Our mom passed yesterday afternoon. She went peacefully with all four of her children around her.
As it turned out, the surgery, always a high-risk idea, was no longer a viable option. Mom asked for them to remove the balloon pump on her leg that was helping relieve the pressure on her heart. She went soon after that. We all had a chance to talk to her and love her before she could no longer communicate.
Our mom has always touched people. Growing up, all of my friends referred to her simply as “mom.” She adopted them into our lives readily and with ease and never let them go. Old friends and more recent friends of mine alike ask me about her every time we talk.
And you, her blog friends, meant the world to her. She mentioned you all to us often in conversations and emails. We were frequently directed to check out so-and-so's post today. You taught her things; you made her laugh; you valued her input. It was a whole new world to her that opened at the end of her life and added a dimension she was immensely grateful for, and so are we. Not only did all of you give her so much, she was able to give a
gain, too – not just to you, but to us – we learned a great deal about what mattered to her, some of it reminders, other things new discoveries about our mom. She got to matter at a time when her body was failing and so much was out of her control.
Friendship is something that I have been pondering in a serious way for some time now. I don't have any real answers, but part of what I'm learning is that friends, love and support come from where they are needed, when they are needed.
The ultimate example of the importance of who cares when it matters most would have to be mom's nurse in ICU, Maryanne. She was with mom only the last day - for maybe the last eight hours before she died. Maryanne had to have been one of the kindest, loveliest people I have ever met. She knew just what to do and say to comfort mom and us at each stage. What more could a soul ask for but to be escorted to the next dimension by such a loving, compassionate being?
We all know about the value of old friends, but there are new friends that arrive also, some of them suddenly and perhaps only for the briefest of seasons, like Maryanne. These friends are just as important in a life as the long haul relationships. Though most of you only knew mom a relatively short time and only over the internet, you were key players in her life. There are, as one musical has put it, Seasons of Love. You all came into the picture in the final act; and what power you wielded!
Our mom was passionate about many causes as you know and can see from her sidebar – so laden with links it takes forever to load the page and was the single impetus for my husband to install flash blocker on our computer! But truly, she cared. She cared about the world and all of you deeply.
When I asked her for the last time what she wanted me to post on her blog, she said,
“A picture of Isaac.” I will be adding a photo montage to this page (not just of Isaac, but of my mom) in the next few days, so you can look for that. And I will undoubtedly be writing about her on my own blog. I am already filling journal pages with thoughts.
Speaking for myself at least, I am so very happy for the personal notes addressed to each of us, the journals and all of her blog stories she left behind. My mom and I shared a love of writing and words that ran deeper than I had even realized.
As difficult as this loss is for all of us to grasp and accept and as difficult as it will remain for a long time, she was ready to go. She is finally where part of her has been looking forward to being for the last 34 years – with our father.
She is no longer Almost There. She has arrived.
With much affection and gratitude from the family,
Kitty, Bobbie's youngest daughter
Barbara Joan Petruccelli
March 16, 1932 – June 19, 2010
I'm having trouble typing because of the tears in my eyes! Your Mother was a wonderful woman that I have been in close touch with since I began blogging. We were passionate about the same things and we shared beauty and laughter. I will miss her, but I know she has arrived and joined your Dad. I know how much you will all miss her just as we in the blogging world will.
Much love to all of you,
Oh no... I'm so sorry. I've felt like I knew Bobbie just from her beautiful blog and her visits. She's going to be missed by everyone whose lives she touched. She really was a beautiful angel. She wrote me at one time about how much she treasured Isaac so it's lovely to see his sweet face. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to your mom, Kitty. I'll stop by again to share your memories.
I came over from Dianne's place. I didn't have the pleasure of reading your mom's words before, but wanted to come by and pay my respect just the same.
I've found many wonderful friends through blogging and know sometimes there are people out there who touch others lives deeply through their posts. It sounds like your mom was one of these people.
May peace be with your family.
