The Kofford Family relocates to Colorado after 40 years as Californians. In December of 2007, Grandma Lorraine is diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. Sadly, she passed away on Dec. 26th, 2008 after a year long courageous battle. Follow our journey as we keep Lorraine's memory alive, and as we learn to appreciate that each day we are given, is a gift to be enjoyed!

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~Maria Robertson

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thank you for your kindness!

Thank you so much for all your kind words of encouragement! Reading your stories about your loved ones, and the supportive comments you left, sure gave me the boost I needed! Thank you readers for the comment-love! I can only hope to one day repay that same kindness back to you.

I have been living in that strange place...a place that is trying to hold onto the past, while embracing the present. When my mother's mother died, I remember going to the store with my mom where she bought a few bars of, "Dove" soap. My mom said she wanted to start using it again because it reminded her of her mother. My mom also started to use the same laundry detergent my grandmother used because, "It just smells like her."

I now understand why my mom did those things. I too have started doing some of my own recreating of the past. I noticed how cute my mom's hair looked when she was a little girl and I asked Ashlyn if I could style her hair the same way today. She happily agreed, and I said afterwards, "Oh look, you look just like Grandma did in 2nd grade!"

I took out some recipes that are written in my mom's beautiful cursive, and have been recreating them. Just cooking the same things she did, recreating the meals she used to make for my dad and me, made me feel closer to her. She had a depression era recipe that was made to use up what was on hand during a time when ingredients would be scarce...a time when Pearl Harbor was bombed and she and her family had to "black out" their windows and use no light. What a history in that recipe!

I've been listening to the last message she left me on our voice mail. She left it on Fri. Oct. 24th, and I haven't been able to erase it. I keep savoring her sweet voice and the inflection in her, "Hi Denise, it's Mom!" Knowing I will never hear that voice again makes me linger over and over on the message.

I've been looking at my parents wedding album and comparing who I look the most like at that age...I found my moms wedding notes...the measurements of the bridesmaids, what food would be served, etc...lingering over these details brings me back to what life was like during their early years together.

Now I finally "get it" with the soap, the detergent, and what it feels like to savor every smell and memory of a loved one. I wonder what things our children will savor in the decades to come? What perfume or soap will make a lasting impression in their minds? Most of all, I hope they will take with them to their adulthood fond memories and kind words.

Today, speak only kindness; and savor every nuance of your loved ones!


ShutUpandRun said...

I can completely understand wanting to keep your mom close in so many ways. I think it is beautiful and a sweet tribute to her. Two quotes come to mind:

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." ~From a headstone in Ireland

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." ~Kahlil Gibran

Lazy Mom Leslie said...

I love that you have her recipe cards. What a treasure! I would not be able to bring myself to erase the message either. You should save that tape. One day when your kids are adults they will treasure it as well!

Beth said...

You are fortunate to have so many treaures to help keep your parents memories alive!

Care to share some of the recipes?

Anita said...

Denise, I think those scents and sights are tastes are a blessing to have and remember.
When my parents would go out to something special, my mom always wore White Shoulders perfume, and to this day I can't smell it without thinking of her.
Thank you for sharing.

Sue said...

Your memories are so beautiful and so touching. Thank you for sharing them with us.


MiMi said...

Thank you for sharing some of the wonderful memories that you have of your sweet parents. I love that you have your mom's recipe cards. That is so special!

I am thankful that you have had this time to reflect and remember all the wonderful times shared by you and your family.

Happy Mothers Day, Denise!

emily said...

Oh Denise. I have been thinking of you so much today. I will continue to think of you through this first Mothers Day without her. I read your inspired words through blurry eyes and a stinging throat. Thank you for sharing these sweet sentiments of your mother. I would love to hear more.

Preston Faires said...

I love the quote that Shutupandrun left! How perfect. Thank you Denise for taking us on this journey with you. Hope that the support we can give via comments is an encouragement and balm to your healing heart.

With love always,Kim

glitzen said...

Oh yes, I do the same with my grandma Geri's things, and savor her sweet smell, such as her lotions, perfumes, etc. I keep her red coat in a dry cleaning bag, and only have a small hole torn so I can keep it smelling like her. Oh how I miss her.
How wonderful that your mom kept things such as recipes, notes from her wedding, etc. And the message on your answer machine, I would certainly keep it forever too. Better record it onto another source, just in case.
I'm so glad you can feel open to sharing these things, its in the telling that you really sort out your own feelings, and see the value in the small things you are doing to walk through this grief process. ((((((hugs))))) I'm so sorry for this ache, I truly am.

mommax3 said...

Reading your post thru blurry eyes reminds me that our time is short. My grandmother has been gone 2 years this Christmas and theres so much I wish I would have done or said. Her recipe cards are one of my favorite treasures.
Save that message, wish we had done that with Hubbys grandma but she called every week and you always thought you had time.
Good Luck to you going thru the house, Hugs!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Keep that message, Denise. I still have the message one of my best friends left on my machine just before she unexpectedly died. I played it for her husband and some of our friends a few years later, and it meant so much to hear her voice. I don't plan to erase it. Somehow, I need to figure out how to record it off my voice mail. I see nothing wrong with wanting to hear her voice because that's one thing that is hard to remember if you don't have it on tape. Plus, it's nice to hear it. I find comfort in hearing Lynn when I want to hear her.

I wish I had saved my mother's voice on my answering machine because she had the most amazing Southern accent. People in London would ask her questions over and over again just to hear her speak. It was soft and melodic and Patrician. She sounded like a character from GWTW.

When your birthday comes around, do what I do. Make sure you buy yourself something that you love that you know your mother would love to give you. I enjoy doing that because it makes Mama feel close by.

Thinking of you, especially this weekend...


Sheila :-)

Kim said...

Denise, when I experienced homesickness for the first time after moving to NY, I went to the store and bought the ingredients for my mom's rotisserie chicken, an old favorite. The fragrance filled the house and made me feel much closer to home! Sights, sounds, smells...these are all powerful suggestions and there are neat things you can do to make the moments of longing a little easier to bear. I'm going to make a list right now of all the little things that remind me so much of both my mother and father! That's a great idea for everyone! :)

Kim said...

I love that you kept that message! Keep it as long as you want or need to!!!
-Kim (again)