It’s All About the Small Things…

fs_985330It’s the forties curse.  I remember when I had just turned 40, a slightly older friend told me that I would not pass through this decade without the probable loss of a parent.  An eerie predicition, and I am sad to say, my wonderful mother passed away unexpectedly on January 28th.  While her health and ability to enjoy the simple pleasures in life were on the decline, her voice was still strong and cheerful on the other end of the phone line.  How awful to lose someone so dear, and to suppress the pain, I find myself rationalizing her passing:

  • She lived a full 75 years – touching and shaping many lives, full of smiles and wonderful experiences
  • Despite declining health, she had no pain and was quickly taken away from us in a peaceful passing; we were truly lucky to not witness suffering or the loss of independence that a nursing home would have subjected her to down the road
  • I feel grateful that she celebrated momentous milestones in her life – the marriage to a wonderful, “always fun around the corner” type husband, the birth of two daughters and six grandchildren, and the celebration of 50 years of marriage.

While she will be sorely missed, I am so grateful she lived a long, meaningful and giving life. Her posititive and loving imprint is on all of us that she knew.  In reflection, as a mother, it makes you think about what it is that your children will remember about you – what are the most meaningful imprints you can impart?

I find the imprints of the fabric my mother wove for me are comprised of many of the small things in life – whether it is the late night snacks of anchovies on butter and saltine crackers (yes, weird I know), her bravery to take teenage girls abroad on extended travel (I would never have the guts to do so), her ability to make everything so nice with her special little touches (even down to the way she folded the bath towels), making me steak and egg breakfasts on the days of my swim meets, the monthly package of newspaper clippings from our hometown paper that she sent my sister and I to keep us informed of local news and happenings after we left home, her meticulous way of writing thank you notes, mentioning every gift, how much she liked it, and how she was using it.

These memories are just the tip of the iceberg of the many small things that you can almost take for granted when they are happening, but upon reflection you realize that it’s the small things that make the big lasting imprint and tell the greatest story of love and caring.

Here’s to Nancy Garfield Rice – one truly fantastic lady.


  • Adriana Says:
    2-15-2010 09:43:05


    You have my heart.
    Sending you a hug deep from within.
    Hoping you feel it across the miles until I see you.
    For there are no words to matter as much.

  • skippy Says:
    2-15-2010 18:00:56

    I think your mom is reading your tribute to her and smiling that wonderful smile I see in the picture. It’s nice to hear that the loving and thoughtful little things make such a big difference in our relationships. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Sharon Says:
    2-17-2010 21:44:08

    This is a beautiful tribute to a well-loved life. Blessings to you and your family, Anne.

  • Cindy's Coffeehouse Says:
    2-26-2010 08:48:10

    Anne, may you be comforted in your loss. I lost both my parents…and it was in my late 40s when I lost my mother. From your comments, you had a wonderful mom who has left you with wonderful memories. I’m glad her passing was both peaceful and short.

  • Jovany Says:
    6-26-2015 22:00:49

    “可以考慮下送Moleskine筆記簿 “I also want to suggest this. Its the best and also a nice foaiutnn pen in the tradition of all good future writers.Also a happy birthday to you (弦外之音!)PS Cant say 快高長大 cos of this:”今天女兒已十三周歲了 已是少年了 女兒大了 人長高了 已比她媽媽高 “

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