Sunday, January 16, 2011

In memory- the woman in the arena

On Christmas eve I got a call from my sister Beth letting me know that Mom had passed. Things haven't slowed down much since for me to do a tremendous amount of processing. Utah, Minneapolis, Virginia, NC, Virginia, Charlotte, NC, Asheville, NC, now in New Jersey.

But there have been quiet times. Some time just sitting and reading with Dad. Writing up what I would say at her service (to be posted in my private family blog), which was held at a Veteran's cemetery in Amelia, Virginia. Dedicating the grave a few days later.

Mom had her challenges, and as one of her 6 children, I know I was one of them.  It was unfortunately only with distance from my childhood that I was more fully able to appreciate all of the blood, sweat and tears that she put into raising us.  She truly fought the good fight, and her passing now allows her to continue work on the other side. As I thought about how she gave herself to parenting, I thought of one of my favorite quotes, from Teddy Roosevelt: 


"The Man In The Arena"
Speech at the Sorbonne
Paris, France
April 23, 1910

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Mom, you have completed your time in this mortal arena. Thank you for striving valiantly for us. Thank you for letting your children know that you count us as your victories. 6-0. Undefeated.


A couple of other postings:
Some family memories and pictures of Mom (thanks, Andrea)
A perspective on the services (thanks, again, Andrea!)