Maggie the Magnificent – Redux

On Mother’s Day, I posted an homage to my mom, Maggie, citing some of the reasons she has been a wonderful role model to my sister and me.  This week, she passed away with the same grace and thoughtfulness she displayed throughout her life. She was eighty-six years old.

She wanted only me and my sister with her; she wanted to be home; she wanted no exceptional intervention. Blessedly, with the wonderful assistance of our local hospice organization (and my niece the med student), we were able to follow her directions and wishes,  and provide some comfortable amenities for her as well.

As we have cared for her over the past few months, my sister and I have had some lovely opportunities to chat about Mummy, and some of the paradoxes in her life.

Although she trained in the biological sciences as a nurse, and those skills were never far away, her true calling was as a writer (and editor). She wrote everything from poetry to press releases, light humor pieces to editorials. Her checkbook was always balanced to the penny (a Scot to the core), but there was also  a bit of the Celtic faerie about her – she always had a twinkle in those blue-grey eyes, and she could see the humor and find the balance in almost any situation.

She was successful at work at a time when women really weren’t taken seriously (just watch Mad Men), spent many dedicated hours on her favorite charities (mostly involving children – often disadvantaged or disabled), and also loved being a mommy (and aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother).

She enjoyed a drink (true to her heritage), and although she had an incredible imagination, she also had a canny sober view of life. She took her faith and responsibility to her family and community seriously, while always engaging her wit.  She held her own in a man’s world, and never lost her feminine identity.  She’s been a tough act to follow.

She really was brilliant, truly beautiful (inside and out), and the thing is, she never really got that. She never understood how mesmerized people were in the gaze of those big eyes, or how grateful they were for her friendship.

So, Mom, with thankful hearts for everything you’ve given us, here’s a send-off from the immortal Harry Lauder –  A Wee Deoch an’ Doris* – Godspeed.

*Gaelic – literally “a small drink at the door” – the equivalent of our current expression “one for the road.”  The expression is used when saying good-bye, and is the heart of the fun song above, which my grandfather loved.
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50 Responses to Maggie the Magnificent – Redux

  1. Pingback: Celebrating the Women in Our Lives | The Retiring Sort

  2. ailsapm says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady, TRS. Love. xxx


  3. Taylor says:

    Beautiful post; brought a tear to my eye. Your mom was obviously a very cherished woman.


  4. tobyo says:

    what a nice tribute to your mom. and I am so sorry for your loss. I stopped by your blog because you liked my photo for the weekly challenge. and what do I see but “Maggie the Magnificent” and I just had to see what that was about! You see, my daughter’s name is Maggie and it’s not short for anything. I have people ask me all the time if Toby is short for something. and I never thought about it until after Maggie was born but I realized it once people started asking “is that short for Margaret?” so I have instructed Maggie to answer “it’s short for magnificent”. I just had to share that with you. I am also headed down to Florida to assist my 89 year old mother….we seem to have some things in common. 🙂 I just followed your blog as I hope to retire in 8 years so perhaps we can help each other.


    • Thanks so much for these great comments, and your visit to my blog!
      Treasure those moments with your mom – I was so grateful that my retirement allowed me some wonderful time with mine before she became very ill.
      I really like your take on your daughter’s name! I wish her as full and rewarding a live as our Maggie had (see the original linked post for detail)!
      Stay tuned, as I hit the reset button now, for more on my retirement adventure… 😉


  5. I’m so sorry for reading this so late and for the loss of your very dear Mother.
    You have written a sweet and tender tribute to her. She would have been proud
    to have heard it. I’m sure she is looking down from heaven and smiling at how
    much you have shown your love for her. She must have been a grand lady to
    have had a very special daughter like you. God Bless and keep you in his arms.


  6. Paula says:

    When I wrote to you yesterday I had no idea your mother had passed away. It happened during my time off. I thought she was just ill. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautifully written hommage to your dear Mum. She was a beautiful woman from what I can see.


  7. elentari86 says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. She sounds like a wonderful person.


  8. IsobelandCat says:

    I am sorry your mother has died, and glad she died where she wanted to be with those she wanted to be with. A good death by the sounds of it. Hard now for you and the rest of your family.


  9. adinparadise says:

    What a lovely tribute to your dear mom. I’m sure that the wonderful memories will live on in your family down through the years. Moms are so precious, aren’t they? My condolences to you all. I still have my mom, and will be so sad when she passes on. Love and hugs to you.


  10. This is such a wonderful tribute and your mother’s legacy lives on in you and your sister. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.


  11. Madhu says:

    What a beautiful tribute. Losing a mother is hard at any age. My heartfelt sympathies to your sister and you.


  12. bulldogsturf says:

    How sad that we have to let loved ones go… thank the Lord we will all meet up again one day.. my condolences to you and your sister… may peace come over you in this time of sorrow…


  13. bluebee says:

    A wonderful tribute to your mother – how sad that she had to go.


  14. Lydia Street says:

    So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed reading about your mother very much.


  15. Marianne says:

    What wonderful, heartfelt words. You are clearly so proud of your mother as, no doubt, she was of you. Sorry for your loss.


  16. Angeline M says:

    What a wonderful post and tribute to your Mom. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.


  17. melouisef says:

    I am sorry. ..You have beautiful memories and she will live in your heart forever


  18. rutheh says:

    A touching and memorable tribute to your mother. I am sorry for your loss (and your sister too).
    I know she is in your heart.


  19. A beautiful tribute to you mom. I’m so sorry for your loss. Glad you have the wonderful memories to enjoy. She truly is a beautiful lady.


  20. Yes, what a lovely tribute to your mother, and what strength she passed on to you! I admire you for this beautiful post so soon after her death. You’re a rock, and your mother surely treasured you and your sister. Z


  21. fgassette says:

    A beautiful tribute to your mother. You gave us a feel for the wonderful person she was. I can tell her legacy lives on in you. You have written this wonderful piece. I’m sorry for your loss but your memories will never die.



  22. aparnanairphotography says:

    Hi! I just nominated you for the inspiring blog award!!


  23. coastalcrone says:

    I saw this earlier but was unable to reply for some reason. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. I think she would have approved. You are so fortunate to have had her for so many years. I lost my mother when I was in my early twenties. Cheers to you and your mother.


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