As hard as it is for you to believe you are reading this, it is a thousand times harder to believe I am writing it. That days after a clean bill of health, and celebrating her 69th birthday, I received a call that would forever alter the trajectory of our world. I could share with you for many pages the jobs, volunteer work, and stories of the lives that my mother touched. I could tell you about her days growing up in the woods of Vermont, the only girl among brothers, walking uphill both ways to school, sneaking into Canada as a teenager, leaving home as soon as she could. I could look up the dates she started working for the State of Vermont and impress you with how she worked her way up, with a high school diploma and a lot of sheer will. I could tell you the health crises she survived, and how she thrived in retirement. I could tell you how she finally got to live in warm weather, and never dig another car out of a snow bank that the plow left behind. I could tell you how she loved her children, loved her grandchildren more, rescued dogs, and spent time volunteering with a group of fun theater people. But I think she would rather I leave you with some of what she learned along the way. So, without further ado….Here is everything I needed to know, that I learned from SandyB.
1. When in doubt, always ask for more napkins
2. Buy the ticket, see the concert, sing your heart out
3. A stranger is only a friend you haven’t met yet
4. A road trip is only complete with a stop for snacks, the music turned up, and a disregard for directions – did it say to take a U-turn?!
5. You’re never too old to have to catch ‘em all!
6. Life is better with a dog or two by your side
7. There’s no such thing as “too many books.”
8. Practice random acts of kindness freely and often
9. Turning up the music makes that sound your car is making disappear!
10. Travel cross country at least once in your life
11. There are some situations that really do call for the use of teen center language.
12. Send snail mail, it brightens anyone’s day
13. Work hard, but spend as you go
14. There is a song quote for every occasion
15. Write letters to the editor, go to the protest, REGISTER TO VOTE!
16. There’s no place like home. Or camp.
17. “You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”
18. Everyone is worth someone not giving up on them.
19. NO RAGRETS!
We request in lieu of flowers, that you take today to make the phone call you’ve been putting off and say “I love you” before you hang up. Mom, I guess I get the last word in this time. Thank you for everything and I love you more.
A virtual memorial service to be held via Zoom on August 28, 2022 from 3-4pm if you wish you share a story, or express your condolences.