Saturday, December 26, 2009

Virginia Latimer Savage


Dad and Mom ... always holding hands.


Mom loved Dieter dog! When I was young she would never have allowed a dog in the house, let alone on her bed!


This photo was taken two days before her passing ... my Mom and Dad.


My mother, Virginia Latimer Savage passed away on her favorite holiday, Christmas, beside her childhood sweetheart and husband, Gilbert Owen. What a little fighter! She courageously fought her illness for almost 4 years, never complaining, never asking for special favors or demands, always a gracious patient, worrying about others instead of herself. She always told me that I was her favorite nurse. I loved taking care of my mother. The Lord blessed me with wonderful health to be able to lift and care for her in her last days on earth. And he blessed me with a situation in life to be able to be a full-time care giver to her. I am so blessed and loved by a kind Heavenly Father.

It's been a hard few days watching her struggle with her frail, worn-out body, and trying to stay alive. She didn't want to pass to the other side. She didn't want to leave Dad. I finally told Dad that he needed to tell her that it was alright to go. So Christmas Eve afternoon he went into her bedroom and told her that she could go if she wanted to and that he would be well taken care of. I think she needed to hear her sweetheart tell her that it was fine to go.

That evening my beautiful family gathered around her bedside, sang Christmas carols to her in her sedated medicated state. She was unable to communicate with us but we could definitely tell that she could hear us and knew what was going on. Even the little grandchildren sang solos to her. It was a beautiful and reverent evening, one that I will always cherish and remember. My daughter and I sang a duet together, one that Mom had never heard us perform. We sang magnificent. And then I related Grandma's favorite Christmas experience when she was a young girl living in Metropolis, Nevada. She had just told that story about a week prior to a young Primary class who came to carol to her. It was amazing because that day she was unable to talk and when the children arrived and sang to her she became alert and communicated with them. She told how they were unable to find a Christmas tree that year and they were sad because it was Christmas Eve and they had no tree to decorate. Suddenly they heard a brushing sound against the door. Her Dad opened the door and there to their amazement was a huge sagebrush leaning against their door. Perfect ... it's a gift from heaven ... our Christmas tree. Her Dad built a stand for the sagebrush and they decorated it with gold and silver ornaments. It was beautiful. They went to bed and waited for Santa to arrive. The next morning the 'tree' was scraggly and bedraggled and made the house smell something terrible so they had to take off the ornaments and throw the tree away!

After each family member kissed and loved my mother, three of my daughters stayed behind to help care for her body. She was developing some bad bed sores and it was my evening tradition to rub lotion on her feet. So my girls tenderly helped rub olive oil on her heels, feet, legs, and arms. They even lovingly rubbed her head and spoke tender words to her. In the background there was the most beautiful music playing, Silent Night, sung by the Tabernacle Choir. It was such a reverent and sacred setting, one that I shall never forget. We prepared her for the evening, made sure that she was resting peacefully and then told her good night and that we would see her in the morning.

Christmas morning I awoke early and thought about her, wondering if I should run over and check on her, but I didn't want to wake Dad, so I waited until 7:00 a.m. As I walked out my back door, my father was coming out his back door. I asked him how Mom was and he said that she had gone. I went into her bedroom and it was such a blessed sight to see how peaceful and relaxed she was. I felt relief and happiness and joy as I kissed her little face and loved her. She was still warm to the touch so I knew that her spirit hadn't been apart from her body long. There was such a reverent feeling in the room and I knew that Mom was there watching and listening to me. I spoke to her and told her how happy I was for her. I took out the canula from her nose and had Dad turn off her oxygen machine. It was a joyous moment to take off the oxygen and throw the hose away. It had been a tether to her for almost 4 years. I said to her, "Oh Mom, look ... you don't have to wear this ole thing anymore. How wonderful!"

We called family members to let them know of her passing and made arrangements for the mortuary to come and pick up her little 70 plus pound body. Our Bishop arrived and we all surrounded Mom's little body and spoke of the reverent experience that we were having. After her body was taken to the mortuary the Bishop gave my father a beautiful blessing of peace and comfort.

