Yesterday, Gen died. She had filled a span of 92 years on this earth, and her spirit left her body with her 6 wonderful children gathered around her.
For 60 years, Gen and my mom were best friends. They had both moved to Jamestown, ND around 1949-1950 where their husbands were colleagues in the medical clinic. Gen and Mom bonded quickly as stay-at-home moms, and through the years, as they raised their families, they were always there for each other whether it was home decorating, emotional crises, recipe exchanges, medical problems, child care, or merely connecting as best girlfriends do, about nothing in particular. They simply shared their daily lives.
I grew up loving Gen. Of all my mom's friends, Gen was the friend who always asked me about me. She was always interested in what I was doing and thinking. I loved that about her. One summer day when I was in later grade school, she and I had a rummage sale. We talked and laughed the day away....she made me feel so grown up.
Gen was an other-centered woman who loved her large family and friends deeply. She fought back from a debilitating stroke with great determination and willpower. She was funny and self-deprecating and compassionate and sensitive. She said what she felt. She was just such a good person and Godly woman. Gen has been praying for me ever since my diagnosis, and if we continue to pray for others while in heaven, I don't doubt that I am still in her prayers. Her devotion to praying for me has blessed my socks off.
I ache for my mom who will miss her "buddy." She will miss the daily phone calls. She will miss the friendship spanning over half a century that so enriched her life. Yet, on another level, she won't. I love the words from the movie I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER: "Death ends a life but it doesn't end a relationship, which lingers on in the survivor's mind." Mom won't ever lose the relationship. It is imprinted on her heart for all time.
Gen's kids and grandkids and friends were blessed....and now face lives without this sweet woman. The night sky will now have one more star. And its light will remind us of a special gal who lived a full life and left handprints of love on so many people. Including me.
Love you, Gen. Until we meet again someday.....