It’s been said that a mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.

It’s true.

What I remember most about my own mother, though, is not her many hugs goodbye, but the hug that always welcomed me home.  And the knowledge that she was happiest when the house was full of family.

My mother-in-law, Arleigh, was like that too.  She spent hours on end preparing for company, making pecan tassies and other family favorites, arranging pretty tablescapes for special meals, and making a welcoming wreath for the front door.

When our boys were little, she knit sweaters for them in winter and planned happy excursions for their summer visits.  Childhood rooms were decorated with hand-stitched samplers celebrating their birth and any notable occasion was always marked with a special card and message from Grandma and Pop.


At Arleigh’s funeral on Friday, while leafing through publications featuring her award-winning floral designs and fingering her hand-made quilts, a sweet friend noted that whatever Arleigh did, she did it best.

For those she loved, that included hugs, provided in sugary treats and tiny stitches, the thrill of fishing trips and spotting deer along the farm road at dusk, and many, but not enough, unhurried summer days floating down cold mountain rivers.

31 thoughts on “Mothers

  1. germac4

    What a lovely snapshot of your mother-in-law’s life, especially as a grandmother. The wonderful quality of being unhurried is such a gift to grandchildren, I appreciated the amount of love & time my parents invested in my children. Best wishes to your family at this time.

  2. Martha Robinson

    We Grandmothers need to take note – and think how important we can be in many, even small ways. What nice memories you have.

  3. Ellen Weinberg

    A beautiful tribute to a special person. She will be missed. So sorry for loss for your family.

  4. Bobbi Caley

    Lovely tribute to your mother-in-law. Your family has special memories to sustain you through this time of grieving. Thoughtful words for all of us who are grandmothers.

  5. Dede

    I loved Tim’sparents when they came to visit you all. She was such a dear person! Please let Tim know I’m thinking about you and your families!!

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Dede–Sad to think of all we have lost in recent years, but how lucky we’ve been to be treasured by family and friends. Goodness, how I miss our Wexford days.

  6. Katie

    Marian, I’m so sorry for you & your family’s loss. You have written a wonderful tribute to your mother-in-law.

  7. Beth J

    Marian….I hope all those wonderful memories will bring you and Tim peace when you are missing her most.


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