherever she is, Im sure she knows how much you appreciated her. Keep putting that bouquet out in honor of her – we all deserve some beauty during these mentally strenuous times. Thanks so much for you kind thoughts.
Condolences Carolyne. She was gorgeous
Inside and out, Virginia! Thank you so much.
Dear Carolyne – As the others have said, it was a pleasure to read your remarkable tribute to your mother. The shared pictures are adorable. Sincerest condolences on your loss. I was an “almost” only child, as my brother had graduated from high school and was in the Air Force the year before I was born in 1945. During WWII my mother, Galia Dudukaloff Kelsey, was a Red Cross Volunteer Nurse’s Aide at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville NY, giving over 1500 hours. After the war with the polio epidemic rampant she put her classical ballet training to good use by starting ballet classes for the children crippled by the disease, and got many pediatricians on board with this program, seeing the benefits of ballet’s special kind of exercise. She also started classes at the home of Brendan and Anne Gill in Bronxville. A number of her pupils were accepted later at the School of American Ballet in NYC – and they did not need to be “re-trained” as they had learned correctly from Mom in the first place. She spread a lot of her native Russian culture and people still remember me as “Mrs. Kelsey’s little girl,” although I was her worst pupil;-)
Your other comment about your mother’s Mid-Western friendliness brought a tear to my eye remembering my late mother-in-law, Nancy Leighton Calfee. She was born and grew up in Shaker Heights OH in a lovely home, the youngest of three children. The family fortune took a sharp downward turn with the Wall Street crash of ’29 and they had to move to a small apartment. She was shy and unhappy in the new school she had to attend, but as the years went on and the situation improved, she perked up and began to display her natural leadership and athletic ability (golf!). Tweedy-stylish with gorgeous long legs, she loved the outdoors. Her happiest years were at Smith College where she was elected – and re-elected numerous times as President of her Class of 1941! All the East Coast sophisticates, both guys and gals, were totally charmed by her endearing ways, but she gave her heart to Jack, a fellow Clevelander, and they were married for nearly sixty years. My husband is the oldest of their four boys. John and I live in Tennessee. If you are ever in the Nashville area please let me know. We have enjoyed for many years the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show benefiting Cheekwood, but recently were disappointed the the 2021 Show has been cancelled because of COVID-19. Met some fun ladies who had traveled to the last show from St. Louis – and one of them had been in my mother’s ballet class in Bronxville years’ ago. Tell me it’s not a small world!
I’ve gone on too long, but look forward to your Christmas decorating report. Sincerest good wishes,
Andrea – what remarkable stories about two seemingly incredible women! What wonderful genes in your families. Your tribute to them carries on their legacies – the written or spoken word is how we keep their spirits alive. Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. She is always with you and speaking to you through your many memories. You, too, have confidence, gusto and a plethora of talents that inspire your many friends. Bask in your memories and the love of friends both near and far.
Jean – thank you so much for those encouraging words. I will keep sharing all I have, just as my mom did.
I am sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds like a marvelous person. You were lucky to have her and she was lucky to have you.
Sherry – so very true. Thank you so much.
What a beautiful tribute to such a vibrant woman! Now I see some of the source of your energy, creativity, and perseverance. I am so very sorry for your loss. My mother, also an Elaine, passed away in early November six years ago, and I still feel her absence every day. But I also feel her presence in the many gifts and traits she made sure I had, and my wish for you is that you are comforted by a million happy memories with your wonderful mother. Sending you much love.
Amy – I am looking forward to some time passing because I think when one gets on the better side of this horrible grief, you do feel their presence more than their absence. Your words are a hopeful reminder of that so thank you!
What a lovely tribute to your loving Mother. I am indeed so very sorry for your loss. From reading your Mom lived a wonderfully full life and will be missed by so many she helped. My thoughts and prayers will be with you in the days and weeks ahead. I too know how losing a Mother feels. Life is never the same.
Cassandra – it is truly not the same. But we wouldn’t be the same without their love and care. Thank you for your lovely words!
Dear Carolyne, Sending you love and light!
Rochelle – to you as well. Thank you!
Carolyne, I didn’t know your dear Mom but feel that I do after reading your beautiful, heartfelt tribute! What an amazing woman she was, paving the way for her truly amazing & talented daughter! I have so many wonderful memories of my own dear Mom who passed in 2002, and I’m sure, as they are for me, your treasured memories of your special Mom will always be a great comfort & joy to you. I LOVE seeing the photos of your Mom & your dogs! You can just see the love pouring out. My heart is sharing your loss, dear Carolyne. Sending love & hugs.
Thank you so much, Kathy. We are all united in a loss like this because it’s one so many have endured. Thank you for sharing with me about your mom. I hope the memories continue to provide comfort.
A beautiful tribute to your Mother who gave back so much to her community. Your loving relationship brought tears to my eyes as it also brought back memories of my Mom, a single parent who provided us with a small, cozy home and beautiful garden. Take care.
