Friday, December 8, 2006

A beautiful life - Ellen Goodman's mother

I'm kind of a softie when it comes to the obituaries, and I appreciate the effort put into a really good obituary.

Here is a link to columnist Ellen Goodman's mother's obituary in the Boston Globe, titled The abiding legacy of my mother -- the listener. It tells the story of her life, and her legacy.

She describes her mother's teachings:

My mother, born before suffrage, before World War I and World War II, before the feminine mystique and feminism, taught me everything I know of family values.

She taught me that family came first. She taught me to make cheesecake and keep peace. She taught me that a real home was a place where you were welcome for Sunday brunch and conversation. She taught me to accept your children's life choices without criticism and with confidence in their judgment.

She taught me patience -- although I am afraid I never passed the finals in that class.

The last paragraph:
So my mother's gift for family, my mother's talent for empathy, was passed down from one generation to the next and the next. It is her abiding legacy.

Read the whole thing. Many of us have gone through this already, and it is often difficult to capture the soul of your loved one in a few paragraphs. Ellen, of course, is a professional writer, and she does this one very well.

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