What a joyous day to pass to the other side. The day that we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, we are now celebrating the birth of my mother's new life on the other side. What a joyous reunion with her parents and sister. I know that she is extremely happy and she's probably wondering why she didn't want to go sooner. I'm sure she's visiting many of her loved ones here on earth. I feel her presence as well as the surrounding comfort of the Holy Ghost. I know that he's real. I know that he's the comforter. I feel that peace. I feel that love. And I feel the love of my Saviour who answered my prayers to take my mother home.

God be with you til we meet again. Thank you for your love, concern, and prayers in my behalf.

--Linda

48 comments:

Diana Gibbs said...

Linda, I am at a loss for words cause I don't know what to say. I am so sorry about your mother passing, but after reading your post, I know how happy she is now to be with her family again.
Just know that you are loved and you have been the best daughter ever and your parents must be very proud of you.
Lots of love,
Diana

Dawn said...

Dearest Friend,

I have been waiting and waiting for your post....for your prayres to be answered. What a beautiful post. Sometimes in life, we just don't know what to pray for. I know I felt that many times when my Dad was dying, so I would just always pray for God to give me the strength to be able to handle what what was on my path. What a tremendous blessing that you knew what to pray for and your prayers were answered. God Bless you and your family, especially your Dad.
Love you lots my friend...
Dawn

Cefalo Family said...

I'll never forget the sweet stories you told of your mother while traveling together. You were so blessed to have been with her these lasr couple of months. I sure love you and your sweet example. Andra Cefalo

Shelly in the NW said...

Linda,
your entry today brought tears to my eyes - only you with your positive soul and outlook on life on this earth - can bring such peace and tenderness to this situation.

it sounds like your mother was truly a treasure - your father is so lucky to have found and kept her :)

My father-in-law's service is on Monday - I'll be thinking of you - and all of those whose loved ones left us this holiday season.

Michelle Willis said...

Linda,

I just had the feeling that I should check your blog to see how your mother was doing. Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers for weeks. If there is anything I or Michelle can do for you, your Dad, or anyone else, please let me know. Please let me know when the funeral is going to be.

All my love,

Spencer

Charlene said...

Linda,
I love you. Thank you for sharing this sacred experience with all of us. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Charlene

Noelle said...

What a beautiful post. I am sorry you will miss your Mother, but am happy that you won't have to see her suffer any longer.

Mel Hopes said...

Linda what a beautiful attitude you have. I want you and your family to know that my prayers are with you at this hard time.

When my dad passed away 17 years ago everyone said how hard it must be to lose a loved one at this time of year. Like you I agree that it is one of the best times to have someone pass to a better life. My dad loved Christmas too and was a lot like your mom in that way. So it was very fitting to have him go to a better place at this time of year. Now every year I celelbrate his life right along with the Saviors and we were even sent a wonderful blessing of having Mick born a year to the day of my dad's passing.

The Lord is truely loving and kind and so wonderful. I am so thankful for all the blessings that he has given me too.

Love you tons!!!!

M

marniemiller said...

Linda - I don't know you personally - only from my favourite Stampin' Up! presenter, and now from your blog. I just read your post and cried! You so beautifully captured a moment that anyone would be honoured to have witnessed. Thank you for sharing, and I wish you and your family peace. Marnie

kirstyscardnscrap said...

Your courage is amazingly strong and I am so glad you were able to say your goodbyes. The love in your family is just beautiful and I wish love and peace to you all!
Love Kirsty

Hi, I'm Lee Conrey! said...

What a beautiful story and tribute you your Mom. Thank You so much for sharing this with all of us.

Jenn Greeley said...

Linda,

There are no words...I'm so sorry.

Jennifer

Amy said...

You wrote so beautifully of your mother and her life and death. May God continue to bless your family--and especially your Dad--with his peace.

Chris said...

Linda, my prayers are with you and your family. What a wonderful thing it is for us to have a knowledge of the life after this. It is such a spiritual experience to be so close to someone as they pass to the other side.
Love,
Chris Gallacher

Evelyn said...

Sending a warm hug and some love to you and your family. I feel priviledged reading about your mom.

Carrie said...

