Friday, April 01, 2011

I Love You, Mom...

Ferne Cook, Robin's Mom, Spring 2010

Those of you who know me, know that I'm very close with my mom, and that we have maintained our connection even though she was in Minnesota and totally deaf (unable to talk on the phone), while I live across the country in the NW corner of Washington state. She turned 94 this past January.

Mom's Pouch, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins

Over the past three years, as her health declined and I made more frequent trips back to Minnesota, I've cut back on teaching. This year, I also turned the leadership of the Bead Journal Project over to other wonderful and experienced volunteers, so that I could be free to go to my Mom at a moment's notice.

Ferne Cook, Robin's Mom, 2009

The time I've been dreading finally came. Three and a half weeks ago, Mom started showing signs pneumonia, running a fever, no strength, difficulty breathing. They started her on antibiotics. For a while she seemed to be improving, as she has in the past, but then her fever spiked up again. She did not regain consciousness for two days and passed away two weeks ago today. I flew to MN and stayed for a week. We had a beautiful memorial service for Mom, a very sweet tribute to a remarkable woman.

Mom, bead embroidery by Robin Atkins

Now, back home again, I feel that her enormous love still surrounds me somehow, just as my love surrounds her wherever she is. Yet at the same time it's a strange, empty, lost feeling to know I'll never hug her, rub her hands, kiss her, touch her cheeks, or "talk" with her using a dry-erase board again.

Ferne Cook, Robin's Mom, Fall 2010

My April BJP piece will be about my relationship with Mom, as have been several other pieces over the years. I've shown two of them above. I love you, Mom... you, who've I've known and loved for 68 years, are always a blessing to me.

56 comments:

  1. Robin, I really feel your pain. Even though I lost my mother many years ago, there are still times when I want to show her something I've just finished or tell her something. My six year old grandson told me several months ago that when someone you love dies, you carry them in your heart. I think that he's right and I've taken comfort in that statement. I hope that you can do that also.
    Gita

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  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think I understand what you are going through. My 93 year old mother lives with me. I know her time will come, but I will never be ready for it. Take care and remember your fond times. Hugs, C.

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  3. Robin, my sympathies are with you, and my heart goes out to you. I lost my mom 12 years ago this April... and your post touched me so much. I wish I could give you a hug, sometimes they help....

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  4. Robin, I'm sorry for you loss. Keep remembering her love will always surround you.
    I lost my mother 15 years ago this past March when I was 26. It doesn't get easier, but your heart learns to adjust. Big hugs to you.

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  5. I am so sorry, Robin! 94 years old, wow! She lived a long happy life and lucky to have you as a daughter! I feel lucky to still have my mom. I only see her about once a year, but we talk on the phone. She is still a young 56! :D

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  6. {Hugs}

    I'm sorry for your loss, but glad you were able to maintain that connection with your mom all these years. She looks from the photos like she was quite a lovely lady, and I look forward to reading more about her, and seeing how she inspires you in future.

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  7. I'm so sorry. It's so hard to lose a Mom.

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  8. My heart really goes out to you, but I am glad you had such a wonderful relationship and that you were able to be with her at the end and see her on her way appropriately. Hugs, Judy

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  9. Robin, I am so very sorry for your loss. It is good that you could be there for her at the end.

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  10. Robin, I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a mother is so very difficult. You're in my thoughts.

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  11. I am sorry for your loss.

    Grieve as it comes, cry, scream, yell, laugh, and enjoy those quiet moments as you need.

    What I learned through my grief is what is important in life is love- both the giving and receiving. You and your mom had both.

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  12. I am so sorry to read of your Mother's passing. May you find comfort in shared memories, and may her love always surround you. Blessings

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  13. i'm very sorry for your loss, robin. i just don't have the words...hugs.

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  14. I'm so sorry for your loss Robin, our BPJ tributes are amazing. The pictures of your mom look like she was a fun loving person! The life source is energy and energy never dies, it just moves on through the universe. She will always be around you. :-)

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  15. Deepest condolences, Robin! She had a beautiful smile and, obviously, an even more beautiful heart!

