I’m Elisabeth, Jeannie’s daughter.
This was a favorite poem of my mom’s by Karle Baker.
Let me grow lovely, growing old.
So many fine things do.
Laces, and ivory and gold.
And silks, need not be new.
And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets- a glamour hold;
Why may not I , as well as these
Grow lovely growing old.
Everyone who knew my mom knows this is exactly what she did -
she grew more lovely- growing old.
Losing your mom is always a shock,
no matter how old you are when she passes.
My mom was the soil I grew from,
she was the foundation in which I learned to walk on,
she was my great Tree, which held my nest,
though eventually I gained the courage to fly away from her branches of security,
I always felt she was my home base.
I was always welcome to return.
She was born Anita Jean Mayo in Georgetown Texas in 1945. An only child.
She was passionate about singing and dancing and performed on stages from 3 years old until she left for college. She has done a lot of square dancing in her life. She still has all her squared dancing records in the attic.
It was in college where she met her first love and became married,
had her first child at age 18 ….. and was the mother of 3 by the time she was 21 years old.
She was a great mother to me and my 2 brothers.
She finished her college juggling with a new family and became an amazing school teacher. She was a guide and mentor to many many children over the 40 years she taught.
Teaching was her passion and she loved to see a child light up when
they learned and understood a new concept.
Years after her first marriage had ended, she met Terry Fischer. Now in her 40’s, she finally found the life partner she had always longed for. They shared a loving, passionate, beautiful 16 years together.
Four years after his passing, she met Michael Whelan, who is here with us today.
My dream for my mom has always been for her to be happy, and I'm so grateful that in her last years she was very, very happy.
It has truly been a blessing Michael Whelan and his family came into her life filling her days with joy and happiness.
Her golden years, now as a retired teacher, she was able to cruise several times a year
seeing the far away places she always dream of.
Besides the wonderful companionship of Michael,
he also blessed her with a very large and eclectic family,
which included 4 more daughters, Maureen Mc Gowen, Holly Wolf,
Debbie and Rhonda.
as well as Rhonda's daughter Amber and her daughter in- law Kyla.
A great joy in her life was Eloise, her baby granddaughter from Maureen,
whom she loved to the moon and back. And her other grand kids, Maddie and Malory
Mom had many acquaintances and made friends wherever she went. Whether it was the check out girl at the grocery store, the bank teller, or another shopper at Kohls she would smile with and begin to chat. But there were a few that were dear friends Elaine Rinehart, Sally Miles and Liz Bunt and the other Crystal Lake retired teachers group.
When I asked my mom, in the last week of her life what she thought her greatest accomplishments were she said, without a pause,
being a mother, a teacher and a grandmother.
It's what she loved doing the most.
When I asked her what she wished she would have done differently,
she went on to say,
“I wish I would have continued performing, singing and dancing.”
Performance inspired me, and filled me up.
After a moment of silence, she said, "Live your dreams Elisabeth" life is short and your dreams will never go away, so follow your dreams."
Personally, I feel so blessed I got to be with her during the last weeks and days of her life.
Of course I would give anything for one more day, one more conversation, one more hug and one more of her sweet smiles that comforted me so much.
She faced those difficult last days with such poise and grace,
she knew she was going home, and she had no fear.
Her now frail body, could no longer contain the enormity of her growing spirit, her spirit becoming more beautiful and more translucent as she was gracefully leaving her body.
She mentioned to me multiple times, “This is not a sad thing Elisabeth, it is the next level of my personal development and yours. This is a celebration.”
I will always cherish these moments with her. She was very wise.
I witnessed first hand that death is not the end but a new beginning.
Her body was falling away and her spirit flourishing.
She transcended peacefully around 7 a.m, on the 7th day
of the 7th month, in the 7th year after she retired, in 2017
That’s a lot of 7’s.
In some spiritual communities, 7 is the number for divinity.
She finally hit the jackpot!
She is now sitting in her prepared seat next to her father.
And a new angle has gotten her wings.
And I’m proud to say she did it.
She grew more lovely growing old.
Thank you mom for being my mom.
I love you.
3907 Medical Parkway #102