Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Clara's Legacy

I cannot believe that I have not posted since August. It has been a wild and crazy time in my life with Mom’s health declining and the necessity of moving her to Assisted Living. The good news is that she has adjusted well, says she loves living there, and I have the peace of mind that she is where she has caring, 24/7 help if needed.

As Mom celebrates her 90th birthday this month, I wanted to take time to reflect on some special attributes of this amazing woman.
Just a few things that quickly enter my mind are her:

·        Tenacity in leaving a summer job in New York City to return to North Carolina and marry my dad. She was madly in love with him, and nothing could stop her.

·        Insistence that her children use proper English and not say words such as “ain’t.” I appreciate that about her. She emphasized the importance of being the best you can be and making a good impression.

·        Demeanor as a true southern lady—always kind, gracious and as sweet as a tall glass of sugary iced tea.

·        Adventurous spirit in packing up and moving West when Dad was in search of the perfect place to live. Originally destined for Arizona, there were multiple moves in southern California that summer and again in the fall before finally settling in Hesperia, California. I believe that she would have moved to Tasmania if she thought it would make Dad happy.

·        Many years as Dad’s business partner, right hand person and confidant. They were a dedicated, successful entrepreneurial team.

·        Talent for organization, anticipation and details that served her well in her professional, as well as her personal life.

·        Inherent ability to run the show while making Dad feel as though he was in charge

·        Strength and courage to handle everything after Dad passed away following over fifty years of marriage

·        Downsizing on her own in her late seventies to a two-bedroom apartment from two houses and garages filled with mountains of possessions collected over the years, along with Dad’s mechanical equipment and items that had belonged to her parents and her aunt.

·        Encouragement and excitement every time I published a new book.

·        Spiritual beliefs and faith that she passed along to her children to be sure that we would never face the difficulties of life alone.

Happy birthday, Mom. You deserve the very best!

Mary Anne Benedetto is the owner of A Writer’s Presence, LLC, a writer, speaker, blogger, Certified Lifewriting Instructor, and an affiliate teacher with the The Memoir Network.  Author of 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, she offers beneficial tips, hints and critical steps in memoir writing in order to remove the “overwhelmed” factor in memoir projects.

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