My mother-in-law, Amy

Shared by Annie Bruno on 27th November 2018

I met Amy at a heightened moment of her fierce mother-love. Her son Sean and I had just met and fallen in love, and she flew to Los Angeles only two months after we'd met to suss out the wheres and whys. Fortunately, our time together put her fears to rest. And I knew I was connected to a man with a wonderful mother. That is always a good sign.

Two years later, I was pregnant with our son, Jett. I remember when we called Sean's parents to tell them. We were so happy to share the news. We told them his middle name would be Michael, after his uncle, Sean's older brother, who died so young. We have always sought to keep Michael's memory alive, and our son has trained in tennis at UCLA, his uncle's alma mater.

I will never forget when Amy, Ed, and Jackie arrived to meet Jett for the first time. Sean picked them up from the airport in his old Volvo, and I was holding Jett and looking out the front window of our Silver Lake apartment. Sean pulled up to the curb, and Amy RAN up the sidewalk and up the stairs to meet her new grandson. I was laughing and crying at the same time. That fierce love was in full view. 

I loved her and I loved the way she loved her family. 

This may sound small, but one of the ways Amy stays with me is through her numerous gifts to me. She gave me so many stylish sweaters over the years that I would never own otherwise. She had an eye for quality and beauty, and as I shopped for Jett's suit to wear for her memorial, I had a sense that she was right there with me, for I found the perfect suit. 

I will remember her in many ways, but one way is when she moved about her kitchen in her blue silk robe, and the two of us setting out breakfast in her Beaconsfield home. I will remember her playing on the floor with Jett, relishing every moment with him. She loved us so much. And I will love her to the end of my time, my second mother.

My Mom

Shared by Holly Friesen on 22nd November 2018

My mom was the embodiment of love for me. She was kind, patient and oh so gentle. I could tell when she was in the room because there was an added softness. I honestly don't know how she put up with her unruly brood of children but she did. She loved her family fiercely and would have done anything for us. We knew this and it gave us the security and grounding to grow into the creative, healthy adults we have become. 

No mother should have to loose a child but for my mom it seemed particularly cruel since her children were everything for her. The loss of her son, Michael was devastating and she carried a sadness with her from that day on. I know that she now celebrates her reunion with Michael which brings us all comfort. She was so happy when her first grand-daughter and namesake, Amy was born a couple years after the loss of Michael. All three of her grandchildren filled her heart with joy and were balm to her broken heart.

My mother's hands were full of love. Her gentle touch and caring hugs were loving nourishment during both difficult times and celebrations of joy. He gentle smile is what I will remember most. A smile that lit up those sweet, patient blue eyes. Eyes that saw so much loss and sadness during her lifetime but also held an enduring patience and unshakeable faith that inspired many.

My mom loved trees! I rarely saw her angry but when she heard about trees being needlessly cut down her eyes lit up with fury. She was ferocious about protecting them and even now as I look through old photo albums I found a newspaper article that she had clipped and saved about a forest in her neighbourhood that some school children had managed to save. She talked about trees and their beauty all the time. This love grew into my own artwork which is inspired and infused with her love of beauty for the natural world.

Her gradual decline through dementia was hard to witness as her mental faculties slowly diminished. However her eyes still shone bright and when she finally became unable to communicate verbally she still would hold your hand and radiate love. 

I am eternally grateful for my mother's enduring love that she gave so generously to all of her children and grandchildren. It is truly a privilege to be her daughter.

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