Sunday, July 15, 2012

RIP Betty 13-July-2012

My mom Betty passed away last night after 1 week at hospital, 2 weeks at home.  We, her 3 daughters, were by her side. 

mom made us 3 black velvet gowns for this photo - 1970-ish family Christmas card

She never really gained full consciousness or alertness after her stroke 3 weeks ago. We made her as comfortable as possible.  She didn't want extra measures to keep her alive.  She was probably only uncomfortable the last few hours because it was becoming very hard to breathe even though she was on oxygen.

I'm happy I was able to take a month of work in NZ to travel to Chicago to be with my mom and help take care of her in her paralyzed state.  It is hard to lose a parent, but I got to say goodbye and I have lots of happy memories of my mom.  She was a very classy lady who loved classic, preppy clothes.

She was an avid outdoor sports woman who downhill skiied her whole life - into her 70s.  She won some downhill ski races in Colorado for the over 70s competition she was in.

She was an equestrian.

When she was younger, she skated pairs with her brother - and skated with all 9 kids in her tight knit Dutch-Irish family.

My parents married in 1959, traveled to Europe several times until I came along in 1963. My sisters and I are all adopted - my mom really wanted kids but couldn't get pregnant.

My mom loved Julia Child recipes and threw many festive dinner parties.  I often helped her in the kitchen (see me in the door way?!)... Below is at our house in Wilmette where we lived 30 years.  Mom decorated the dining room in silver - silver patterned wall paper, walnut dining room table, chandelier and mirrors... even the ceiling had squares of mirrored wall paper.  It was a shiny room... 

I choose to celebrate the wonderful life mom had. Rest in peace mom - now go have a libation; have a scotch with your friends "the Bardo" (Margarite Bard) and Catholic priest Father Bill.  Have a dinner party, laugh, kid around and tell funny stories.  Go ride horses, ski to your hearts content and hang out with your brothers and parents...  We'll miss having you on earth, but we know you are at peace.


your eldest daughter ... xxxxxx " Zazzy "


  1. May she rest peacefully Lisa. My deepest condolences.

  2. What a lovely lady. God bless, Lisa.

  3. Lisa,
    I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful and loving mother she was. Please accept my sincerest condolences.

  4. thank you very much guys... the wake is tomorrow Thur 2p-9p... bit long? We're bringing snacks... and lots of wine...

    my 2 sisters aren't getting along very well, is it appropriate for fighting to occur at a funeral home? ... last time I was at a funeral in Chicago was for a Jewish friend - closed, simple wooden casket - earth to earth... and very nice short ceremony.

    My mother was full blown mass every morning Catholic, so full Catholic service Friday morning...

    I'm sure I'll have some wine, but don't think I'll have much of an appetite hanging out with my mom's corpse... (hey Obama, this discussion is about dead people, not the military... sorry I digress)

    what was I saying?

    well, haven't blogged much this month, as you can imagine... but I head back to NZ Saturday... I can't wait to get back home to husband, pets, work, family, friends and fresh NZ air... Chicago hot summer is giving me horrible allergies...

    I got a good video to post now...

    thanks for thinking of me, have a good day

    Lisa G

    1. Lisa,
      Sometimes grief brings out the dumbest part of us. It will get better. Best to give your sisters a big hug and a smile before you go home.