I have been working over the last few years to document the family history information that has been gathered by many of my relatives. During this time I have "computerized" thousands of dates for the births, marriages, and deaths of many relatives. I have always understood the importance of tracking this family data so each generation could learn and meet their ancestors in a unique way. This was really they only way I could get to know most of my ancestors. Since I have never met most of my ancestors, I never made an emotional connection with any of the dates that I had entered.
This all changed on Sunday, November 12, 1995. This is the day that my mother, Elizabeth Lena (Reusch) Pauley passed away suddenly from a heart attack at the young age of 62. Now, I see that there is so much more meaning to each of the dates I see in the family history.
Mom wanted to help me in completing the re-typing of her mother's (Wilma
Reusch) book that documents the Jones family history. Her fast typing
skills and interest in learning about her computer made us believe
we could have the job completed as a Christmas present to Grandmother
Reusch. When I arrived at her house to give her a copy of the book, Dad
was just leaving to take her to the hospital.
I was really looking forward to completing this project with her.
Never having someone I know pass away has sheltered me from this kind of pain and emotion. My mom's brother, Bill Reusch, quoted a few lines from a poem by Emily Dickenson at the memorial service that explain perfectly how I feel;
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.
Looking back over the time I have spent with my Mom I am surprised that it took this event for me to realize that she was always a teacher. Of course, during my childhood she nurtured me into the adult I am today. Her investment into my education and involvement in the PTA and other community organizations showed me the importance of community service. Her graphic arts business taught me many talents that I continue to use to this day (and as my Dad put it, taught us that it doesn't pay to run your own business!). And in her later years she shared her knowledge by teaching pre-school children.
My mother's death, being the teacher that she was, has taught me many things:
She is helping me understand the fragility of the human body.
She is showing me the value of family love.
She has taught to me the importance of true friendship.
As I continue in my life, learning to survive the passing of my mother, so to will the education that my mother is providing me.
It is this education in life that will keep the memories of her
alive in me;
and these memories of her will help develop my education in life.
I love you and miss you Mom,
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