Charlene – your mom sounds like she was an amazing person. How lucky we were to have had these women guiding us and teaching us about the most important things in life. I hope your memories bring you peace and joy. Thank you for your words.
I am sincerely sorry to learn of the passing of your mother. As I did write to you once before, I was a direct recipient of her kindness while at your tag sale many years ago. I’ll never forget how she made sure you acknowledged my approach to you, as you inadvertently turned away. That small gesture spoke volumes about her gracious nature. I will always have a fond memory of her radiant smile and kind expression. After reading how much she cared for others, I can see how important it was to her to make sure every being was considered and respected … what a profound and endearing legacy she leaves behind!
You are so fortunate to have had such a remarkable mother. Her loving spirit will always accompany you. I wish you all the comfort, love, and peace that the passing of time will bring to you as you cherish the memories of the life you shared.
Ana – thank you for sharing that beautiful memory. My mother leaves behind a legacy of kindness and care for all who crossed paths with her. Im so happy your path crossed hers as well.
What a beautiful tribute to your mom! Your stories of her gracious heart are so inspiring! She was an amazing woman and blessed so many with her care and compassion. I loved how she also instilled her love within the fabric of your heart. That bond you shared will never fade. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I know you will honor her legacy and continue to share her gracious love with all.
Sending abundant blessings to you…🌸Kara
Kara – your words are incredibly touching – thank you so much. Our bond is what’s getting me through this time now. She would want me happy and carrying on and intend to try to honor that.
This is a loving tribute to a remarkable woman and mother. You were fortunate to have her with you for so long . May she shine bright in your heart and memories as you mourn her loss but celebrate her life.
I am the caregiver to my 88 year old mother so I deeply appreciate that indelible mother/ daughter bond.
Karen – I’m sure your mom understands that bond as well since she is in your loving care. I intend to celebrate my mom’s life as much as possible – that is exactly the way she would have wanted it to be.
Please accept my sincere sympathy in the loss of your dear mother. I lost my own mother 24 years ago and there is not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her. Like you, I was extremely close to my mother and she was a constant companion and role model.
The pictures you shared were lovely and I know your mother has left you with a treasure trove of memories that you will be able to draw on in the days ahead. Know that she will always be with you. Sending a virtual hug.
With time, the pain is less raw, but we never forget. And that’s a good thing – it’s how we keep the people we love most by our sides. Sending a virtual hug back! Stay well.
Though I don’t know you, and have never commented, I’ve been following your blog for many years and have one of your books. You have such a beautiful visual aesthetic to everything you do and also in your writing. I see where it comes from! This beautiful tribute to your mom warms my heart and what a wonderful example of a mother to her child. My deepest sympathies for your loss. Sounds like she was a blessing to so many!
Lana – thank you so much for those generous words – I truly appreciate them. Writing this tribute made me feel close to her. Our memories are my warmth and protection right now.
Such a lovely tribute to your mom ❤️ You were so blessed throughout your life to have such a great supporter and I know you will continue to live with her loving words whispering encouragement and comfort to you. I’m sure she is telling you now to grieve but never feel defeated, to keep her memories close, to never give up and never forget how to bubble ❤️❤️
And continue to bubble I will, in her honor!
Prayers for you at this time. You gave a loving tribute to her and you were very blessed to have had her in your life for such a long time. So many lose their mothers at a young age. Having lost my mother, I cherish those last years I had with her, and my dad. There is a special relationship with our mothers, as they give us life. Sounds like you have precious memories of her. What blessings. God bless
Cathy – I was extremely fortunate to have her as long as I did – I know so many who have not had that same experience. There are countless memories that will cherish forever. Thank you for those words – they mean everything to me!
What a lucky woman you are to have had such an inspirational, strong, giving and witty mother. I too was so blessed. May all your beautiful memories of her bring comfort as the years go by.
She was as witty as they come! I will never stop being grateful that she was mine. Stay safe and well!
My deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved mother. Yours words are the most beautiful eulogy and a loving tribute that a daughter could write. Please know you are not alone.
Judy – thank you so much. All these amazing replies are making me feel less alone in this grief because it an inevitable part of all our lives, unfortunately. Thank you so much.
Oh Carolyne, I am so sad to hear this news. I have admired your mother from afar for many years and felt her to be the most magnificent of souls. Thank you for sharing her story, you honored her generous and courageous spirit so beautifully with your tribute. The road ahead will be difficult, you have never known a world without your mother and when two souls are connected at such a deep and primal level, it is a separation that can feel almost impossible to bear. But you will do what women have always done, you will bear the unbearable and with time, it will become less raw and someday you will be able to think of her with a smile instead of tears. I believe with all of my heart that you two shall meet again and although you can not see her, I am sure you will sense her by your side in the days ahead. She will be with you always, in a different way, but with you nonetheless. I will hold you in my prayers in the days ahead, may God bless you both on your journeys.
