"You're Beautiful, and I Love You"
On an October morning in 2020 - that troubled year - my beloved mother Barbara Jean passed quietly and gently out of this life at age 90, attended by her devoted husband Roy.
A gifted and trained artist who was also an all-capable homemaker, Mom was a person of sturdy intelligence, unusual warmth, exceptional integrity, and an endearing pluck - even feistiness - that followed from a lifetime of facing down challenges and life's inevitable disappointments.
Her strengths included an unassuming modesty, a resilient, positive attitude toward life, and a simple devotion to caring for others ahead of self. She was all about raising her three kids, and supporting Roy, with full-on love and encouragement.
What people noticed most about Mom, however, was her fundamental kindness toward others. As far as we know, she never said a mean word to anyone, by choice. The doctor during her final days commented that Barbara was the sweetest patient he'd ever had.
How Mom chose to close her life hints at her remarkable nature. Although, in her later years, Mom's mind swirled with stroke-induced dementia and she had mostly lost her speech, she brightened during her final weeks. As she stopped eating and courageously set her sail toward death, Barbara made a point of telling everyone she encountered - her caregivers, friends and family, surprised physicians - the same thing, with a smile: "You are beautiful, and I love you."
And so we were, to her. And so she was, to us.
TITLE - "You're Beautiful, and I Love You"
WHERE - Via Zoom to San Diego, California (2020)