Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Mother Died Today

I sadly report that my mother, Violet Marshall Funston, age 95, passed away this morning in Northfield, Minnesota. If you have read my March 9 post, you know that she was a remarkable woman for her time and place, and seeing her suffering in her later years has been painful for everyone who knew her--and she had a lot of friends.

I regret that Mother and I were not especially close. I fulfilled one of her dreams by having a long, successful teaching career and achieving financial independence, but I did not live up to her ideal of the perfect housekeeper and cook, wife, mother, and grandmother. I think that rather late in life, she learned to accept me as I am. She did not retain her reading ability long enough to read my book, or probably to recognize that it existed, but I think she would have been proud.

Our relationship was problematic, as mother-daughter relationships often are, but we loved each other. She awakened my imagination, believed in college education for her children even when she had to take a job to finance it, and borrowed money to make my first European trip happen. Ever the self-sacrificing mother, she traveled abroad only once, much later, when she went to England with me. We both enjoyed the trip very much.

I will remember my mother not as the very ill nursing home patient she eventually became, but as the smart, attractive, enthusiastic, friendly person she once was. Goodbye, Mother.

(Note: I shall be driving to Minnesota for a few days, so there will be no new posts here for a while. I'll be back.)

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne
Photo: Mother on her 94th birthday, with my brother John and me


chrisd said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. My name is Chris and I'm from Chicago Writes. I'm updating my links and decided to pay you a little visit to get to know you.

Please accept my sympathies.

Paula said...

My condolences, Marlys. I know how problematic the parent-child relationship can be. I wish you positive memories of your mother.

My father died on April 3rd last year. April is indeed the cruelest month.

Your friend from Eons,

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Marlys, but I'm glad that it sounds as though you're at peace with your mother's passing, and with your relationship.

- Joshua

seniorwriter said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I have returned from my mother's funeral in Minnesota and her burial in Wisconsin, and my life goes on. Mother is comfortable and at peace now; she suffered too much in the last few years. As I listened to one of my grand-nieces speak at the funeral, I realized how each generation eventually "takes over." I have no children, but my three grand-nieces will go on to make the family proud!