Lori – your words almost made me cry! Thank you so much. I absolutely do feel her with me and I know I will continue to as long as I am here. She will always be a part of my life, just in a different way now. But we women do “bear the unbearable”, as you said and we find ways to carry on and honor those we love most. I intend to do that for my mom – that is exactly what she would have wanted. Stay safe!
Thank you for sharing such a glorious description of a life well lived I just lost my father October 5th he was 87 and this gave me a wonderful idea to write about his life and our cherished memories I am truly sorry for your grief and probably loneliness
Comfort and peace to you
Sally – I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I think you absolutely should write down your memories with him – the stories will be preserved for others to read in the future. For me, writing is a way to sort things out in my head and gives me something tangible to hold on to, reflect on and even add to in the future. Thank you so much for your beautiful words.
What a beautiful tribute to your loving mother, and what a marvelous legacy of happy memories and life lessons she has given you to share, and hold in your heart.
We should all be so fortunate to have been loved so well. May you find peace in knowing she lives within you and your own grace, Ms. Roehm.
Thank you – I certainly hope you are right! I appreciate the time we shared and although we always wish it was more, we had a very full and rich life together. For that, I will always be grateful!
Thank you for sharing such a lovely tribute. May she rest in peace and organize wonderful parties in heaven!
Marina – thank you for that beautiful visual! She loved a good party!
I am so sorry to learn of your mom’s passing. I love seeing all the wonderful pictures you shared with us. You can see in these photos she had such a joyful spirit. The children she taught were so lucky to have her in their lives and I bet she considered herself lucky to have them in her life too. I know she was your role model, the one you can tell secrets too, share the good and bad that life gives us, the one you can laugh out loud with, and your best friend. Hold her memory close to your heart and you will find comfort. Sending much love your way!
Lisa – she felt so lucky to work with her children – few things made her happier. Thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful support!
Carolyne, I am so very, very sorry to hear of the death of your sweet mother. What a dear, loving tribute to your life together, and what a life of service she had, chock full of helping and blessing others. Sending hugs from Sweden.
Rebecca – thank you so much for that. She was so full of everything wonderful and I will miss her dearly. I appreciate your kind words and support more than you know! Stay safe.
I am so sad to hear of your mothers passing. You were such a wonderful daughter to her
as she was s mother to you. I lost my mother twenty three years ago and we had a tender
and close relationship. It takes time but memories and joy abound and I am never without
her as I keep her in my heart and take her whenever I go, blessings and love to you.
Fondly, Joanie Aldrich
Joanie – It sounds like you were very lucky to have such an amazing mom as she was also to have you as a daughter. I look forward to a time when the joy and the memories take the place of the suffering. Thank you so much for your thoughts.
A wonderful description and picture of your mother’s many talents, charm and love for all. You and your mother looked so much alike. Both beautiful! You are now an orphan but your mothers love will always be with you. Sincerest sympathy.
Sheila – she certainly will. And I have so many friends and loved ones who felt the same about her so I will never be alone. Thank you for your kindness!
Like all of your followers, I have admired your style, grace, courage and warmth throughout the years, delighting in every post, story and photograph. Reading the dedication to your mother highlighting her zest and spirit, not to mention her philanthropic accolades, shows just how much the two of you are alike. Such a special woman who instilled in you a sense of humor, charitable giving and unwavering love in all that she touched and to all who crossed her path. How incredibly fortunate you have been to have her as a role model, the world would certainly benefit from more women like her. May you find comfort and peace in the many memories that you shared together.
Carole – thank you so much! I was incredibly lucky to be raised by a woman like her. I will always find comfort in the amazing memories I have of all we did together.
Carolyne, Both of you were blessed to have had such a wonderful relationship. My mother and I were not as fortunate and it was one of the great tragedies of my life as well as hers. Thank you for sharing your mother with us. She has inspired me to think about how I can give back to my community as I age and to realize we continue to evolve into the woman we want to become. I’m writing a memoir and looking back on my life I see how some experiences sharpened my awareness of doors I never thought of opening and others I never knew existed. Your mother has opened another door for me, and I thank you both for that. Sending you strength and love, Brenda
Brenda – I am so sorry to hear that about your mom. There are always lessons in those struggles and sometimes those hardships shape you we are and give us strength. We are ALL still evolving into the women we want to become every single day. Sometimes we wouldn’t choose certain paths but it’s what we do with the lessons we learn along the way that truly count. My mother would be honored she inspired you in some way.
Carolyn, siento tu pérdida. Que homenaje tan hermoso has ofrecido a tu madre en ese relato. He leido de principio a fin, he mirado las fotos de tu bella madre y pienso “qué mujer tan extraordinaria”. Un abrazo desde España.
