Since Mom died on May 20 we’ve received a lot of sweet, heartfelt expressions of sympathy. There have been e-mails, notes on Facebook, cards, phone calls, and personal words of support. All of them have meant so much and have helped us deal with the grief, but I don’t think any of them has meant any more to me than the one we received today.
Southridge Village in Conway, Arkansas is the assisted living facility where Mom spent the last 17 months of her life. Her nails were not always clipped the way I would have done it, but she was always clean and well dressed. There were sometimes dust bunnies under her sofa, but she always had a smile on her face and seemed to feel secure and happy there. It broke my heart when I could no longer care for her in my home, but the staff at Southridge made it a little easier to let go, and they cared for her in ways I couldn’t. I knew they cared about Mom not just as a resident but also as a person. They always greeted her with real smiles and generous hugs. They sometimes lingered with her even after her needs had been met, and when I visited, it was sometimes hard to tell who was family and who was staff.
Today we got a card from Southridge. It was sent to my brother’s address, and his wife Jo Lynn scanned and e-mailed the inside of it to me. The printed verse was very nice in a Hallmark kind of way. It said:
May it give you strength just knowing how much God loves you, and that He’s there with you – night and day. Thinking warm thoughts of you.
What meant the most, though, was the handwritten notes scattered across the card. There were usual expressions of sorrow for our loss and assurances of thoughts and prayers, but there was more. There were little notes that spoke of how Mom had touched them, how in spite of the Alzheimer’s they had connected with her. Here, in their own words, is their tribute to my Mom:
I’m going to miss walking down the hall and seeing your mother’s smiling face! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! With Love,
Thoughts and prayers are with you. Your mother was so precious! Love,
Sending love to you and your family. I’ll never forget dancing with her on [wing] 300 and listening to her hum to the songs at church. Her place is next to Jesus and we will remember her smile every day. Love always,
I will miss your mother’s smiling face. She was an amazing lady with great spirits.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your mom was a great woman.
Mrs. Robinson was an angel always smiling and so cheerful. She will be greatly missed. God bless you all in this time of sorrow.
We will miss her sweet smiles every day.
I loved Helen’s smile. She will be greatly missed. My prayers are with you and yours.
We will miss her very much
Mrs. Robinson was truly a blessing to know and love. I am glad to have been a part of her life.
May you find comfort in her peace.
God bless you
Praying for peace for your family.
My thoughts and prayers are with ya’ll. She was a true joy and blessing to have.
Thank you to the Southridge Village staff. God bless you every one.