6 MAY 1922 – 3 MARCH 2012

MOTHER

Few relationships rival this! Do any relationships rival this?
We are a part of her body. We live within her and because of her.
We come from the very essence of her being. She is our life source.

When I was little in Laconia, New Hampshire, I was gripped with episodes of fear/terror of death which sent me running to my parents’ bed. Death fears of my death and my mother’s death.

I no longer fear this. Now I joyfully yearn for reunion with those who have gone before.
I rejoice with Mother today that we have reached this place!
I am here to savor and honor her memory.
So, I wrote “1,000 Gifts”

Those she gave to us and for us over and over again.

By: Nancy Roe, March 2012

MOTHER: 1,000 GIFTS (Unabridged)

Soft gentle stroking hands giving peppermint lifesavers.
Animal crackers in the grocery store. Laying my 5 year old head in her lap in the car. Cream puffs!! Oranges with straws to drink the juice from the fruit!
Collecting monarch butterfly eggs and watching the miracle from egg to flight!
Hearing spoken and being taught correct English.
Learning Christmas window stenciling when I was just 5.
We learning the joy and art of light, crisp Christmas cookie cutouts and decorating. (Mother’s patience with that task!)
Flaky pie crusts! Boston and coconut cream pies!
Bread pudding and milk chocolate pudding!
Porcupine balls! Cocoa with marshmallows, toast.
Her labors to provide wonderful holiday meals!
Fannie Farmer Easter eggs (only the best)!!
Endless keeping of a clean house. Remodeling and redecorating, making draperies.
Sewing us beautiful clothes!! My bright orange 2 piece wool suit.
Costumes sewed for her little girls! Detailed baby books.
Teaching cooking and baking and the love of plants and animals.
Bird watching excursions at dawn, learning their songs.
The garden: lettuce, carrots, chard, raspberries, corn, more!
Boston brown bread, tuna casserole, homemade macaroni and cheese.
Birthday parties and sleep overs! Cousin visits!
Family travels and outings, travels to grandparents.
Wise advise about teenage boys that I didn’t take and wished I had!
Family and holiday traditions. Visits with my new born babies.
The art of decorating the Christmas tree with tinsel, immaculate!
Her love of music, dance, languages, reading, colorful clothing!
Loyalty to her father and Ruthie, love for her baby boy.
Her talk of her love of being pregnant.
Told us, we girls are strong. Her acceptance of my Bohemian life style.
Encouraged and praised my talents, my large morbid oil painting graced our diningroom!
Her hand made creations: macrame, latch hook, crewel work, crocheted afghans.
Her passion, intelligence, expressiveness!
Her love of travel and adventure, her love of other cultures and peoples!
Amazing trouper at age 78 when all her luggage was lost as she traveled to Karin’s wedding!
Civil rights advocate, civic minded.
Soft hearted, taking in stray animals and friends in trouble.
Friendly, socialable, enthusiastically chaperoned for my Junior High School Chicago Field Trip.
Her phrases, “highway robbery” and “Grandma’s yummy boy!”
Daily relaxed, ‘life debriefing’ talks in the kitchen, I on the stool next to the stove, time to pour it out, she there for me.
Laughter, tears shed for us and with us.
Strong minded, resolute, unyielding, knew how to say “No” to solicitors and a very strong willed teenage daughter! She held her ground!
Genuine, shot from the hip.
Highly intuitive! She ran from the house the day of Jon’s accident before she had evidence of what had happened!
Generous!! Huge moving barrels under the stairs filled with all manner of domestic ‘treasure’ from earlier married life! Mine for the taking!!
Gave me all her furniture and appliances when she moved East as she was “footloose and fancy free at fifty four”!
Worked at giving us what we needed and wanted as children and adults.
Served her husband by enthusiastically entertaining his work colleagues.
Travels with her and to her she paid for: the scenic train ride in the upper deck from LaCrosse to Chicago to visit Carol. Visit to her in D.C. and her parakeet, Pepper.
Soothing, balm comfort she gave, I, beside myself with overwhelming and broken hearted grief.
Her gentle kindness calling us to wake up in the mornings for school.
Gentle visits to Dr. Peire Hellieson, my pediatrician, with the piercing blue eyes and thick Norwegian accent.
She cared for me and nurtured me back to health after a week long drug bing. I returned home and slept for 3 days. She tended me and fed me and took me to the outdoor drive in theater.
Fostering ‘Innocence’ my Cheshire appearing large mackerel tabby cat with pot induced behavior problems….my Mother with rolled up newspaper to fend off the cat from attacks as she lay on the couch watching TV with popcorn and Pepsi!
I remember her visit to Esofea and she marveling at my transformation from rebel to flower child and my domesticity as I hand patched jeans.
She supported me (not always) My faith and Jim leaving us with her infuriated her.
I enjoyed conversations with my Mom. I enjoyed many phone conversations and visits with her late in life. She was always happy to hear from me. I was happy in the those times to be with her.

