Anyone who reads Amanda and Adam’s blogs will already know this, but I want to say it here. A little over a week ago we lost Brian’s mom. She was an awesome lady, and I’ve wanted to write about her, but it’s really hard. I mean, how can you sum up a life with just words? Everything I think of saying falls short of telling who she really was.
Marguretha was a very gentle soul. She was generally soft-spoken, but when she did speak up, there was no arguing with her! I think everyone in the family has received a rebuff for being overly helpful to her at some point. That was one thing she wouldn’t stand for: someone thinking she needed help when she had decided she could do it herself. She didn’t lecture, but in just one short sentence she reminded you that if she needed your help, she would ask! She and I had a lot in common (although I must admit there were plenty of times I think I really stretched her), and I always wished we could live closer to her, as I’m sure we would have had great adventures together. She was a woman who knew how to have fun.
Marguretha sewed up a storm until the last few years, when it got too hard for her. Even when she could no longer sew, she cruised stores looking for bargain fabric she could use for her work with the Union Gospel Mission in Salem, where she lived. She cut out night shirts and other useful items, which she then delivered to the Mission for some of the other ladies to sew. All of this after a lifetime of sewing quilts for everyone she came across, as well as giant Raggedy Ann and Andy sets she made for a number of us. At her memorial service there was a woman that had worked with her in the church nursery years ago, and she said they were still using some of the quilts Marguretha had made all those years ago.
One of the things I loved about her was her unselfish heart. I remember when we were visiting once and were playing a card game. She was doing awful, and it made her laugh. She explained to me that her role was to play games so that other people could win. (Not that she was throwing the game or anything; she just happened to be losing, and was just fine with that.) There was a more important way her unselfishness showed up, though. It showed up in her relationship with her son, my beloved husband. Her love and nurture of him as he was growing up grew a tender heart in him, able to freely love. When Brian and I got married, she released him to me freely. She gave me the most awesome gift of all: my husband.
Marguretha was a woman of great strength. After a car crash left her handicapped 49 years ago, she was determined to walk in spite of what the doctors told her was possible, and walk she did. She was left with limitations, but she adjusted, found new ways to do things, and carried on as normal. I was amazed to see her attitude about her limitations. Once we were sight-seeing, and planned on taking a tour of a cave. She read the information, and decided she wouldn’t be able to make it, so she stayed behind. There was no guilt, and she wouldn’t have dreamed of the family missing the fun just because she didn’t go. She was very matter of fact about the whole thing. On the other hand, if she had wanted to go, she wouldn’t have listened to a word of argument against it! As I already stated, she would rebuff any attempt to question what she felt she could do!
We are blessed to have gotten to see Marguretha just a couple days before she passed. At that time she was just as healthy as ever, with no signs of what was to come. What a shock it was, after having been home just a day from our trip to Oregon to get the call that she was gone! Even though it was hectic to make a second trip across the country in one week, we were so grateful to have gotten to see her that last time. We had one last visit; one last time to hug her, tell her we loved her, and tell her good-bye. God is so awesome in His timing!
As my final tribute to her, I’m posting a photo of her. On our last visit, as she was going through a box of photos with us, I would come across of photo of her when she was little and comment on how cute she was, she would say, “Yeah… That was before I got old and ugly!” We tried to argue with her, but as I already said, when she decided to speak up on something, there was no talking her down! Anyway, because of that, I decided to post one of my favorite pictures of her; one where she is young and cute. I will always remember her this way… Good-bye, Mom… See you at the resurrection…