Mercedes – Muchas gracias por tus hermosas palabras. Las imágenes me brindan mucho consuelo y alegría. Tuve mucha suerte de tenerla y siempre estaré agradecida por su amor!
Dear Carolyne, I am so very sorry to read this. May the beautiful memories of your Mother bring your comfort. She was an amazing woman. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Sending prayers.
Eve – that compliment warms my heart. Thank you so much!
This is one of the most lovely tributes I’ve ever read. When I look at the photos, you can feel the energy and love of life around her. I always enjoyed seeing photos of her. Blessings to you!
Marsha – thank you so much. Her smile radiates through those images. I will always keep them close to my heart.
What an amazing woman! I can certainly see how your dear mother inspired you in so many ways throughout the years! I’m glad the two of you enjoyed such a loving, beautiful and close relationship. Bless you for celebrating her life and your lives together. Love the photos you chose to share. I extend my sympathies and trust that you will continue to feel her warmth and love in your heart. Take good care of you, Carolyne, and I hope to see you one of these days in Charleston! Sending you a hug, Linda
Linda – thank you so much. Her life has left all who knew her with the warmth that you mention! My work has me always taking photos – I have never been so happy to have so many photos to go through.
I am so sorry to hear about your dearest mom passing. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. May the almighty Lord provide you the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss of your true friend and mother. I know she is on her way to heaven proud and happy for your caring and love… may her soul rest in perfect peace.
God blessings always,
Thank you so much, Philip. I truly hope she is proud because she certainly made me proud. Thank you for those wonderful words.
Carolyne, What a beautiful, eloquent tribute to your Mother. From your description and the photos, your Mother was every bit as beautiful and eloquent. She leaves an incredible legacy of giving of herself. An incentive for all of us. Sending prayers and love.
Donna – thank you so much for your kind words. Her legacy is a reminder to me to live every day to the fullest, leave no words unsaid, and help whenever it’s possible. I’ll do my very best to honor her for as long as I am here!
Your mother was clearly a lovely and loving woman whose heart was big enough to share with an expanded community. Having a role model like your mother sets very high standards that you more than surpassed. I laughed out loud reading of the school hijinks she orchestrated! How much fun was she? Keep those memories with you….. Although you will always miss her, her indomitable spirit will remain with you always.
A virtual hug to you, my dear – Annie
Annie – she was SO fun! And that joy was infectious. I loved her so much for that. Life is hard enough – but she knew how to laugh and live in the moment. We should all find that in ourselves – especially now!
Dear Carolyne. Two peas in a pod. I see your mother’s actions, drive, compassion and beauty both inside and out mirrored in you. Rest assured she is already taking action, in heaven, to support those in need. With sympathy, Lynn
Lynn – “taking action in heaven” just made me smile and laugh. No moss grew on her, that’s for sure. Thank you for that.
I met your Mother at Weatherpebble during a garden tour. We started talking and I did not wish it to end. It’s not my city nature to seek out company,we were standing next to each other ,thus it began.She was just delightful. We exchanged information. I thought I may be visiting again in the future.One of my daughters friends is Sarah Bennison,one of your neighbors. I never did return.I know for certain she is still with you.. That spirit was so infectious and beautiful and sincere. Cathe
Catherine – thank you so much for sharing that! My mom adored meeting new people – it delighted and energized her! And “sincere” captures her perfectly. She was so present and genuine in her interest of others. I always marveled at her ability to connect with everyone.
Thank you for honoring your mother with all the love and care you poured into her. Your tribute is lovely and truly inspirational. You both reminded me of how blessed we are and how much we have to give our neighbors. My heartfelt condolences to you, Carolyne. God bless you and give you his peace in this difficult season.
Misty – my mom was also always a reminder to me that our neighbors need us (even during times like this when it’s not safe to be together). I am honoring her by trying to think up ways I can offer contact-less assistance! Thank you!
Dear Carolyne, I am so sorry for your loss but know that she is now resting in glory. Hope you find peace in your heart. Beth
Beth – I pray that she is. Thank you so much.
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, however, your tribute and, of course, the photos reflect so much joy and love the two of you shared. I must admit, at first, I wasn’t going to read the email because I knew what you were going to share! However, the more I read the more I reflected on the bond I had with my Mother. Even though I lost my Mother sixteen years ago, the memories of our time together will never be diminished. My daughter declared us the modern “…Three Musketeers…” Thank you and May the Peace of the Lord be with you. After I share your post with my daughter, I’m certain we will hug and reminisce.
Jinnette – if this post makes everyone squeeze their loved ones a little tighter or remember their moms fondly, then I have accomplished something! Thank you for your sweet words – they mean so much to me. We all carry on after loss – but the memories are what makes this all bearable. Enjoy your wonderful daughter.
Such a lovely tribute to your best friend. Your memories of her will always warm your heart.
