Saying goodbye to Momma….

I got the phone call about 4 this morning that we all dread…that someone we love is gone. I knew as soon as I saw the number who it was…my baby sister calling to say,”She’s gone…Mom’s gone”…and as much as I thought I was ready for it, I’m not. I’m really not.

I wish I could talk with her one more time…ask her about so many things. My Mother was the keeper of the family memory trove. If my sisters or I could not remember something, all we have to do was ask Momma….she usually remembered and knew the answer. She had gone downhill this year….I was down to see her about a month ago(most of you can imagine how glad I am we went), and she was just…. evaporating. Tinier than ever..down to just over 100 pounds…she was just folding in on herself. But still sharp as a tack….not much got by Mom…not much at all. …in fact she was reading the newspaper ,last night in the hospital(she couldn’t get to bed until she read the news). She still worried about all of us, and wanted the best for us. Something so touching on our last visit….my sister told me she so wanted to host a dinner for us( my sweet daughter went along on this trip too…she hadn’t seen her Mamaw in some time)…so she had the food manager at her assisted living facility fix us a special dinner. What was on the menu would not be good enough…it had to be special. And she was so worried about that meal, and I hated that she worried about it. But don’t I do the same when my son and daughter-in-law come in for a visit?  I so want it to be special. All their favorite foods have to be there… it has to be perfect. I am my Mother’s daughter.

My son just called….he said, “You know Mom, Mamaw was a really cool lady…to think that someone who really couldn’t get around except in  wheelchair, and had so many physical problems, a little old white lady in Alabama, would get out and vote….for Barack Obama…is really something.” And she really was something.

I didn’t talk to her yesterday…didn’t tell her I had gotten the Christmas china out, and used it for company lunch yesterday. I hope she knows. I hope she knows how much I love her and how very much we will all miss her indomitable spirit.  I’m headed down to Birmingham today to help my sisters get the funeral together and then, the task of dismantling what was left of her belongings. Much of it was gone already, as her world got smaller and smaller, but still. Many tears ahead and much laughter too…as I’ve often thought, the only good thing about a funeral is the family reunion that comes with it. She’d love that…and love to be there. And she will be in a way. Godspeed Mary Grace. Godspeed. And tell Daddy hi for me.


37 Responses

  1. Donna, please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your mother. I’m at a loss for words right now but know that my heart hurts for you and your family at this time in your life. May Mary Grace rest in peace knowing that she was loved by her family and friends. Susan

  2. As someone who’s been through what you’re going through, I understand exactly how you feel. You’re never ready for that news and you never get over it. But, the wonderful memories will bubble up and become the first thing you think about when you think about your mother instead of the feelings you’re having now.

    You and your family are in my prayers and you have my deepest condolences.

  3. Donna:
    I’m so sorry for your loss. Having lost both of my parents, I know that, no matter how old we are, it’s NEVER easy. As we Irish say-I have no doubt your mother was in heaven a half hour before the devil knew she was gone. Godspeed to her and I hope you find peace soon. Take comfort in knowing she’s in a better place, probably dancing with your Dad.

  4. my thought and pareys are with you and your famley

  5. I am so sorry for your loss Donna. Your post touched me in a multitude of ways. Today, Dec 7th would have been my grandmothers 95th birthday, and we also called her Mamaw.
    Take care and know that she is always with you even if you can’t see her or hear her voice.

  6. This story was so hard for me to finish without bursting into tears.How wonderful it was for your mom to know she was loved by so many as she parted from this life.My thoughts and condolences go out to Donna Hamilton and her family.

  7. Donna – my sincerest condolences go out to you and your family. I love reading posts about your mom…she seemed like a true hero in your eyes. Just remember…she is now in a better place…and with your dad.

  8. Donna my thoughts and prayers with you and your sisters today and the days ahead. I cried at the end of your post. Lost my mom in July 2008 and my dad is hanging tough, like your mom, living his life the best he can in his own circumstances. I think their generation is a lot tougher than ours. I don’t think I could face what they did daily with grace and courage and laughter.

    Safe journey to ‘Bama and back.

    Prayers of peace to you and yours.

  9. Donna,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    I felt like I knew your mom from the things you have written about here. I was so sorry to hear the news.

  10. Donna,
    Sorry about your loss and how well I understand. I just lost my 91 year old grandma less than a month ago. She had become very frail in the last year but still mentally sharp as a tack. I think that’s why I related to your story not to mention my grandma was a southern lady also (NC). I’m glad that last year on her 90th birthday that we were able to have a surprise party for her (even though I wondered is really a good idea to surprise someone 90 years old!). She fainted at the sight of so many friends and relative. I guess that will be a memory among the many I will cherish.

  11. Donna–My prayers are with you and your family at this time. Your mother sounded liked such a wonderful lady. And she must have been because she raised a wonderful daughter. Cherish all the wonderful memories. I lost my Mom in 2003 but not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and all the wonderful times we had together. Especially now, near the holidays, when I think of all the things she did that made the holidays special. I try to honor her by keeping many of those traditions alive. God bless Mary Grace and all of her family. Sue

  12. Donna,
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time. I enjoyed reading your dialog above, but really brought a tear to my eye thinking about my mom.


