I would like to write more about Edythe, her life and what she meant to me and to the whole family, but I can't right now. Things are still too raw and my emotions are still too mixed up to do her justice, so I'll just say this: she was a good woman and as devoted a mother as I've ever seen. From the day I first met her almost 20 years ago, when Gregg and I were still barely more than friends, she treated me like one of her own daughters. People make jokes about mothers-in-law, but mine was a second mother (and a dear friend) to me. I am so grateful for her life, and for the son she raised into the good man he is today.
As per Edythe's wishes, her body has been donated to Duke University Medical Center for research purposes, after anything still useful was taken for organ donation. We are so proud of her for that! Lou (her husband) told us yesterday that her corneas have already been donated to someone to help them see again. When I think of what a blessing that will be to some family over the upcoming holidays, a tiny bit of the hurt inside me is eased. I admire Edythe's spunk. Not many girls born on a farm in rural North Carolina in the 1930's would ever consider foregoing a traditional funeral and instead will her body to science and ask her family to throw a party in her honor, but those were her wishes! How cool is that? There will be some sort of very small gathering for the family a bit closer to Christmas, the details of which still need to be worked out, but will probably involve a catered meal at the house and a little time for everyone to be together. It's all so wonderfully easy on the family; there's nothing pressing anyone needs to do right now, and that's a blessing at a time like this. What wonderful foresight on Edythe's part, and a loving thing to do for us.
We're sad, but doing okay. We have each other, and we have the rest of the family, and that's all that really matters in the end, isn't it? Love is stronger than death.
|Edythe in late 2016, pictured here with her three greatest treasures on Earth--her beloved children.|