Barbara – I am counting on that! Thank you!
Your touching tribute to your mother reminded me of the Emerson quote, “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.”
She certainly succeeded, just as you continue to do every day by transporting us to a world of beauty.
Christiane – I will be saving that beautiful quote. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I certainly have breathed easier because my mom lived. I cannot think of a more loving or appropriate tribute.
Dear Carolyne –
As I follow you on Facebook but haven’t been on that site much, I am touched and pleased to be on your email post list. Having said that, I am so sorry to hear the news of your dear mother’s passing. This is a wonderful tribute to have put together for all of us to share — and especially for those of us who did not know your mother personally. I think it is wonderful to have this platform to share these moments and appreciate the warmth combined with sadness at your most profound loss. It is so special when one can look back over the years with one’s parent or parents and know the special love they have given. I have discovered over the years that many people have not experienced the love and nurturing of wonderfully giving parents. They have truly been denied. So those of us having enjoyed this special love, can share with grateful joy and abandon, the happiness, strength, and sense of well-being that loving, giving and caring parents have embued in us. All of the pictures of you and your mother are just sublime – the sparkle in her eyes, the sense of openness in her face and the joy that emminates. Something you can hold in your heart forever. Please accept my most sincere condoleanes. Yours, John Vardas
John – I agree – not everyone has experienced that kind of parental love we have and for that, we are so very fortunate. What kindness and support I’ve received in sharing this news. It does not alter the grief but it certainly makes one feel less alone and for that, I am truly grateful.
My heart and thoughts are with you Carolyne.
I too am an only child and grew up without my dad. The pain of losing my mother was tremendous.
This wonderful tribute to your beautiful mother was outstanding and I feel I need to save it and reread it many times over.
Love and sympathy
Yvonne – we wouldn’t be who we are without our parents which is why the loss of them is so profound. When love is that great, so is the despair. Wishing you peace. Thank you for your supportive words.
This is a beautiful tribute to your dear mother. My heart breaks for you and for your loss of her. You were certainly blessed to have such a tremendously wonderful, iconic and respected woman as your mother. I can only imagine how extraordinarily proud of you she must have been. I hope your memories and the support around you soon help to bring you some solace. I send my very deepest condolences to you. Please stay well.
Best personal regards,
Jaime Hardie Miele
Jaime – thank you so much for your lovely words. I have so many wonderful memories that bring me comfort and joy.
When someone you love dies❤️❤️❤️… You never get over it. You just slowly get through each day. But you always keep them tucked safely in your heart❤️
Thinking of you
Barbra – she is certainly tucked in my heart and there she will remain! Thank you!
I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing but I appreciated reading your kind words about her. I did not know your Father died when you were younger, mine did as well. My mom is in hospice and I cannot see her now due to pandemic but we have spent the last 27 years together without my Dad, as I raised my daughter. I am feeling the similarities in our lives and loved what you wrote. I have many of your books. I hope your wonderful memories give you comfort during this sad time. Wishing you blessings for the future.
Krista – there are certainly similarities. I am sorry for your loss. But I know firsthand that has made you strong. I’m so sorry you are separated from your mom – I truly hope you are reunited soon. Stay safe!
Dear Carolyne – I am so sorry for your loss. I feel I knew a bit of her as I do you through your books and posts over the many years. Last Sunday we truly thought we were loosing my 99 year old Mom after a Covid positive. Tomorrow however she’ll be moved to a rehab facility in Chesterfield MO. We still don’t know what the future holds. But really I remember so many photos of your beautiful Mom in all your books – from the Christmas party in the barn in your Winter Notebook – to the one that you’ve included at your “tag sale” – I love that photo of the two of you. I can see she was a wonderful Mom but you were a wonderful daughter – you both ‘lucked out’ for sure
Kim – we certainly did! I am so happy to hear that your mom made it through OK – what a strong, brave woman. I hope she makes a full recovery. Take care of yourself – I’m sure the stress has been overwhelming. Stay safe.
I write this to you as if we are close friends. I have never posted a reply here before, but after reading your beautiful tribute to your mother, I wanted to not only express my sincere condolences but also share that I understand how such a special bond can change your life.
My beloved grandmother was this person in my life. Like your mother, she was my everything. She taught me to be strong, voice my opinions, and work hard for the things that I wanted to accomplish in life. When I chose to go away to college and leave home for the first time, she wrote me a letter every single day. I was the envy of my entire dorm when I had an envelope arrive regularly. She too is now passed away, but there is not a day that goes by that she is not in my thoughts somehow.
The woman that I am is so much a part of how she raised me to be.
Thank you for your blog, especially this very heartfelt one. Be well.
I often think about the power of a hand-written letter. It’s a lost art but one that was so impactful and genuine. How lucky you were to have such a kind, loving, attentive grandmother. I am certain that caliber of love lives on – I can feel it in your beautiful tribute to her. Thank you for your kind, touching words.