  13. Hello Donna,

    Many thoughts and prayers for you and your family at this time. May you share many loving memories at this time.

    My deepest sympathy,
    Maggie Brumit

  14. Donna,
    What a sad time to lose your mom. It’s never easy, but this time of year must be a smidge worse, if possible. I hope she and your dad are dancing again.

    Linda Metz xo

  15. Donna,

    Deepest condolences to you and the rest of your family on the loss of your mother…

    With respect…

  16. My condolences to you and your family in this time of sorrow. My thoughts and prayers to you all.

  17. Ms. Hamilton:
    My condolences to you and the family during this difficult time.

  18. Hi Donna,
    Just wanted you to know that we are thinking of and praying for you. May her cherished memories bring you joy, may the lessons she taught you, bring wisdom and contentment and may her spirit be with you and the legacy you share with your children and everyone you touch.
    May he who created heaven and earth give you and your inner peace.
    God Speed,

  19. So sorry to hear the sad news; my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  20. Donna,
    My prayers are with you and your family. Having lost my Mom recently, I know what your going through. Just remember that all the good thoughts always bring a smile to your face and tears of joy.

    With best regards

  21. Donna, bless your heart for taking time to write your blog at this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with the “Hamilton family”. Just know that Momma is with Daddy and they are your Angels now looking after all of you.
    Be safe in your journey.


  22. As soon as I saw the headline, I knew…..and thought, “Oh no, she’s gone!” And the thing is….I never knew her except through your mention(s) of her in your column. So I “do” feel like I “knew” her, and I’m sorry she’s left…..

    My kindest thoughts are with you at this time……

  23. Sorry to hear about your mother. I lost my mom at the age of 12, it was really hard for me because it was 6 of us. My oldest sister raised us, she was 18 at the time. I just want you to know that you and your family are in my prayers. I’m sure your mom was very proud of you. I know she had all of Alabama watching you on tv. By the way, she know you took out the christmas china. Keep up the good work.

  24. Donna, We lost our beloved Mom in February 2002 and it is still the most heart-wrenching good-bye I have ever had to say. The holidays are just not the same without her presence. I wish you the grace of God to get you and your sthru this week and beyond. I’ll jkeep her in my prayers.

  25. So sorry to hear about your loss, Donna.

    You have the condolences and prayers of so many to support you and your family. This is one of life’s more difficult circumstances, but faith and the memories of time gone by can never be taken away. Hold on to those things forever, and continue reflect upon those great times shared with your Mom.

    May God bless!

  26. Donna, I am at a loss for words. I truly loved reading the stories you shared with us of your mother. I lost my dad on July 31st, and it still feels like it was yesterday. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon and liver cancer on 12/13/08. He was determined to make it to October so he could walk be down the aisle, but God needed him earlier. You and your family will be in my thoughts. I am sure your mom is watching over you now. Try to remember all of the good times.

  27. Thank you Donna for sharing your heart with us. My prayers are with you and your family. It’s still fresh with me that my family just celebrated the life of my step-mother who went to be with the Lord just before Thanksgiving and now doing all I can to spend as much time with my own mother. Times like these make us reflect on how precious life is.
    May God’s comforting strength uphold your family.
    Grace & Peace.

  28. Donna, Please know your mother, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. It’s never easy to lose someone you love, no matter how much you prepare for it. But your mom is the lucky one because of the wonderful place she is now. She is free of pain and with your dad. Godspeed and God bless.


  29. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  30. Dear Ms. Hamilton,

    You and your family are in my thoughts and my prayers today and my heart felt sympathy is with you and your family at this time. May the love, kindness and the wonderful moments and memories of your beloved mother comfort you this day and in the days ahead. I’ve always believed that the greatest gift that a mother can give, is the gift of an honorable and loving legacy to her children and loved ones. May the legacy continue in the generations to come.

  31. Donna, your grief is just beginning. I lost my Mom in 1992 and I still want to talk with her. I’ll pray for you and your family. I am so very sorry.

  32. Dear Donna,

    I wept as I read your blog entry…through your blog many people came to know and care about your mother…I offer you my deepest sympathy…My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family…

  33. Donna –

    My thoughts are with you, your sisters and the rest of your family.

    ~ Elizabeth

  34. Donna,

    I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my Mom on New Year’s Day 2005. I can understand the pain and how much you would like to talk to her one more time. Just know that you are not alone. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  35. Donna,
    I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. My wife and I lost all 3 remaining parents in 2007 so I know acutely of what you’re feeling. Just know our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time and that this pain will subside and you’ll remember all of the good times with Miss Mary Grace. May God bless you, your sisters, and your entire family.

  36. Donna,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.


  37. Donna,
    My deepest sympathy to you and your family during this very difficult time. It has been almost a year, Dec 14, 2008, that we lost our Mom, and the good memories and life lessons are what keep us going. Our Mom and your Mom are finally reunited with their loving husbands. Hang in there

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