Bobbie and her wonderful blog meant a very great deal to me. I am so very sorry to hear of her passing. She was a fabulous lady and I feel honoured to have known her, even if it was just via the internet.
Love and peace to you all.
Dianne sent me also. I will be checking back to read more. When my mother passed away I wrote a tribute in which I used this piece of writing by Thomas Wolfe.
Something has spoken to me in the night,
Burning the tapers of the waning year;
Something has spoken in the night,
And told me I shall die, I know not where.
"To lose the earth you know, for greater knowing;
To lose the life you have, for greater life;
To leave the friends you loved, for greater loving;
To find a land more kind than home, more large than earth-
"Whereon the pillars of this earth are founded,
Toward which the conscience of the world is tending-
A wind is rising, and the rivers flow."
You Can't Go Home Again
I also want to say that even after 15 and a half years my mother still walks beside me. We can never lose those we love. God Bless.
Oh I loved Bobbie's passion for equality and good treatment for all people and her love for Mother Nature. When I started reading her blog I felt that I have found a good friend with whom I shared common interests but in reality, she was a much more gentle and forgiving soul that me... Maybe I can take that lesson and apply it to my own life. You have my deepest sympathies and Bobbie.. You've gone home... Love..Michelle
I am so sorry about your Mom, but I know Heaven is rejoicing! I didn't post regularly on her blog, but read it very often. I will have to go back and look at the comments she left on my blog. I wish I could have met her.. May God's love fill the empty place in your hearts!
Just to add to my thoughts above - I'll be posting a little tribute to Bobbie at my blog. I'll miss her so much.
I'm really going to miss Bobbie. She and I were faithful blog buddies for over two years. That is how long I have kept my blog. She was one of the first people to post a comment.
Immediate and real; honest and compassionate; brave and loving. Those are only a few of the characteristics that come to mind when I think of dear Bobbie.
I'm so grateful to have been Bobbie's friend. I know we'd have been just as natural of friends in person as we were online. I wish I had met her but I felt I really knew what was most important to her via her wonderful blog posts.
And so much love that she left behind. Isaac was one of the highlights for me on Bobbie's blog. I do not yet have my own grandchildren but I delight in the relationships I see between grandparents and grandkids. That happy, glowing face in the photos is pure love in action.
With deepest sympathy and affection,
I've never been here before and arrived just now via a friend's blog who urged readers to stop by and wish your mother well.
I am so sorry to hear this bad news. Please accept my condolences. Thanks for keeping your mother's readers informed. It must have been very difficult for you.
it took me a minute to understand what i was reading...then i realized, kitty, that you were writing for your mom. i am so sorry for your loss. the people you "meet" on here, become like family...and she will be missed.
may you find comfort in the coming days to know she has arrived.
Your mother's blog and her support of mine was very special to me and I am grieved that she is gone. I only learned today that she was ill (been to busy to read much) and I was so in hopes she would rally. What a lovely post you have written about her. I am going to pass it on to my children, since it sums up what I hope can be said about me when I die. I will look forward to your photos.
Such heartbreaking news! Bobbie was such a kind and gentle spirit--I will miss her beautiful and passionate writing and her all-to-brief friendship. She touched so many people. There are no words for the sorrow. . . I can only reach for the words of another:
"But all the waters of the world find one another again and the Arctic seas and the Nile gather together in the moist flight of clouds."
Blessings to you and your family. . .
I really don't know how I managed to miss your Mom's blog along my blogging way since I follow at least three of the same bloggers as she did. From what I read here tonight, I really regret not having found her before. Sounds to me like she was a woman I would have enjoyed reading her words and getting to know her.
But, I wanted to stop and tell you -very belatedly for your Mom, unfortunately -that I will tuck her name into my prayers for safe and excellent passage for her to that other shore and for you and all her family to persevere in faith and love to maintain her in wonderful memories of the great lady she had to have been.