What an amazing blog post! You are the definition of selfless service, do you realize that? I've known you for a long time and I'm certainly glad your family came into my life! You and your mom are amazing people! She taught you well. :) We love you and pray for you!

Terry Molineux said...

Well Linda what can I say but how sorry I am for your loss. You posted a beautiful tribute to her. Please know that you and your Dad and family are in my thoughts and prayers. Just knowing she isn't suffering anymore is a blessing and to know she went on most favorite time couldn't have been better for her!

I always say things happen for a reason....GOD knew your mother needed you at this time! She will always be with you.

Always,
Terry~~

Dale Anne Potter said...

Am so sorry for your loss, please know that you & your family are in my thoughts & prayers as you go about your days without your Mom.
Lots of cyber {{{{{HUGS}}}}} also.

ktstamps said...

Linda, take care of yourself! You have great loving parents and you turned out...alright! :)
It hard to have your mom pass. My mom left when I was young and it hurts. You will have hurt for years and now every now and then...it really gets me. It's been 13 years now and I am so happy she was mine. If you need to talk...I am with you sister! Take care. kt

9 2 midnight said...

Hi Linda,

My deepest sympathy and condolenses for you and your family.

I had tears in my eyes reading about your mother passing away so peaceful.

I only got to meet you at a SU convention in Brisbane, Australia. You truely are a wonderful person and to put it so beautiful.

God Bless and watch over you and your family.

Julie

Picasso said...

Linda, I just wanted to let you know you're in my thoughts during this difficult time. I pray you and your family will have peace of mind, knowing your Mom is in a better place and no longer suffering.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." This is an inspirational quote from a headstone in Ireland. Unknown name associated with the quote, but I think it says it all.
Blessings, Karen

Shannon said...

Lou:

You are in inspiration! Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Once again I am in awe of you, your spirit and example. I love you!

Betty said...

Linda, You have shared your heart. Your loving care and devotion have been a blessing for your family and an encouragement to others.

A UStamp friend,
Betty Traciak

Lisa Somerville said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, may you find comfort in the days ahead.

bcyhand said...

I'm honored to have been able to read about something that is so personal. I will keep you all in prayer......

Love to you and yours! Deb

Jaron said...

My sweet, sweet Linda Lou,
In all my life I have met very few as selfless and compassionate as you. What an honor to care for one of God's most priceless gifts...a Mother. I know she will constantly be there for you as you have been for her. So grateful, I am sure, to know that it doesn't have to end here!!!
I love ya buddy.
Your Friend, Jaron

Jacki said...

Linda,
Your post is a loving tribute to a wonderful woman. She must have been an incredible mother to have raised such a beautiful daughter! What a gift to go to our Lord on Christmas day. Prayers to you and your family as you miss your Mom and especially for your Dad. God Bless you all.

Annette said...

Linda - What a tribute you have written about the love you all have for you mom. How happy she is now with her mom, dad, & sister but also how happy she was to have your dad and all of you and your never ending love for her. You were her angel and she will now be your angel to watch over you. Hold on to all your memories and cherish each one. She was so blessed to have such a loving adoring family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Love
Annette

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

My sympathies on the loss of your wonderful mother. It's a sad thing to lose your mother, but it sounds like it happened in the most gentle and peaceful way possible, so I'm glad that it happened that way for you. Prayers of comfort for you and your family.

Felicia Archie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I was very touched while reading your post. It sounds like you made her last days happy and very love filled. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Sylvia said...

Thinking of you. If you need anything we are just down the street.

Maxine Conrad said...

Linda, THANKFULLY I have the same wonderful knowledge as you. What a reunion she has had and will continue to have with her wonderful family members! Love ya friend xx

Inking Idaho said...

God bless you and your family Linda! What a lovely tribute to your mother. Thank you for always sharing your thoughts and for your wonderful attitude towards life! You are truly a selfless and compassionate lady.

Happy New Year!
Becky

Kerin said...

Linda, I've just finished reading your post, sobbing, hardly able to read on without wiping away the tears after every line. Your mom was so lucky to have you. I'm amazed at your ability to be okay with letting a loved one go, and seeing it as a good thing for your mom...I hope to be as strong as you are when I'm in a similar situation. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing with us, and I'm sure you touch more lives than you know!

