In Memory of My Mom

Sweetly Broken

We find we are moving through our days Mom, but we
remain disconnected to happenings around us. 
The world has stopped for us and resuming or catching up will take us
time. Time to figure out for each one of us how it will be without you. I do my
best thinking these days by writing out my thoughts. So here I
am. Reading and re-reading all the prayers and condolences which speak to prove of your bigger than life presence, life of the party. I am thankful for your love
so very much.  Your words resonate in my
mind, “I love you, dolly”, “not everyone is like you”, “please take care of
yourself” and “where did you come from?”

Yes, Mom! Not everyone is like me…when we understand
Grace we can then see beyond the behaviors and emotions of others and not let
them effect how we see ourselves.  We can
love despite trial, the hurt others inflict, and carelessness of our world does
not deter us from what is important. You demonstrated this in the way you
picked up the pieces of your life, time and time again. You are my champion, a survivor,
and the most authentic person, one bold enough to never mince words. Perhaps
difficult at times but Truth is hard to take, Is it not? And you taught me to
speak my mind and stand strong. I do stand strong in Truth and I believe in the
promises of God. I can only imagine the reunion with our loved ones in heaven and what it is
to be in the light and love of Glory.

Take care of myself…..oh that?!, always last on the
list. So many to think about and reach out to… it is in our nature, I remember
being completely unnerved by a young girl I was friends with way back, in Lake
Hopatcong, who only had cottage cheese to eat for dinner.  How can that be? You blessed us with dinners
that were events, well-balanced and nutritious. Thankful I was that we offered
food to her family. You taught me to always take time to bless others. And moreover,
to delight in the small things that capture our attention.  I remember the photo we took of Garrett
behind a curtain of weeping willow branches…you exclaimed that he was just like
his mommy.  We then remembered stroller
walks to town. Jeff in the carriage and you catching my hand as I ran ahead to
peek through the cement trellis to look down at the railroad tracks and then
dance through the weeping willow myself full on giggles. Still to this day, I
love the search of smallest in the natural….just like Great Grandmas garden,
always a discovery, Lily of the Valley. Tiniest bells, incredibly sweet. Gazebo
rest of old times and newer ones in your yard, the slam of the screen door as kids ran in and out. History of family that
gathered often and consistently.  You
knew those times were a void for our current state of affairs.  Nonetheless, you gathered those dear to you
as often as you could. Family our precious treasure.

Where did I come from?…. quite different we are
but one of the other. I would sit and watch you always from when I was the
tiniest girl perched near the mirror with you…. right up until recent days sitting at your dressing table, watching
as you put your make up on before going out…. We would talk about everything
and anything as I would arrange the colors of your nail polish or swipe my hand
with your eye shadow.  A different time
for sure, I only find mascara in my makeup bag today. 
You would dot my cheeks with rouge….. so pretty, you would exclaim!  I am proud of who you are, no separation could
keep. Though our lives met life altering challenges and difficulty, good prevailed and
it always will. And you would gladly tell the world of our antics, accomplishments,
and dilemmas with no regard if we wanted you to or not. Your rite of passage,
vicariously living more deeply through our experiences. Yet your own beautiful
approach to a day, put together. “We need to be there by 5,” Dad would say, Lorraine,
you better start at noon. Ha! Everything had to be in its place and each
decision was deliberated. So amusing to me…I just can not be that way.

No matter where we went Dad and you would strike up
conversations with strangers and always seem to realize how small the world is,
in the fact that we often knew mutual acquaintances or places we have lived in
common with someone you met. I can remember our trip to Disney when Garrett was small and literally
by mid-week waves were exchanged in the park from ride-goers from Sparta. “Who was that?”, Keith and I would laugh, how do they do
that time and time again.  Ever curious
about people and always engaging.

I loved writing notes or texting to encourage you in recent days,
striking a chord to not let your heart be stuck in the mire that hinders. Cheering you on, the best is yet to come! A
scavenger hunt of notes after our visits, on the car visor, in the coffee pot, mapped
out anticipating your steps after we headed home. Mostly I wanted you to not be
anxious or fearful anymore, I kept reminding you that you can not have NO in
your heart.  Because so much caused you
worry. We would suggest things and be met with your rapid fire, “no, no, no, no…”
But recently you dove into experiences a “little” more carefree, your sailing
cruise and boat rides in general. I noticed you overcoming. No matter you were
content in your ‘sanctuary’. I am thankful for all your adventures, you had so
much fun in life. Even still I understood why your reserve.

The trips to the shore, the pool parties, our
holiday meals, impromptu BBQs, surprise  or well planned 
visits there was always an
abundance. Remember “to hoop or not to hoop” with my wedding dress….I literally
had to call behind your back to get my way (no hoop). It was the joke over the summer season of parties before hand. High expectations,
demands, work for perfection. I knew you and all your fuss, even how to call
you out by saying not in Lorraine’s world…you would always soften because you
knew how much I love you.

Unrestrained, fierce love that had a balancing act
all your life. Your joy was found in each of us. We would laugh… so much over
the silliest things. And I would tease “my momma’s crazy and I am not afraid to
tell on you”…..protector, only wanting all to be right in each of our worlds. 

You made your friends family …. sister, aunt,
cousin, grandma/nana, beloved wife and mom. All of us will miss you so very much.

You called out to the Lord and He heard you. Free now in
heaven surrounded by peace that at times escaped you here, comfort that erases
all pain and Unfailing Love that we focus on as we pick up where you left off.

Feeling…..not sure, but sweetly broken….it is just way
to soon. 

In memory of Lorraine Ann Wolfe

January 31, 1942 – July 23, 2020

To all those who have been taken from us due to Covid-19. I pray knowing God will prevail with His goodness. And I am so thankful for the tireless effort and dedication of Physician’s Hospital ICU staff who did everything they could to change the course of this virus during my mom’s hospital stay. Their care extended to me reminding me I needed sleep after each 2 am call and a the sweetness of a nurse named Jennifer sharing tears with me knowing how difficult this has been, amazing compassion from caregivers.

Mostly, I am thankful for tender mercy because having to face more of a burden physically was a prognosis my heart could not bear to think about.

We, Keith, Garrett and I hope to join our family to celebrate your life Mom very soon, not virtually but gathered together in your home to honor you.


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  1. Linda Kilbourn says:

    Just lovely Debbie. Felt as though I was right there with you, back in time. You have a beautiful way with words. Have been wanting to tell you that for a while. Love & hugs to you and your family.❤️

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