Saturday, May 23, 2009

Remembering Grandma Mary

Mary, we'll miss you so much--picking strawberries with you in the spring and picking apples with you in the fall, eating your yummy sugar cookies and gingerbread men at Christmas, grilling out in your "screen house" in the summer.

In addition to some of my favorite pictures of my mother-in-law, I'm also posting Lance's final post on Mary's Care Page.

Missing my mom.
Posted May 19, 2009 12:57am
As many of you may already know, Mary passed away during the early hours of May 17th. Her daughter, her son and her brother were with her when she died. She was not in pain nor was she suffering. It was peaceful and dignified.

Mary's journey in her fight against cancer was one of ups and downs. She was devastated by her diagnosis during December of last year but never gave in to the disease. Although Mary's body was compromised, her mind and soul remained strong. As she weakened it seemed that her love and compassion strengthened. She took every opportunity to tell those around her how much she loved them and how much they meant to her. Little did she know how influential and inspiring she was to so many.

As a mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend and co-worker Mary didn't hold back. Mary wasn't afraid to tell it to you straight - whether you wanted to hear it or not, if she thought it would help, she said it. She was a strong Catholic woman with a love for God. And it was her faith that helped her climb out of the lowest valleys and celebrate on the highest peaks. She fought for those who couldn't fight for themselves - the weak, the ill, the less fortunate which often times included her family and friends. The fight that lived in Mary was never touched by the cancer that invaded the rest of her body. And that fight now lives on in her kids, her siblings and her friends.

So you might be wondering where was God during Mary's fight? Where was the miracle that we asked for? And I'll tell you that God held Mary's hand this entire journey. And he did perform miracles almost on a daily basis throughout Mary's life. Miracles that included minutes of pure joy and clarity with her four grandchildren only hours before her death. Miracles that included two brain surgeries that allowed a husband and wife to hold hands and go for walks. Miracles that brought a son and daughter from NC and TX back to MI and IL within months of Mary's diagnosis. Miracles that brought Mary to a facility to be cared for by nurses that she helped teach. Miracles that allowed Mary to die with the peace and dignity that she deserved. Miracles that give Mary a chance to spend eternity with the one who died so that we could be forgiven.

I miss my mom and always will. I'll miss the way she kisses me. I'll miss the way she holds her grandkids. I'll miss the way she cares so thoughtfully for my father. But I will celebrate her life and will never question her love for me. I will remember her every time I kiss my children and every time I say the words I Love You. I love you Ma.

I hope you'll join Mary's family and friends at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Canton, MI on Friday, May 22 to celebrate her life. Visitation will be from 10am - 11am followed by a service and celebration luncheon. Per Mary's request, food will be provided by Palermo's and dessert will include plenty of brownies! Please join us for any/all of the day's events - and please celebrate Mary's wonderful life!

Thank you for your wonderful messages for Mary via this site. They helped Mary realize it was OK to let go and it has helped her family thrive during this most difficult time. Mary was a good listener and she loved to listen to your thoughts, stories and prayers.

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