Mother, as we, could not give what she did not have.
She strove to impart to us what her mother could not impart to her.
Mother was broken, and to quote Ann Voskamp from her book, “one thousand gifts”, (p.172), “The Wounded Warrior is achingly tender with the broken ones”

Mother spoke destiny to me. When departing home at 18 with little more than the clothes I wore to hitchhike the wild open road, she tearfully held me in her arms and said, “I hope you find what you’re looking for.” I did.
Mother provided for us well. She powerfully impacted us all.
She gave herself for her family.

Thank you, Mother, for all your endless 1,000 gifts!

HELEN ELIZABETH WILDE SARTZ

6 MAY 1922 – 3 MARCH 2012

MOTHER: 1,000 GIFTS (Abridged)

Soft gentle stroking hands giving peppermint lifesavers.
Cream puffs!! Oranges with straws to drink the juice from the fruit!
Collecting monarch butterfly eggs and watching the miracle from egg to flight!
We learning the joy and art of light, crisp Christmas cookie cutouts and decorating. (Mother’s patience with that task!)
Teaching cooking and baking and the love of plants and animals.
Bird watching excursions at dawn, learning their songs.
Wise advise about teenage boys that I didn’t take and wished I had!
Told us, we girls are strong. Her acceptance of my Bohemian life style.
Encouraged and praised my talents, my large morbid oil painting graced our diningroom!
Amazing trouper at age 78 when all her luggage was lost as she traveled to Karin’s wedding!
Soft hearted, taking in stray animals and friends in trouble.
Daily relaxed, ‘life debriefing’ talks in the kitchen, I on the stool next to the stove, time to pour it out, she there for me.
Strong minded, resolute, unyielding, knew how to say “No” to solicitors and a very strong willed teenage daughter! She held her ground!
Genuine, shot from the hip.
Highly intuitive! She ran from the house the day of Jon’s accident before she had evidence of what had happened!
Generous!! Huge moving barrels under the stairs filled with all manner of domestic ‘treasure’ from earlier married life! Mine for the taking!!
Gave me all her furniture and appliances when she moved East as she was ‘footloose and fancy free at fifty four’!
Soothing, balm comfort she gave, I, beside myself with overwhelming and broken hearted grief.
Her gentle kindness calling us to wake up in the mornings for school.
She cared for me and nurtured me back to health after a week long drug bing. I returned home and slept for 3 days. She tended me and fed me and took me to the outdoor drive in theater.
Fostering ‘Innocence’ my Cheshire appearing large mackerel tabby cat with pot induced behavior problems….my Mother with rolled up newspaper to fend off the cat from attacks as she lay on the couch watching TV with popcorn and Pepsi!
I remember her visit to Esofea and she marveling at my transformation from rebel to flower child and my domesticity as I hand patched jeans.

Mother, as we, could not give what she did not have.
She strove to impart to us what her mother could not impart to her.
Mother was broken, and to quote Ann Voskamp from her book, “one thousand gifts”, (p.172), “The Wounded Warrior is achingly tender with the broken ones”

Mother spoke destiny to me. When departing home at 18 with little more than the clothes I wore to hitchhike the wild open road, she tearfully held me in her arms and said, “I hope you find what you’re looking for.” I did.
Mother provided for us well. She powerfully impacted us all.
She gave herself for her family.

Thank you, Mother, for all your endless 1,000 gifts!
HELEN ELIZABETH WILDE SARTZ

6 MAY 1922 – 3 MARCH 2012

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