A lovely tribute to your darling mother. You were a good daughter and your mother would have been very proud and fortunate to live out her last years with you. My deepest sympathy from a fan in Sydney.
Thank you so much for your kindness, Lillian! We were both fortunate and lucky to share in each other’s lives for so long.
Thank you so much for sharing your memories and your grief. As you said you were so fortunate and I send you my deepest sympathies and a big hug. Stay strong and safe, please take care of yourself. All the best for the holidays that are soon!
Barbara – I accept and appreciate that hug. My mom loved the holidays more than anyone and I will find comfort in that this season. Stay safe and be well!
That was one of the most incredibly moving, thoughtful, and loving tributes I have ever read. Your mother sounds like she was an incredible woman and an amazing parent. You wrote to perfection the very special relationship you shared, which is how I feel about my own mother. (Perhaps that is why I have tears in my eyes, and mascara all over my face!)
May her memory forever bring you comfort and joy.
With warmest regards,
Jennifer – I never want to be the cause of mascara on anyone’s face;)! I’m handing you a virtual tissue. Thank you so much for your kind words. I was flooded with words for this post because of my immense love for her – nothing written will ever be enough, but it’s a start. We had such a wonderful life together and no tribute can capture that, but I will keep trying!
Your mother sounds like a wonderful person who was down to earth. She cared greatly for those less fortunate. She had a great sense of humour, a loving, giving nature, entertaining personality, and loved her daughter dearly. I understand your loss. I missed my mom daily when she passed. I was 48 and felt like an orphan. My mom was my hero. She was intelligent, caring, talented, and intelligent but most of all, she loved me immensely, and I her. I feel your pain and know there will be many times when something important will happen and your first response is to tell mom. Hold your memories close.
Joanna – your mom sounds like she was truly special. I am so sorry for your loss. How lucky we were to have such amazing role models who shaped our lives in such positive ways. I hope your memories of your mom bring you comfort and joy.
What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I too lost my father at a young age, it will be 30 years in a few weeks. I am also very close to my mother and your words truly resonated with me. My sympathies to you.
Thank you, Liz. And I’m so sorry for your loss – that is too long without your mom. I’m sure she has been by your side this whole time.
My heart breaks for your loss. Your mom’s infectious smile and sparkle to her eyes provides a small window into her life as a wholly philanthropic women who sought out to make this world a better place for others with inclusion and love. Obviously her benevolence will be remember for all of her selfless generosities.
I know you are grateful for every memory you shared together. May you celebrate your mom with daily remembrances of her, though painful now, but finding the joy she felt with her full and zestful life. I pray for peace from the pain of your loss and comfort in every beautiful and loving memory.
Marilyn – those words are truly beautiful and I thank you for them. Zestful is a word that perfectly captured my mom and her outlook on life and that is how she will always remain in my mind and my cherished memories.
Such an eloquent tribute. What a woman!
Patricia – Thank you – she really was all that and more!
I am so sorry to learn of your beautiful Mother’s passing. I too lost my beautiful Mother this May. I miss her evryday. But I also smile everyday remembering her love and the laughter she brought to all that new her. This I know for certain; she will always be with you. My heartfelt condolences.
Patti – I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dear mom – my deepest condolences to you as well. They will always be with us and that is reassuring through our grief.
Carolyne I send you my deepest condolences and a virtual hug ! Your mother is a true inspiration ! How blessed you are to have such a wonderful woman as a mom. If I may say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! In her memory I’m going to see what I can do in my community to help more . What a life well lived she had . I’m praying for you at this difficult time . You mon reminds me of people that they say never met a stranger ! She had kindness in her heart for everyone .
Lynn – thank you so much! I’m truly flattered by any comparison to my mom. Helping your community in her memory – I cannot think of a more fitting tribute. She would be humbled and delighted!
Dear Carolyne, oh your words bring tears, such a moving tribute to your mother, an exceptional woman who left this world better for it. There is a life well lived! As someone said earlier, the apple does not fall far from the tree. You are both forces of nature! I can only hope my daughter will remember me with the same unconditional love.
Mothers are so unique. How I wish my daughter (and son) could have known my mother. My mother passed away after a brief illness, 26 years ago, leaving me all alone to raise my two babies at the time and a husband who was mostly away. Her death created a silence that was deafening. My Mom was my rock. If we were not together then we were on the phone several times a day. If I couldn’t pick up bc of a crying baby she would leave me messages of love, encouragement and, honestly, more times than not, jokes! She held humor in high regard! When she died, I didn’t understand how the world could even continue, the sun rise as always when my Mom was not in it any longer.
The greater your love the greater your grief. Time does and will help, eventually.
