Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Eight years ago, this month, my mother died. That sounds to me simultaneously so incredibly long ago, and yet not so very far back. Eight years. For some people, eight years ago they were only a little child. For others, eight years ago, nothing was too different. For me, eight years ago I was seventeen. My sister was twelve, and my brother was twenty.

My mother was beautiful. When I was a little girl, I, in fact, thought she was the most beautiful woman in the entire world. And now, I am almost sure of it. She was an artist, and she made things beautiful. She was a perfectionist, and nothing she did was ever good enough. She had lovely hands-- slim, soft, and always smelling of lavender. My hands are rough, calloused, and sinew-y from playing the piano, and washing dishes, and biting my nails. 
My mother used to make the animals talk. She used to do little dance moves as she walked around the house. She used to say she wished she could have been a famous tap dancer-- that she never should have stopped dancing just because she felt too tall. She told me to stand up straight. To put my shoulders back, and to walk with my toes pointed forward. 
She drew gorgeous pictures with her pencil-- spending hours upon hours working on tiny details-- the grains of sand. The soft curve of a little girls face. She would concentrate completely, and I would be in awe, absolute awe, of what she could create.
She loved New England. She loved the autumn, the change of seasons, the snow in winter, the crisp leaves in fall, the hot steamy summers on the beach. She missed her home deeply and wholly when we were children, growing up in Thailand. But she made everywhere that we were into a true home. She had the touch of home all about her.
But most of all, she was brave. Even after she had a stroke, and lost feeling on the right side of her body, she worked diligently, and constantly to get it back-- to get herself back. She didn't ever, for a moment, stop fighting for her family. She still drew beautiful pictures, even though the stroke made it difficult and frustrating for her to control the pencil, she didn't give up.
She was a wonderful woman. I don't know what she would think of me now. Now that I am grown up. As old as she was when she had a one year old son...I don't know if she would recognize me, even, at first. But of course she would. I imagine a mother would know her child anywhere, no matter what. 

The holidays never get easier without her, even as they become more normal as the years rush by. The missing is no longer a tangible pain. Just a quiet, gentl remembrance. And a love that grows ever stronger with time.


  1. This is beautiful Hannah. I have truly been enjoying following your blog. I think it gets a little easier with each year mostly when we have lost someone beloved but I don't think we ever forget them or ever fully lose the slight pang of their loss. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. This is such a perfect post. I love it, and I love you so much. Your mother was such, SUCH an amazing woman.

    I'll never forget how she opened her home to me, and made countless meals for me, and made me feel loved and a part of your family. I'm very grateful for the profound affect she has had on my life.

    Love you so much.

  3. A very beautiful expression .... encouraging gratitude and graciousness in all we do.

    Your Dad's friend in India ... Vijayan

  4. Hannah, I had no idea your mother was an artist. But I do remember she made everywhere feel like home. Even though I just visited you for a summer in Thailand (1999), I felt like I was home when I was in her presence. Indeed.
    She is home now, too, I'm sure...

  5. A well spoken reminder not to take for granted those that are dear to us. It is obvious that a part of your Mom will never die. I'm sure your Mom would be extremely proud of the beautiful young women you have become. I know your Dad is proud. Although your Mom is gone she will never be forgotten... I look forward ... to seeing her again.

    Continued Blessings to You,

    Paul & Janine

  6. This is beautiful, Hannah. And, she would be so happy. And proud. You are strong and kind, beautiful, and an artist; everything I can imagine she would want for you.

    love you,

  7. Hannah,
    What a beautiful tribute to your mom! As I read it, I could relate it so closely to my mom who has been with Christ for 12 years. I still miss her so much every day.
    Your mom was very special to me as well. I have the picture collage in my scrapbooking room with the pix of your mom through her life. I believe it was a Christmas card your dad sent after she passed. I saved the thank you notes she sent me on the notecards of her artwork. Even after her stroke and as
    her handwriting was shaky, she still continued to send those thank you notes!
    She was also a spiritual influence on me as a young teenager. I thank God that she was part of my life.
    Although I wanted to be more involved in yours & Martha's lives after she passed, it was somewhat difficult to keep up with you both. I know your mom is proud of you all snd the adults you have become.
    Thank you for sharing these very special memories & photos.
    I pray that God will bless your marriage. Congratulations!
    Vickie Lary

  8. Hannah- Your dad sent us the link....
    What a wonderful tribute to the memory of your mom..Allison and I remember bringing over meals for your family when your mom was sick and helping out with work around the house. We recall your strength, love, and maturity as a young adult. We are confident your mom is proud of you and the women you have become.

    May you feel her presence and God's peace during this holiday season.

    Best Regards,
    Rick and Allison McAree

  9. What a beautiful story, it this your mother in the picture or you. Continue to be strong as your mother taught you and keep writing, I see genuine talent just like your Mom.

