imageOn September 3, 1985, I got up at 3am to wish my mother a wonderful trip to France.  I was so glad I made the effort, because she died in her sleep later that evening on the plane. That was 30 years ago. The last photo of her was taken just 10 weeks earlier when she came to my graduate school graduation in San Francisco.

Here’s one of my best gifts from my mother:

We moved every few years due to my father’s career.  One of the first things that would appear in the new kitchen when she unpacked was an old index card with a yellowed newspaper clipping from Dear Abby taped to it. She would put that on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. Here’s what it said:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.image

She and my dad had some difficult years in their marriage.  They went to marital therapy (in the 60’s!) and worked it out.  I think their last few years together before his early death were happy ones. She had a deep spirituality and I think that is what got her through it. Sadly, I began to understand and value that when I could no longer talk to her about it.  Nevertheless, I am glad to have received that gift.  Thanks, Mom.image


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7 Responses to Spirituality

  1. Constance says:

    What a lovely tribute Kathy. I wept a little. I love her last picture–What a great face and smile! And what a beautiful robe.
    I noticed this morning that I always save your blog till last. I like the time to savor it.

  2. Kim says:

    I did not know the story of your mother’s death on the plane. I’m moved that she was well enough to plan and execute a trip to France and then not make it there. Love the pictures of her. Thank you for sharing this. <3

    • yes, people sometimes say too bad it wasn’t on the way home, but she actually was not real excited to see France (even though I spend my junior year of college there), mainly really liked the trip leader from a previous trip to Italy.

  3. Cheryl M says:

    Very touching, Kathy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of your mother with us.

    • Thanks, Cheryl. Thirty years seemed like a significant anniversary. She’s been much on my mind. It was my inheritance that allowed my life-changing trip to Asia where I met Christy and Tenzin and realized I’d be going deeply into Buddhism.

  4. Well I shed a literal tear over this post. So lovely. I think the dead are right there, just behind a very thin curtain in our lives. That’s how it feels to me.

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