I am so saddened to read this news and read along with Kitty's words with tears and smiles-what a lovely tribute to your mom. She definitely touched my heart and I cannot forget her support of me and my boys. I wish her much happiness, peace and love in her next journey. Your family has my deepest condolences and I will continue to you keep you in good thoughts in this time.
Kitty, I am so sorry for Your loss. I feel very sad.
Kitty, I came by the way of Daryl to check on your mom. I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep your family in my prayers.
I did not know or read your mom, but came over from Dianne's as she spoke so highly of her.
My condolences to your entire family on your loss.
How graciously you've shared this bittersweet news with us here in the 'Sphere, Kitty. I sense that you've inherited your Mom's kind heart and optimistic view of the world.
May the joy of her journey be as deep as our sadness at seeing her go.
Kitty, I am sitting her crying as I read this. I prayed for her so hard as I pushed my new grand-daughter around the neighborhood on Sunday. She was one of my most avid readers and I was one of hers. I loved her honesty and the straight-forward way she faced death and talked about it without fear or denial. She was always encouraging me and she often pointed me in the direction of other bloggers she thought I would enjoy, most recently a blog called Christopher's view. I always hoped I would meet her one day.
If I am missing her, I can't even imagine how all of you must be missing her. She obviously was an outstanding mother and Grandmother. I am so sorry for your loss, but you are right, she had a great influence on all of us. Perhaps she is now on the other side fighting the oil spill from there. If she is, we couldn't have a better warrior!
I am so thankful for you and us that we still have this blog to look back on and read. What a legacy she left us! What an example she was. She will be in my thoughts often for the rest of my life. I will never forget her. May God bless you and the rest of her family and comfort you during this time.
I had a strange experience tonight. I got home late and need to grab the bird feeder before the raccoon takes it. I went out into the back yard and all of a sudden I was surrounded by fireflies. I have seen them across the pond and by the woods, but never in my yard. It was magic and I thought of Bobbie or was it Bobbie...I loved it.....Michelle
Thank you all for your comments and for your prayers. They were not in vain. And your reaching out is a great comfort. And Michelle - Yes. - I have an experience to add to yours that connects to it and to a poetry project I am doing. - more on this later. Fireflies.
I'm so sorry to read this news. I pray for peace of heart and mind for your family. May Bobbie rest in peace.
Saturday afternoon as I was walking down Broadway a small white butterfly flew in front of me ... I sort of blinked as it circled back .. a friend of mine, who is fighting cancer, says that after her mom passed she saw a white butterfly ... I thought of her first, got a bit worried and then thought of Bobbie and her surgery (which at the time I believed was happening) it was about 11 a.m. ... I squeezed my eyes shut and when I opened them the butterfly was fluttering away .. I am now sure it was Bobbie .. she loved butterflies so and I felt comforted...
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I enjoyed your mom's thoughts and writing about so many topics. Peace be with you and your family.
I'm so grateful to have been a faithful reader of Bobbie's blog everyday; her blogging really was part of my daily life.
I always looked to her and Sylvia (a west coast blogger) for guidance, wisdom, humor and telling it like it is - especially about the good sides and the downsides of aging. Thank you for your eloquence,Kitty. I feel stunned, but know your mother would not want us to mourn, but to continue to embrace every part of our lives fully.
I'm glad your family got a chance to spend time with your Mom recently, too!
I also came over via the tribute to your Mom that Dianne posted and wanted to leave my sincerest condolences on the loss of your mother. I wish I'd had the chance to get to know her when she was still alive, I can only imagine that if she was one of Dianne's friends then she had some wonderful things to say and ways to say them.
May you be comforted in knowing that she is with her beloved Ralph and that her spirit will live on here on her blog a a place that appears to have touched a lot of lives.
My heart goes out to you in the loss of your dear mother.
I only knew her through her blog which was unfailingly beautiful and thoughtful.
We will miss her so much in blogland and I want to join with all her other blog friends in sending you affection and strength.
How sad to read this.
I am so very sorry for your loss. She was a wonderfully caring and beautiful person. It is comforting to know that her children surrounded her in her final moments and that she went peacefully with love in the room.