But now it must feel so raw, doesn’t matter what age you are or how wise, you have lost a beloved parent, your Mom. It must ache in every fiber of your being. Be gentle with yourself, sometimes the smallest thing may catch you off guard and you fall to pieces. Let the tears flow, reach out for help when you need it and keep open for signs. at 3am I was on my way to the hospital as they had called to let me know that my mom was failing, I was racing to get there, I looked at the clock it was 3:21am and then in the night sky a gorgeous burst of light from a falling star. My Mom had passed away at that exact moment.
Be well, be safe. With deepest sympathies to you and your family, always, Elizabeth
Elizabeth – your words just brought a tear to my eye. They are so accurate. A “deafening silence” certainly captures the deep pain. I am so sorry for your loss, as I know one never truly recovers. But thinking of your mom as a shooting star made me hopeful. I think those signs are always around us and if we choose to see them, we are never alone and without the love that we once shared. Wishing you peace and comfort in your memories. Your kids will know your mom because she is still in you.
Beautiful tribute to your mom…
I am so very sorry for your loss.
You help and inspire so many of us, its sounds like your mother did that for you and countless others.
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time Carolyne.
Thank you so much, Susan. She was an inspiration to so many. I was so lucky to have her.
so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved mother. what a fulfilling and happy life she had… a blessing and comforting memories … my impression is that you are just like her…! you are, indeed your mother’s daughter.
may you go from strength to strength in this next chapter…
Thank you, Sandra! She has a beautiful life and was loved dearly. That’s all any of us can hope for.
Thank you for sharing your Mother with us. I enjoyed so much reading about her life through your words. You are a blessed woman to have had her with you. She passed the baton to you, so that you can shine in the life of others. She lives now through you! Peace and Grace, Anabela
Anabela – I will do my very best to live up to her legacy! Thank you so much!
I am sorry to hear about the passing of your dear, beloved mother.
You honour her greatly with your writings and behaviour.
Please take care of yourself and time as you need it.
Deb – thank you so much! I have a lot of support and am taking it easy.
Carolyne, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved mother. I lost my mom when I was 21 and her early death cast a shadow on my life. I’ve read your postings and all your books tributing Elaine and have found that you have so many of her best qualities. You have been such a big influence on my approach to beauty and bringing to others the great joy and inspiration that it gives to me. That has been your most valuable lesson to me. So you see, Carolyne, you are an educator just like your mother! I saw this old video years ago that captures the spirit of your mom. What a sport she was and it’s such a great illustration to us all of how to have fun and not take yourself so seriously. Much love to you, dear Carolyne.
Tracy – thank you so much for that! I loved it. And thank you for those kind words. I am so very sorry for the loss of your mom at such a young age. But it sounds like you found a way to carry on in strength and have tried to find solace in the beauty around you (and even better, share it with those you love). I think she would have been very proud. Continue to share your love and talents as a way to honor her. Stay safe and be well!
Oh, my…I mourn with you and for you and memories of my own mom….they were soul sisters and would have made such good friends. Weren’t we blessed! franki
Franki – we were so blessed. It is one of life’s true gifts to have parents who love, support and nurture you. I will forever be grateful for that. Thank you. Stay safe!
God Bless your Sweet Mother ❤️ what a Beautiful Tribute Carolyn ❤️ Her life was an inspiration 💕 Sending consolation and prayers ❤️
Betsy – thank you so much for those supportive words! I appreciate your kindness.
What a loving tribute. Thank you for sharing it with us. I love how your mom was passionate about many things including uniting children with their families. ❤️
Hajer – she deeply loved children and led a life in service to them. Each stop along her road had her working with kids in some capacity. She never turned her back on those who truly needed her – that was a quality I admired most! Wishing you good health and safety.
Dearest Carolyne, for a moment my Breath was held as I read about your Mum. I am so sorry, and I know so very well the emptiness loss and helplessness. People say time heals….thats not always true..but what is true is they never leave us…You will feel her around you all the time ….
Carolyne take care and be strong like always……you bring so much of peace And Joy to so many People
Pearl – I am so sorry that you have experienced this sort of loss as well – it is heartbreaking. But I feel her around me already and that is of great comfort. Wishing you continued strength and memories that keep you warm and content. Thank you for your lovely words. They are much appreciated.
My Dearest Carolyne,
I Wish you strength and my Heartfelt condolences …..It was an Honour to share the close Joyful relationship you had with your Mum. The videos especially the “Dancing video” brought moments of Peace in my own loss. Mum`s Love unconditionally, they Give and Give from an endless reservoir of Love, Kindness, and self sacrifice. The extremely close bond that you shared with her was wonderful to see and in many ways to be part of. Carolyne…She is with You….and She will always be at your side. You are both inspiring, courageous, and Beautiful ……
Pearl – I am humbled by your kind words. We shared a beautiful life together and I feel so fortunate for that. And I know she will always be with me – love like that takes on a different form but never disappears. Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Please stay safe!
