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