  10. You Dad sent me this link and i am truly grateful that he did, this has so much encauraged me.

    Thank you Hannah for such wonderful thoughts and care for your mom, this tribue is unparalled, you are such a strong young woman. Your Mom will be so happy where ever she is now.

    May the Lord bless you abundantly.


    You drew tears from me with this post.

  11. I thought this a beautiful tribute. My mother was 92 when she died, and I was 67 but I still miss her. She too was beautiful both in body and mind. I loved to just call her on the phone to hear her say "hello". No matter what problem I had she would say "Count Your Blessings". I did. I was so blessed to have her for so long. She had cancer when I was three and not expected to live, but she did live and savored every day after that. I was blessed with a great mother, just as you were, and I miss her almost every day still. She has been gone for 12 years now.

  12. I am a new business associate of your Dad. You wrote a powerful and eloquent tribute to your Mother. I truly enjoyed reading your blog.

  13. Wow! This is a powerful and touching tribute to your mum. Am sure she would be proud of whom you are and are doing because parents are always proud of their children and want the best for them....

    It is remarkable....

  14. I agree. This a fantastic tribute to your mom. I lost my own mother forty years ago and my father a year ago last April. It is difficult to lose a parent whatever your age or their age is. I'm an a2a friend of your dads at SFI. Beverly Wallin

  15. Am proud of you Hannah! What a wonderful child you are! Keep it up and stay blessed!
    SFI Affiliate

  16. Wow Hanna...I call this a beautiful art piece, a descriptive painting with words, a memorable tribute to a beloved brave mother by a lovely and intelligent daughter I choose to call 'a chip of the old block'! I wanted to read more and more but you stopped...She, your mother, that is, wherever she is right now, (if the dead live), must be so proud of you. Your mother painted with inks and pencil but you have a way with words - you paint with words to create wonders. I call you a literary genius. Your dad referred me to this page and now I know why. There is something about you to be proud of in relation to your mom, his love that was but is not. ADIEU!

  17. Just shear Love flows into anyone reading this page. Love the simple, eloquent and warm tribute. Made me cry. I just met your dad thru e-mail a few days ago thru SFI.
    Thank you for spreading thots of your mum.
    Kurien Mathew, India

  18. Excellent post Hanna, your dad is a great man and sent me your link.
    Your mother is very pretty and talented in so many ways; you are bless
    to have a mother so gifted. I'm sure she watching over you and she in peace.
    And very proud whom you become I'm wishing the best for your future.

  19. Beloved do not die! They are always there, in us, around us .....
    Be proud of yourself and your mother, that has made the greatest wealth behind, and these are her children and your memories!

  20. I feel with You, I lost my Family too - they was to awesome, my brother, my mom - they gived live for emotions (long story). You mom/this women lives today too, you/I can feel it, and many people die before they really die..Its a big hole they live behind and we are here too for fuel this hole with owesome things they would aproove...and liked... My love is send to You too ! Martina

  21. I enjoyed reading your story very touching and heart felt. I can also relate to this because at the age of ten my mother passed on to Christ. I really hated the fact that she was gone but as a child we use to say some pretty stupid thing's and one day it came true. I have successfully been able to graduate from high school and go to college. I have two wonderful daughters and a loving friend and fiance, who have supported me in my search for financial freedom. The reason the search is on , is because growing up was hard and my family struggled and i don't want my children to suffer like i did when i was younger. I have also accomplished in my life to becoming a minister o f the Word Of God, I also own a construction company for ten years now, I do work in sales for telemarketing company, and i am very motivated when it comes to my family and gaining the financial freedom we deserve. A little about my fiance she is very shy as a child she went through some hard ships but we are very well with one another now," for me and my house we serve the Lord."
    My new business is Jewels Products, this company was inspired by my oldest daughter its her nick name , she is 19 years old and is now working and experincing life as a grown up and its great to see her be able to step up and take control. My youngest daughter , bless her heart she is 14 and is my gymnist she has been the most amazing daughter i have, at birth she was very sick but she has pulled through very well and is very healthy and is smart. Any Way Just A little about me and my story just to give you a feel for what and who i am. I also wanted to let you know to as well i am a 43 year old proud father and spouse. I just had a birthday on October the 30th so i feel great and i want to become a friend of yours so i can tell you more about me and my family, and to also hear more from you. You are one of my sponsor as well with one of the programs i am with on the internet for my business jewels products. Thanks for letting leave a comment and May God Bless you and yours. Look forward to speaking to you again. Darrick/Jewels Products

  22. Your tribute to your Mom is wonderful and quite touching. She was an epitome of beauty and goodness, She lives on, with an appreciative daughter like you.
    I join the family in mourning and celebrating her. May her soul rest in perfect peace, Amen.

    Angela Ogbame(your Dad's new business Associate @SFI & TrafficWave)

  23. Great posting Hannah! Congratulations. Your father shared it with me. Be blessed as well.


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