This blog is my portfolio of artwork, a journal about my process of making art...and the things that I have no words for...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Loss...feeling lost...

My Mother's bed 8/2/2011
 My Mother passed away on August 3rd due to the inter-cranial bleeding from a stroke that put her into a coma on August 2nd, Janie was 80 years old. She got up that morning, made her bed, went about her daily routine until she complained to my father that she didn't feel well, and suddenly she fainted, and never woke up. Although it was very unexpected, I believe she knew her time was coming. She hadn't been ill at the time, she had been doing well since she had a TIA last January, a warning shot over her bow you could say, she had briefly lost her eyesight but gained it back quickly and resumed her life as a folk artist, painting was one of her joys in life. Her doctor was monitoring her and I believe she was due for an appointment in September...although some of us had noticed some forgetfulness and repeating herself during conversations, she seemed to be chugging along fine on her own steam, she was such a lively little lady no one suspected a thing...we knew if she didn't feel good she'd say so because she was a squeaky wheel when things weren't right in her world. My poor father has been left behind, and the rest of her family and friends in shock, who would've thought that she would up and die so suddenly, but yet, this would be the way she'd prefer it...to leave the world while still in motion, she would have made a terrible patient...




A is for Angels...this was in the Comfort Room where she spent her final hours...it was very appropriate as she loved angels.

We buried her on August 9th, and the sky opened up and poured rain almost all day long, it was pretty awful out, and I'm sure Janie would have been ticked off by the "shitty weather" on the day of her funeral.

The flowers from the funeral 8/9/2011
 We brought home the flowers and set them on the front stoop as we unloaded them from the cars, they looked so pretty there we left them as a tribute...

The garden
 This is the house that I grew up in, my father built it...of course with the help of several local craftsmen and laborers...it is a sweet little house, tho' at times I wonder how five of us lived in there without killing each other...I was outside most of the time, a roamer from dawn to dusk...I came home for meals and when the street lights came on...my mother had an iron school bell to call me home with when I was needed...I could hear it from a mile away...if not more. I've been told on more than one occasion this past week how much I resemble our Janie...I am, after all, Laura Jane...what a rebel name...yes, I am my mother's daughter, and there were times we didn't see eye-to-eye, there were times it seemed we couldn't exist in the same space because we were too alike and sometimes that isn't a good thing, but as we've aged we've gotten on better, and I loved calling her up and letting her talk because she was such a treat to listen to, a chip off the old block of her father, Gordon...I'm just the latest version of them both and Great Grandma too, but with a good blend of my father to balance things out just enough so the chip isn't so jagged that I'd miss the block too much...

Impatiens in an enamel coated metal colander, she planted these special this year and was very pleased about how well the flowers were doing in this arrangement...

I saw this the morning after she passed...a sweet little still life in the garden
 

The porch, with all of her things...
Although she's gone, she is everywhere we look in her house. Goodness knows, I will miss her every day for the rest of my life...I've had to "talk" to her a few times to ask her "What did you do with your wedding picture, Mom?" I found it tucked away in a photo album, the frame must've gotten broken...it took only patience to find it, and I found a second copy of it in a paper bag in the hall closet, full of photos from her mother's house after her father died...I am the finder of lost objects, except when it's my own things...(I do find them eventually in the last place I look, just like everybody else.) The photos that I found are treasures that will be comfort to us all...





My mother was a folk artist, she painted many beautiful things, usually on old wooden boxes, boards, bowls, benches, stools, chairs, and other odds n' ends that she'd find...and she won prizes at the New York State Fair. My sister and I will make certain that her entries are delivered this week as scheduled, she would've wanted us to do that...


Her final piece.
This is the last piece she worked on, it is the lid of a picnic basket, featuring historical buildings in our home town Lyons NY where she lived all of her life. All that was left to do is to finish the Wayne County Courthouse, and I've been asked to finish it for her...I couldn't work on it yet, but I will make a special trip home to take care of it...I need a little time to fill the hole left in my life, get back to something resembling "Normal"...and help my siblings settle our father into his new routine without his Janie, this isn't going to be easy, we're playing it by ear, hoping he can stay at home for as long as he wants to and for as long as he's able.

7 comments:

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and in your loss you have given a beautiful tribute to her in words and photos. A full life lived...a blessing.

Judith Westerfield said...

Laura,
Lovely, Lovely post. I'm so very sorry for your Mother's unexpected death. You are right, it's a blessing for her, yet I suspect, so difficult for everyone else.
When my Mother died unexpectedly I was in shock for quite awhile. I was distracted from my own grief by attending to my Father. I wear her wedding rings and think of her, as you said, every day. Mothers are the only ones in the entire world who have been with us our entire existence. It's painful.
My prayers and love to you and your family.
Judy Westerfield
I've followed your blog for some time but have not commented until now. I was moved by your post

Dave said...

I'm here via Seth's blog...

A lovely tribute to your mother...beautifully done. My brothers and I lost my father this past Christmas...his death was also very sudden. (Our mom had died several years ago after a lingering illness...) I feel your loss...

Your work in Seth's posting is wonderful! Thanks for sharing this!!!

Seth said...

My heart goes out to you and your family and I send you all my deepest condolences. From my own experience, I have an idea of what you might be going through. Be gentle with yourself through this time. As has already been commented, this post is a moving tribute to your Janie. I am sure she is very proud.

Laura Tringali Holmes said...

I came over here from the Pulse post--dynamite work! Then I read your loving tribute to your mom. I am so sorry for your loss--it is a very difficult passage we must make when a parent passes away. Sending you warm wishes.

Sue said...

Just came across your blog, and your sad but wonderful tribute to your mother. No matter what age you are, when you loose your mum you feel orphaned and lost.I remember very well...

I like your blog and artwork, glad I found you.

Curio said...

So sad to read about your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom! My Dad and Mom passed away when I was in my early 20s. Still, 33 years later, I often feel their presence. I guess I'm here to tell you that your Mom will always be with you. Take care of yourself Laura.