Saturday, September 12, 2009

Good bye Dorothy.

My mother-in-law passed away today. She was 92 so it was neither unexpected or completely unwelcome by her. For the last seven years of her life she lived with us. She and I were about as different as two people could be. I often thought this was why we never had a problem with each other. We were so different that there were few commonalities to disagree about! But I do believe we had mutual admiration and respect.

Dorothy was the consumate homemaker. She made they best pie crusts ever produced on the face of the earth. Cleaning was not a chore, it was a source of pride and a constant force in her life. Even if she were not a product of the depression, she would have taken care to make sure everything she owned lasted as long as they were still useful - and in some cases longer!

She worked for many years as a clerk in the linens and bedding department of H.C. Prange in Appleton WI. There are many CEOs who could take lessons from her on how to take pride in what you do for a living. Her customers were her friends and her friends were her customers. She turned down offers to be "promoted" because she was already doing what gave her total joy and satifaction. Well into her 80s she would still extoll the virtues of one sheet manufacturer over another!

Her husband died when she was in her 50s and from this point on she was forced to be far more independent than she probably planned for or was comfortable with, but she found her way admirably. Her way was to establish a zone of comfort through routine and constants - whether that was friends, food, or functions. High School classmates remained friends, neighbors were her neighbors for decades, and the bridge club commarderie lasted well beyond the games.

My children, her grandchildren, were her joy. To this day I am sure she believes that Brian will someday be president. Her days with us became brighter when she heard Lanny come through the door after school and she so enjoyed his presence during her life with us. She spent hours watching all of her pictures of the kids and grandkids in the digital frame on her table.

She is one of the millions of people on this earth who live and die without making waves or marks, but she did make impressions. Dorothy your impression will long be on our heart. You will be remembered and loved. Thank you for sharing your life with us.


DancesWithPitBulls said...

You were blessed to have her. I took care of my mother here at my house for only 6 weeks before she died. I wish I'd had more time. (I'm new to your blog after seeing your sweater in the etsy email)

Kelly aka STITCHNMOMMA said...

My sympathies to you and your family!

jill said...

thanks for your kind words and thoughts.

Susan said...

What lovely--and loving--memories. You paint a remarkable picture of Dorothy. She sounds like a wonderful woman. My sympathy to you, Jon and the boys.

i_b_erin said...

How lovely Jill!
How wonderful that your family got to know her and admire who she was.
A true treasure.

Peace to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely lovely and loving tribute to your mother-in-law. Your words could so accurately describe many women of her generation, my own mother among them.

I am sure your mother-in-law treasured the time she spent with all of you, and I am also sure she admired you and loved you more than she showed.

Gail Ellspermann said...

It sounds like a life well-lived. You were blessed to have such a lovely mother-in-law. Blessings on Dorothy and your family.

Anonymous said...

What a loving tribute to a remarkable woman! Thank you for sharing your memories. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family.