Sabrina said...

How wonderful that your parents were so in love all those years. What a treasure. You are in my thoughts!

Whimcees said...

God bless you and your family. I am so sorry of your loss. You have written this beautifully and with love.

You are blessed to have what many of us only read about. Wishing you all good things in the new year.

Barbara Diane

frombootstostamps said...

Linda, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. While our knowledge of the plan of happiness does provide such an immense amount of comfort at a time like this, losing a someone we love so much is never easy. It is wonderful that it was such an amazing and spiritual last few days for you where you and your family were able to let your mother see and feel your love for her so intensely. I am so happy that this was the way things occurred for you. Take care, and I hope that the New Year brings you all the you could hope for.

hugs,
Marie

Up All Night Stamper said...

Oh - I am so happy for you that she went to be with God on a day that meant so much to her - what a gift to her and you all from our Lord!

Your story sounded so much like when my Gram died that I caught myself thinking "Yes, I saw you do that". Right after Gram died, in my mother's home, in our loving arms literally around her, our lips on her head and hands, I went into another room and wept in gratitude to God that he allowed Gram the ultimate gift of passing over to his arms in peace, with love and no pain in the act.

You, too, are blessed to have helped her over. She is now looking down on you with all her motherly pride and love, her heart full and her soul shining.

God bless you and keep you. Brenda

Kristin Markus said...

Linda,
You're in my thoughts and prayers. I know how much you'll miss her.
Hugs,
Kristin

Barbara V said...

Linda, I just read your beautiful tribute to your mother. My mother also died just before Christmas 18 years ago. The beautiful part of that was that our grandson arrived within the hour of her passing--I am sure to this day that she greeted him as he began life on this earth just as she was leaving.

Karen said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Linda.
I agree with you that it is such a blessing when our loved ones pass to be with others that have gone on before them.
My father left us on Dec.7th to be with my mother who passed 4 1/2 months earlier on July 25th.
I, too, will miss them like crazy but I'm so happy that they are together again and not ill any longer.

Mickey Roberts said...

Dear Linda: I think of the Love that went into the narratives that you shared with us about your parents. I think about the Love that you and your families showered over your Mother in her last months/days/hours. How blest all of you are to have a faith so strong and so vibrant in your lives.

Inky Images said...

Linda,

I just now visited your blog and saw your post about your mother. What a beautiful passing. It reminded me so much of how my father passed away 5 years ago. Please know I'm sending hugs and prayers your way.
Karen

mcnette said...

Thank you for sharing your story. How proud your parents must be of you. Life does work it mysterious ways as it was important that you were able to have the last several months with your mother rather than away all day long at some other job. Best wishes to you and your family. You should consider writing a book as you write beautifully.

Tracy said...

Linda,
First, I am so sorry for your loss.
Second, your post was beautiful. I typically don't have the patience to read through a long post, but I was glued. How wonderful for you to have these treasured memories of your mother documented. This is the first time I have visited your page, but I felt like I was right there with you. God bless.

Brittany said...

Linda,
I don't really know you, but I met you at one RMAP support group (I had surgery the same day as Becky and was talking to her - then I recognized you off her blog and linked over).
Anyway, I think this is a beautiful tribute to your mother. I am sorry for your loss. What a touching post! I wish you comfort in this difficult time.

Brittany

conductorchik said...

Linda I am so sorry for your loss, and commend you on how strong, thoughtful, and peaceful your post was. Our thoughts are with you and your family as you continue to heal.

Sylvia De Jong-Simpson said...

Linda,
I have been so remiss in visiting all of my favorite blogs since before the end of the year and today I felt compelled to do so and much to my sadness, discovered that you had lost your mother on Christmas Day. How sad and yet happy it was for you to say goodby and yet celebrate her not being in discomfort and pain. I know that the Lord looked over you and your family and for that I am most grateful! Please know how very sorry I am to hear of your loss. And your telling of it and her life was done so beautifully. You are indeed a product of your mother and father and I'm so grateful that God has put you in my life.
In His Love,
Sylvia