Bobbie was a faithful peace blogger and I - and the rest of the world - will treasure the globes she made and the pictures she placed on them. They will stay forever in the Peace Globe Gallery. The last one in November 2009 particularly spoke of her love for her family.
May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand during this time of grief and sadness. Know that her "internet friends" are real and are still holding her up as well as all of you.
Peace be the journey.
Fellow peace blogger here. I was not one of your mom's readers but I wanted to pay my respects. Anyone who cares, really cares as she obviously did, will be missed even by those who didn't know her.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! ((((HUGS))))
When I lost my dad last autumn, your mom was there with words of comfort. When our youngest son celebrated his birthday, she was there, too. In fact, whenever I had something to share - happy or not - your mom was there, sharing a perspective that made me glad I decided to start and maintain a blog.
She was a critically important voice in our community, someone we could always count on to remind us that there was good in every person and in every moment. She was as gifted with a lens as with a pen, and we all learned volumes from her about what a life well lived should look like.
I will miss her tremendously. I do, however, take comfort that her goodness continues to live on in you and the rest of your family. As she so often prayed for me, I will pray for her and for you all in the days and weeks to come.
Bobbie, I will miss you dearly. You have been one of my biggest fans and have given me so much inspiration, comfort, joy, and food for thought. You introduced me to your daughter Kitty. And, I too, felt adopted by you and cared for. Thank you so much for the warmth you added to my life.
Okay....so I don't even know your mom...but when Queen Mimi asks me to do something I do my best. So I'm here. I did fine...no tears...until you said, "She is no longer Almost There. She has arrived." Indeed she has. My thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone your mom loved.
I only knew your Mom for a relatively short time via our blogs.
I consistently felt her kind, loving, caring and wise soul at work. She will be missed as greatly in this realm, as she will be welcomed in the next.
I am so sorry to learn that your mother has passed on. Your writing here has touched me so deeply... I am referred to this blogpost by Kenju - who is most assuredly my best blogging friend. I truly understand this bond and sense the great "emptiness" your mom's passing has left in the hearts of so many of her friends here.
Your words ring true, your thoughts were clear and meaningful and heartfelt and I just had to add my two cents here to thank you for leaving these bloggers such a beautiful 'goodbye' note.
I haven't heart from Bobbie for a while and I came over to see if I offended her somehow?
I couldn't understand at first, from the last post, what's happening, till I realized that it's her daughter who writes.
Kitty, I am so sorry for your loss, I can't believe it is true.
I only knew your mother via our blogs. She was a very kind and caring friend, had always a good word for me in her comment. I shall miss her very much.
My thoughts and prayers are with you Kitty, and your family.
Rest in peace sweet friend, you have finally arrived!
I also cant believe it. I am so so sorry. Your mum was always so supportive of me and my son. Her heart was huge.
I will miss her.
Know that we are so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. We loved visiting her every week for shadow shots....she always had lovely thoughts to share with us all and we so appreciate & loved the friendship she extended to every one, every week.
Karla & Karrie
I'm so sorry to read about your mom. I had only visited her blog a few times through Shadow Shot Sunday but I knew from her sidebar she was a staunch advocate for human rights.
You write beautifully, Kitty.
I do agree that friends, love and support come from where they are needed, when they are needed. Sometimes friendships last only a short time, but there was a reason for them.
Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
I cannot possibly say in words the deep sorrow I felt at learning of Bobbie's passing on to the great beyond. Very sorry for your loss.
While we never met in person, much of my impressions of your mother came from her cheerful and lively demeanour in her blog entries and the kind words she had for my posts. Her sensitivity to and interest in another culture and mores was remarkable in as much as it was delightful.
It was easy to imagine a happy face behind the writings, one full of jest for life and concern for another, especially those she often wrote about here. And from the montage you've put up merely confirms it.
She's arrived to where she'll will no longer depart from.
She will be missed much for the wonderful person she was, and as also for her beautiful takes on life around her.
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