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  16. what a lovely tribute to your mom...I'm so sorry for your loss...may your memories comfort you, and your art heal your sorrows.

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  17. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mom, Robin. What a blessing to have had such wonderful relationship and many years with her. She is always with you!
    Carol

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  18. Im so sorry for your loss.. I lost my grandmother in 2009 and my grandfather in 2001 - I was raised by my grandparents. Its so difficult losing a loved one and you spoke so eloquently of her. My thoughts are with you..

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  19. Robin.
    So sorry to hear that you lost your beautiful mother. I remember the reality of the death of my mother hitting me when I wanted to dial the phone to talk to her and realized that I could not. I know that yours may have to do with the dry erase board...Glad you will use the healing power of your art to connect and heal.
    xoxo Camilla

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  20. It's only been a few hours since I hit the publish button and already so many sweet, understanding and healing condolences. Thank you all so very much. Your connection with me is a great support. I've been posting so infrequently lately, that I didn't even know if anybody would read this. I'm so touched and blessed.

    Robin

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  21. I'm so sorry...peace to your soul and ease for your heart in your lost and hurting time.

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  22. That love you feel between the two of you is the upside of grief, if there can be such a thing. Don't be surprised if she shows up from time to time, in dreams, or in unlikely places in waking life.

    And you know, whether you post frequently or less frequently, your friends never miss an entry.

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  23. Robin, so sorry to hear of your great loss. Always remember, God has her in his arms, you'll always have her in your heart. May the months ahead be gentle on you and your family.

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  24. Robin, I'm so very sorry to hear this. The pictures of your Mother's happy face made me smile. I can see the joy in her face. I lost my Father twenty years ago this coming November, and still to this day I can feel him with me. In my bedroom there are two pictures of he & I together. Before I go to sleep each morning I say good night to my sweet Daddy.

    Now I'm getting all teary eyed. Bless your Robin in this hard time.
    dot

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  25. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother. It's never easy.

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  26. It is at times like these when I realize that the gift of memory truly is the greatest gift of all.

    Treasure your memories and your mom will never leave your side. Push the ache you feel away and breathe in the smiles and peace she brought to you. What a gift you gave her throughout her life, knowing that she was so very special to you Nothing can hold a candle to the feeling of knowing your daughter adores you. As a mom myself, I would give the world to know that my daughters cherish me as you cherished your mom. You couldn't ask for anything more than that.

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  27. Robin,
    I am so sorry for your loss, but so happy that you have such wonderful memories and love to hold in your heart.
    Reading your post and looking at the pictures made me smile,
    You will continue to smile more than you realize right now.
    She is smiling through you, every day.

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  28. I am so sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. She was very fortunate to have a daughter as loving as you. The memories you have will enable you to go on. She will always be with you. I am praying for your Mom and for you.
    Arline

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  29. i am so sorry Robin. Your mother was a beautiful woman - just like her daughter.
    xo megan noel

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  30. I'm very sorry for you Robin. I send you a lot of love and big hugs.

    Hélène

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  31. I am glad you were blessed so long with your mom's presence in your life...

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  32. My condolences Robin. Your lucky to have had so many wonderful moments with her. Xx
    Analisa

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  33. She sounds like an amazing woman- what a gift to have a mother like that. You are honoring her so beautifully with every little stitch and bead.

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  34. I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother many years ago and sometimes I still feel an ache for her absence. Yet those we have lost live on with us, as your mother lives on in you and all those whose lives she touched. May this memory ease grief.

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  35. I am sorry for your grief. I nearly lost my mom 2 years ago, and have been so grateful to have her for another few years. Remember the good times and push down the final days.

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  36. Dear Robin, it's so very sad to learn of your mother's death. I know how much you treasured her and what a beautiful relationship you both had. May you find peace through your bead work and your many friends in the bead world and elsewhere.
    Hugs, Susan

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  37. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom, Robin. Sending love and light to you at this sad time.

