With love and sadness by catsmeowb

With love and sadness

The phone rang early this morning while I was editing this photo of Malcolm with his family. He is the second one from the left in the back row; this was taken the month I met him during a family reunion and it was quite unusual for all eight of his sublings to be together since his sister, Linda, front right, lives in Louisiana.

The phone rang. It was one of my sister-in-laws with the sad news that Malcolm's mother, Aggie, had died during the night. Malcolm has just gotten home from work so we are heading to Maine.

This family taught my children and me so much about unconditional love. They do not 'live in each other's pockets' so to speak, but when the chips are down, they are there for each other without hesitation. Aggie will be greatly missed and deeply mourned by many, not just her family. She was a great mother, woman and friend.
Very sad news... condolences from all of us down south
November 16th, 2012  
Camille, I am so sorry. She sounds like you were blessed to be a part of her life. I hope the family shares the good memories and lots of hugs because those really will outlast the pain
November 16th, 2012  
Sending hugs your way, Camille!
November 16th, 2012  
lovely photo Camille sorry to hear of your sad news
November 16th, 2012  
What a beautiful family... so sorry for your loss Camille... praying for you and your family.
November 16th, 2012  
Sounds like a good family, one I would appreciate hanging with. It is sad to lose our mom. Hugs to you and Malcolm.
November 16th, 2012  
Sad news. Sorry to hear of the loss.
November 16th, 2012  
Sorry to hear of your loss.
November 16th, 2012  
OMG such sad news..died in her sleep..that's the way I like to go...I'm not suprised that Malcom comes from a big loving family..I'm sure his family is also your family and I'm so sorry for both of you and Malcom's father, sister and brothers for the loss of Aggie. my condolences.
November 16th, 2012  
So sorry for the sad news.
November 17th, 2012  
So sorry , prayers for the family
November 17th, 2012  
Such sad news Camille, my heart goes out to you and your family
November 19th, 2012  
i'm so sorry, i'm so late, but know that this bit of news saddens me. my most sincere condolences to you and malcolm and the whole family for this incredible loss. my prayers for the repose of her soul and to lighten the sadness for everyone. hugs and kisses, camille.
November 19th, 2012  
@steeler thank you, Howard, so sorry it has taken me so long to reply. i back in vermont now. very, very long week in maine. i was going to write that malcolm would not be the man he is if not for this family, for the love and support they have given him throughout the years and, in turn, he has given the boys so they are now the wonderful fathers to our grandchildren. no family is perfect but this family knows how to love.
November 27th, 2012  
@pandorasecho having grown up in a hugless family, this one can be addicting due to the sheer size, noise volume and lots of arms grabbing, holding, hugging. heard so many stories, found out so much of malcolm's childhood, it was an amazing week.
November 27th, 2012  
@catsmeowb yeah, my whole family learned how to hug and say "I love you," often, when I married a man from a verbal (LOUD) demonstrative family.
November 27th, 2012  
@raineyday thank you so much. it was difficult but wonderful at the same time. aggie was a wonderful mother, wife and woman; the service was beautiful. now we need to concentrate on malcolm's father and make sure he is ok. i appreciate your kindness so much.
November 27th, 2012  
@gerry thank you, Gerry. my husband is doing ok, it was wonderful that he was able to spend a week with his brothers and sisters. he has great concern for his father and wishes he could be there more for him and we are trying to fugure out how we can spend more time in Maine this winter so we can do so. thank you, again.
November 27th, 2012  
@princesicita thank you, Princess. although we know death is a part of life, we were not quite ready for this one. Aggie was so greatly loved and really was the center of this family. Her husband knows nothing about the bills or the running of the household - sort of the opposite of most places! there was much to do in the last week. she had kept his condition a secret from the children. it had only begun to come out in the last month. what a mess.
November 27th, 2012  
@dmortega she was a wonderful woman - eight children, six living in maine, us here in vermont and one down south. the ones in maine are shocked, just shocked by their father's condition. when we went there a few weeks ago for aggie's birthday party, it turned into an intervention about his father because she had been in the hospital and they had discovered she had been keeping the true facts of his dementia a secret. they thought he was 'sort of bad' but not BAD. she was still allowing him to drive. malcolm and i burst their bubbles. we went through a lot with my father. when we would be stacking my father's wood, he insisted malcolm was a stranger, steeling it. i would tell him malcolm was my husband and he would get this bashful grin and tell me that he guessed he should know him then, right? and we would laugh, then he would go ask mal if he saw that big red truck that had just pulled into the yard - but there was no truck. just one of my father's hallucinations. when we related these words to malcolm's siblings, they just stared at the floor.
November 27th, 2012  
@netkonnexion thank you, Damon. Aggie was a wonderful, kind woman. she would not have wanted to linger with a long illness so we are thankful that, if she had to go, that it was quick and painless. no one deserved a quick passing more than she. i appreciate your kindness so very much.
November 27th, 2012  
@scuffer thank you so much. it has been a difficult week and i am glad to be home again surrounded by my boys and grandchildren. for the first time - ever - i did not cook thanksgiving dinner, it was prepared for us, and it was outstanding. my son-in-law, jay cooked for us here at our house which was wonderful because i got to socialize with him while he cooked, then holly came early and we all had a wonderful time. great day.
November 27th, 2012  
@bruni she actually had gotten up, removed her oxygen, walked into the bathroom and sat, completely clothed on the toilet where she died of heart failure. she had been gone for some time before she fell forward and her head hit the wall, which made a noise and woke her husband. no one understands the whys. all we know is that what happened. we tried shutting the bathroom door because Jean - malcolm's dad - kept showing us over and over again what had happened. but shutting the door upset him. then he threatened to nail the door shut. so we shut it again but then he threw the door open because he go back in there and look again. the image will be with him for a long time, i think.
November 27th, 2012  
@henrir thank you. she is in a better place where she does not have to drag around an oxygen tank. i am sure she is smiling at all of us. Aggie was almost always laughing.
November 27th, 2012  
@sarasdadandmom thank you, Terry. at this time, we are most concerned for malcolm's father, who has dementia and can't be left alone. the family is really scrambling - i wanted to just bring him home with us but that would have gone over like a fart in church. he has always lived in maine and they are all there.
November 27th, 2012  
@claireuk thank you, Claire. funny how we know that death is part of life. we know to expect our parents to die. i was talking to malcolm about the photobook i was creating for his mother and whether or not to break it onto two, one for Christmas and one for Mother's Day and he said no, not to take the chance because of her health and we both said we were being silly, that she wasn't THAT sick. but then we think of how she sounded the last time we talked to her, so out of breath. just talking took all her air. life and death is a mystery.
November 27th, 2012  
@summerfield there were so many emotions; malcolm's 50th birthday was tuesday, and we always have big family dinners and had planned on doing something a bit more special since it was a milestone of sorts for him. instead, we attended his mother's wake and buried her the next day. when we were driving to maine, i told mal that my brother, jeff, would see the notice in the paper, and would be there, and he told me - not nicely - that i was wrong. i told him in no uncertain terms that he is always there for me - and in he walked, with his wife and one of our oldest friends. malcolm told him what he had said, how he was wrong, and jeff said the same words i had said. always. whenever i need him, he is there. love is amazing, is it not? i know that made aggie happy.
November 27th, 2012  
@catsmeowb OMG Camille that is just so awful for him.. he keeps on looking for his wife in there. I read all your comments and your replies. I hope you don't mind..it's too bad you guys live so far away from malcom's dad..I'm sure he wantss to stay in his home but it looks like he might require constant care..
November 27th, 2012  
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