You were very blessed to have had your Mother with you for so many years. She got to enjoy your successes and from the pictures you shared you had a lot of fun together. More important you could go to her for advice, and she could give you comfort and support when you needed it the most.
We will keep you in our prays.
Thank you, Lillie! We were each-others rocks and I will miss that support. But I had her for such a long time and the memories are abundant and truly wonderful. I will be forever grateful for that! Hope you are staying safe!
Carolyne – my sympathy to you on all your loss this year – starting with your dear friend Nina and now your dear mom. I understand your loss having gone through it myself last year. I wish you joy in your memories and peace in your heart.
Nadine – I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It’s truly a terrible time to lose a loved – there is so much stress and sadness already. Wishing you continued strength, good health and some peace this holiday season. Stay safe!
I read your beautiful tribute with tears, feeling sad for your loss but witness the appreciation you have, to have had such a wonderful, loving mother who clearly was a special lady. It touches me more as the closeness and bond you have is echoed in my relationship with my mother. She is 90 in a few weeks. It sounds like your mother was always there for you and that you will remain close spiritually. I hope the memories and gratitude of having shared your life with the amazing mother that she was will help ease the pain of your loss. I enjoy reading your posts and always look for the next one.
Wendy – there is no greater gift than a loving, supportive relationship with our moms. It shaped my life in so many ways. I feel so blessed to have the time with her that I did and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my days. Stay safe and healthy and enjoy that wonderful mom of yours. We all need to take care of ourselves and our loved ones through these difficult times. Enjoy your holidays!
Just started Thanksgiving by reading this beautiful tribute to your mother. I am so sorry for your loss, but grateful you shared these heartfelt memories of a beautiful, loving, supportive woman. My mother died in 2002. I feel very lucky to be reminded of her by things she loved in nature…gorgeous sunsets, flowers, mountain vistas…there are beautiful reminders daily. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
Patti – Thank you for those kind words – they mean so much. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank God for nature – it’s always there for us when things are difficult. It’s been my safe haven in isolation. And we certainly feel closer to our loved ones who are gone when we are enjoying a beautiful moment outside. Wishing you beautiful memories of your mom is every sunset!
My dearest friend, I found you and the beauty you bring just months ago. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, I had been in Kirksville many times. My entire life was spent taking care of 2 grandmothers, mother, father and a physically-challenged beautiful daughter. Worked at Ewing Kauffman Foundation for 20 years also and perhaps you have heard of them and the good they do for young people. But since I found your first book (and now have all of them!, I live in the beauty and dedication to have a garden and home so similar to yours but on a smaller scale of course! You have so many precious memories of your mother and grandmother and they installed in your heart and your mind to share all of that beauty, peace and fun to everyone who also wishes to have it. No, time does not heal all wounds. The hole in your heart will scab over and small things will jump out of at you but you will cope better as time goes by and your mother walks with you daily and you know you can sense her presence. Thank you for all of the good you are doing. And especially for my inspiration. I know the Good Lord will let me have a few more years so I can bring peace and joy to so many good people also. God bless you dear friend.
Lenore – thank you for those beautiful words. I love hearing how our paths have crossed and I’m so happy that you have been enjoying my books! You deserve some down-time with a book you love because it sounds like you work very hard for the ones that you love. Your description of the pain of losing someone is very accurate and wise. But I do feel my mom with me and for that, I’m so grateful. Wishing you a holiday season filled with peace and love.
Carolyne, so sorry to hear of your Elaine’s passing. I always had such precious memories of both her and your daddy. Family is precious, I lost my husband of 34 years this past May to cancer. Seeing the smiles of you and your mom brighten my day. Still love reading your stories.
Holly – I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for such kind words about my mom. Wishing you peaceful holidays and moments of comfort and joy. I hope your memories offer you solace. Sending you my very best.
I’m so sorry to hear of our Mum’s passing. My deepest sympathies and sincerest condolences to you and your family. What an absolutely brilliant and touching tribute to your mother, a testimony of the deep love shared between you two and the many life lessons she taught you. The photographs are such lovely, precious memories of a life fully lived. Take comfort knowing that she lives on in you and spiritually is always with you. There is nothing like a mother’s love, as I lost my own Mum a number of years ago and still yearn for her daily. You’ve gained a guardian angel. Thank you for sharing. Sending you an abundance of love, peace, and blessings.
Julia – I am so incredibly sorry to hear of your loss. The pain of losing a mom is almost too much to bear – and yet I tend to think that the suffering is equal to the immense love, which we were so lucky to have. Every day I look for signs and try to be open to moments when I still feel her around me – be that doing the things we loved together, reading books she loved or just taking a quiet moment to myself where I may reflect on her life. I see her in the beauty of nature – sunrises, sunsets and flowers. That’s all we can do – keep putting one foot in front of the other, holding them in our hearts. Wishing you continued strength and wonderful memories.