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  38. Anonymous12:02 PM

    Robin, those of us who had our mothers for a long time (mine died at 90) are blessed. But it still hurts like crazy. I recently ran across these words and offer them to you: We all grieve in our own way; We all heal in our own time; We all remember in our own hearts. -- Blessings to you, Doris S. from North Carolina

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  39. It is so difficult to lose your mother. You are so lucky to have had her for so long and I know that the love you have for her and her for you, shall endure forever. My sympathies on your loss. Lois

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  40. Kind, gentle Robin.
    There are no words.
    Just thoughts - I'm sending my best thoughts to you!
    Deepest condolences.

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  41. Oh Robin, I am so sorry this happened.. tears in my eyes and I feel a piece of your loss.

    Words are so useless.

    Having a mom for 68 years is a wonderful gift..

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  42. Blessings to you and all your family, Robin. You made the most of your time with her and will never have any regrets, just lovely and ever new memories.
    Sending love....

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  43. Robin, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you will continue to make beautiful pieces inspired by your Mother and the love you shared.

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  44. I'm sorry for your loss Robin. This is a wonderful tribute to your Mom. Take care.

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  45. Robin, thinking of you. I also 'spoke' to my Mom with a white board. She always got frustrated when she couldn't get the joke out fast enough. Maybe they'll find each other and talk about their wonderful daughters!

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  46. Robin, I'm so sorry for your loss. Be kind to yourself as your mother would want you to be. Mary

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  47. So sorry to hear that you lost your mom, Take good care of yourself. Lise

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  48. My condolences to you, dear Robin. I hope you can take a little comfort in the thought that your mother spent a long, fulfilled life on earth and just went home.
    With love, Sabine

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  49. Robin, I'm so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you, dear Robin.
    Sory bad english.

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  50. I am so sorry for your loss and sending you love and best wishes. I can tell by your mum's smile she was one special person, a photo speaks a thousand words and there is a warmth and joy about her. What a grand old age too.
    Big Love to you and yours XxX

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  51. Dear robin

    I know how hard this must be for you as I know how close you were to your Mom from just reading your blog over the years.

    I know at this time it is hard to think about but you will in time come to remember and cherish the funny times and stories your family shared with her.

    My dear older sister who almost raised me passed away 4 years ago 1 day before my birthday and I was devastated. We also were seperated by the miles but I always went back home at least once a year and her home was like my home coming back to her.

    May time comfort you too Robin.

    Hugs

    FredaB

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  52. Hello Robin
    I have been away for over a month, some of the time reading your books. I am so sorry you have lost your mother's real presence but clearly she is still all around you. I know I felt like an orphan for ages when my Mum died. All good wishes,
    Robyn Ayaz in Australia

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  53. My condolences on your loss. The loss of a mother is one of the hardest things I know in life.

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  54. Anonymous4:17 PM

    So sorry to hear your dear mom is gone, I know how you feel, with each tear you will wipe away over the years. Remember the good times, and know that she is in a far better place now!

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  55. Anonymous5:03 PM

    Robin, I was just reading your blog and and saw that your mother had passed. I am so sorry for your loss. She is so beautiful in your pictures. I lost my mom a year ago January at age 89 and I miss more and more every day. We were blessed to have our beautiful mothers for so long in our lives. You don't know me but I have been a fan of your beading artwork for some time now. Sincerely, LindaZoe

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  56. Robin, I'm so sorry for your loss... My father passed this Thanksgiving, and while I thought I was prepared for it (his health had been failing for some time) there truly is no preparation for the loss of a beloved parent.

    I am learning to be gentle with myself, and to allow myself to work through my grief (as well as the joyful memories) at my own pace. It seems to get a little easier over time, and I am slowly starting to find peace with it.

    And I didn't mean to make this comment "all about me" -- what I am trying to say is that I can relate. I hope that your grief and the healing process will come with ease.

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