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Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Beautiful Life Gone Too Soon

I woke up Saturday morning to the news of my stepmom passing away. Many of you may remember that she was my dad's second wife. She had a brain aneurysm eight years ago and after suffering for so long, her body just finally gave out last night.

It's not like we did not know that this day was coming. For most of us, we wished for her sake that it had come sooner. No one should have to suffer as long as this sweet, wonderful woman did. My heart aches each and every time I think of her. She was so cheery and always had a smile on her face before this hap
pened. She was an amazing grandmother to my children. Frank often tells the story of how she saved Nick's life. You see, when Nick was born, I tried breast feeding him. I was not producing enough for him and was very stressed and upset but the nurses in the hospital made me feel like a failure for wanting to quit. So I kept at it. On our second day home from the hospital, Collette came over to help me with whatever it was that I needed. Nicholas was screaming and crying, I was crying, Frank was pacing - we had no idea what to do to comfort this baby. Collette took one look at him and said "This baby is hungry!" She ran out the door, went to the store, bought a case of formula and a bunch of those Playtex bottles kits, came home, sterilized everything and after we fed him that first bottle? The boy slept for 12 hours!! She was truly a lifesaver. As first time parents, we were so afraid to do the wrong thing but Collette, being a mom, knew exactly what to do. We will be forever grateful for that one act alone.

She was always cleaning. Seriously, she worked at the deli with my d
ad for just about their whole marriage and whenever you saw her, she was cleaning something. When we went to their house, there she was, cleaning. That's why this picture of her is so perfect and makes me smile. Even dressed up (this was taken at Nick's christening) she had on a pair of rubber gloves! You could eat off of the floor when Collette was around!

I have struggled with extreme guilt about not being able to see her more since the aneurysm. I hated the fact that I couldn't be there. There was even a time when I wanted to try and get her moved here (from Florida) but I knew my dad would not agree to it. He divorced her three years ago - saying that his lawyer had advised it so that Medicare or whoever could not take anything from him in order to cover her medical expenses. So this vivacious, lovely woman became basically a ward of the state. I think it is a very sad way to end up.

I am not g
oing to pretend that she was a faultless human being. I openly admit that I did not like her when I first met her but I think that had more to do with my being a teenager and not wanting my dad to date anyone. As the years went on, she was always honest with me - if I hurt her feelings, she told me so, and I know that I did often. I didn't agree with the lifestyle she and my dad chose to live but that was my issue. The one thing that I can and always will say to describe Collette is that she was REAL. She didn't lie to any of us and she was great to my children. She did everything that she could to keep our family together (which is no easy task) unlike dad's new wife. Collette was the true grandparent in that relationship. My children both cried for her - and Michael really has no memory of her EXCEPT of her being in a nursing home - 80% paralyzed and unable to speak!

So rest now, my angel. Thank you for the love and support that you showed to my family. I am glad that you are finally free now of the demons that chased you in life and that in death you can have peace. We will never forget you and will always love you.

14 comments:

Mommy Kennedy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about yours and your family's loss!

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

Oh Stace, I'm so sorry to hear. My prayers are with you and your family.

Frugal Vicki said...

I am so very sorry Stace. I'm glad for her that her pain is finally gone, but I know that doesn't make it any easier on you. It sounds like she knew you loved her, and I bet that was the best gift you could have given her. I will be praying for you.

Anne said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have some lovely memories of her to share with your kids.

dddiva said...

Hugs and prayers, I too am sorry for your loss and glad for her peace.

A Lil Enchanted said...

I'm so sorry Stace.... it's so sad that the last years of her life were like that... she sounds like a very wonderful person. I'm glad that you had her in your life.

A Lil Enchanted,
~LaShan~

A.Marie said...

She sounds like a wonderful person and I am glad that you were able to have her in your life. I know that it is a blessing that she was able to pass away, but that doesn't make it any easier to bear! I'll be thinking and praying for you, dear bloggy friend!

jenn said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.
(((hugs)))

Henrietta said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! Losing someone is never easy, but it does sound like she is in a more peaceful place now, your family will be in my thoughts.

Femmepower said...

My condolences to you and your family. Sorry to hear a nice person pass away and in that manner. The memories make it more painful.

Grampy said...

May she rest in peace.It sounds like she had a hard time toward the end.She sounds like she was a wonderful woman.We keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Karen said...

I am so sorry. She is probably very happy now to be free of pain and cleaning with the angels.

PJ said...

i remember when my father was suffering with throat cancer and towards the end, as i watched him live with so much pain, i prayed that he be released of that pain. he didn't deserve it...

may her spirit rise up and greet the goddess...

hugz!

Lenox Knits said...

She sounds like a fascinating woman and this post was a very honest and heart felt tribute to her. It moved me as I'm sure it would have her.