Monday, December 30, 2013

Thanks, Dad!

My Dad has thrown me and my blog a lifeline.

I've blogged through some difficult situations, hard times, sad times, good times... as well as deliriously happy times. But I have no point of reference for blogging through this kind of grief -- the sadness of losing my mom. It seems that it happened so fast. From last summer when we were clueless, to early fall when I viewed Mom's diagnosis through rose-colored glasses, to Thanksgiving Day when hospice became part of our family dynamic and shared the news that Mom could have as little as two weeks. In reality we enjoyed her company for about three weeks. Three wonderful, blessed, fantastic weeks to laugh and cry and to say 'I love you' over and over again, and to finally say 'goodbye'.

I'm not ready to write about it, but Dad did.

He needed to inform friends, share his grief, and honor our mom, his wife of 63 years. His words:

Dear All:  This is my poor attempt to notify one and all on my address book of the sadness of reporting our loss!  Gloria was the best thing that ever happened to me.................PERIOD.....................
Our seven children were a product of her immense "mothering" skills.  When I met her she was a good daughter, a good sister and a great friend to many "buddies"  (her favorite word for her friends) who became my buddies.  I was fortunate that, from the time we first dated, to our last day together, we never had a serious disagreement that couldn't be solved by a few words of concession and a smile!  She taught me how to care and she taught our children how to care!
We were most fortunate that we never held back from doing things, just because we couldn't afford them.  That included things as small as buying ice cream cones, going to picnics, taking an overnight getaway, to the more costly things like joining North Fork Country Club and building a house when a close friend made it possible.  These things shaped our life and - without a doubt - made "raising" the Bruce children a joyful adventure!!!!!!
Eventually, together, we enjoyed a modicum of success, with a family we were proud of and a comfortable lifestyle that enabled us to do things far beyond our expectations from the early days.  Gloria put up with my impatience and she steered me into a "lifetime" job that we could both be proud of.  If I seem to be using the word "proud" too often it is only because there is no other word that projects our satisfaction with "what we accomplished" together.
During the last few months our children, her family, my family and our friends couldn't have been better and more supportive.  I know Gloria felt the love and I will be grateful forever!  Gloria was the most beautiful person I ever knew..............PERIOD
With love to all:  Dad, Pop Pop, Dick  (or as Gloria sometimes like to call me) The Duke! 
My mom and dad, happy and healthy not so very long ago.
Gloria and the Duke


Mary Jo said...

Dearest Betsy and Uncle Dick,
What a wonderful post about Aunt Glor. Thank you for the insight to Gloria the Wife . As children, (even at 55) we don't think of our parents as young adults falling in love and raising children. How that love endures through thick and thin. It gives me the serenity to know there is so much more life to live with my soul mate, Denny. So many more memories to create. And not to waste one moment. Aunt Gloria will forever be a part of my life. A delightful and humorous lady. The time I spent with her will always be treasured. Love to you!

Betsy Henning said...

Dear Cousin Mary, your comment is such a beautiful addition to this post. Thank you for taking time to write. And yes, you and your very lovable Denny will surely enjoy making memories together for years to come!

Love you back.

Sarah Rose said...

I'm not sure how I didn't see this post before, but I'm glad I read it today. This was positively beautiful and encouraging. Because grief does not live by a timeline, I'm praying for you and your dad right now Betsy.