Thursday, September 25, 2008

The lady in the chair

Frances Natalie Pearlman is the lady in the chair.
My mom, who went by the name of Natalie her entire life, passed away from this world Sept. 16, 2008, one day short of age 75 1/2.
My mom was my best friend, there for me until the end.
How grateful i am that i was there beside her holding her hand as she took her last breath.
Full of life, full of laughter, full of love for all her friends - and mine as well.
She was honest, kind and generous... almost to a fault, but she was never a martyr.
She loved clouds and the ocean and a good book - a woman after my own heart!
She always helped her family and friends when we needed it... and many when we didn't even know we needed any help at all.
She had a wicked sense of humor - she could laugh at herself!
She had an eye for a bargain - she loved showing off how well she saved with coupons at the grocery store.
And somehow she was able to find the best in everyone, even in some of the worst of people, even at some of the worst of times.
Always wanting to work from the moment she was able to do so, she kept her photography business thriving with her youngest brother long after her Jan. 1, 2008 diagnosis of cancer.
She was a teacher by profession and also by the way she lived her life - she always taught whomever would listen, but at the same time, she always wanted to - and did - learn.
Though her spirit is with us, my family grieves...
The lady in the chair was:
A wonderful wife for my father for 53+ years,
A shining light of a sister to her two brothers,
An amazing mother to me and my two sisters,
The best Bubbe (grandma) to 12 adoring kids,
A doting aunt to her two nephews,
The one cousin who stayed in contact with dozens of relatives...
She was a friend like no other - her pals from California and from back when she lived in Chicago have made my broken heart heal a little bit... i have smiled after being regaled by/with stories of her devotion and humor, her intelligence and insight; i am only now beginning to find out about the lives she touched around the world.
Mom, i miss you and shall never forget you.
Rick Springfield got it right:
My father's chair still standing there
All alone since the long night
Now it's three years on and I still feel
He'll come home, we'll be alright
So where's this healing time brings
I was told the pain would ease
But it still hurts like the first night
That night my brother, my mother and I
Were looking up at a distant star
And wishing we could reach that far
And back in the house
And alone for the first time
We told each other we cared
We avoided my father's chair
I watch my family, we hold on
We are strong and we'll be alright
The clock continues counting down,
All the while
And every child will share the long night
But do the spirits meet again
Why am I still so filled with doubt
Is my soul everlasting
And the far distant future
When I knew you'd be gone
Came too fast and stays too long
Why do they leave the weaker spirit
And take the strong
But when the world turns sour
And I get sick from the smell
And I can find no comfort there
I climb into my father's chair


jenny said...

I am so sorry.
Even though I didn't know your mother, your words speak volumes of her impact on this world.
My thoughts are with you.

Catherine said...

I'll be thinking about you and your family, Karen. What a wonderful thing, though, that you are learning so much more about your mom! What a wonderful lady -- she will be missed. Hang in there -- we love you!

Vegan_Noodle said...

So very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. She sounds like an amzing lady. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

aTxVegn said...

I'm so very sorry, Karen. You wrote a wonderful tribute to your mother. I wish you and your family peace and comfort.

Kati said...

It sounds like your mother was a wonderful woman - your tribute to her really touched my heart. I will be sending good thoughts to you and your family. Take care!

Melody Polakow said...

*hugs* dear Karen...

Your mother sounds like she was an amazing woman... and I think her spirit lives on within you.. your beautiful soul and your passion and compassion ...

Vegan Dogs said...

I so sorry Karen. I know your mom knew how much you loved her, because you said it so well here. Take care of yourself.

Peter Matthes said...

I am so sorry to hear this Karen.

You mother sounds like an amazing woman.

Anyone who loves the ocean is alright in my book.

I wish you all the comfort in the world knowing that you had an absolutely amazing mother and that she will ALWAYS be with you until you see her again.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh honey, I am so VERY sorry. What a beautiful tribute you posted though. She sounds like she was a wonderful lady, and I'm sure she was proud of you!

dreamy said...


Anonymous said...

again, so very sorry for your loss. but it's good to see you back at work...

one day at a time...

ani said...

oops, that anonymous was me! don't know what happened...

luna said...

I am so sorry for your loss, our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

kunsjoi said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Karen.

Peter Matthes said...

Just wanted you to know that everyone knows how hard this is to deal with and we are all still thinking about you.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this post a little late but I still wanted to say my thoughts will be with you. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to lose not only your mom but your best friend. May your wonderful memories of her comfort you during the difficult times.

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

knowing you, reading this, your mom must have been an amazing woman. your words touch me and make me appreciate life and it's brevity. peace be with you and your family, karen. love you.

Geraldine said...

Oh Karen I am so sorry to read this. I felt compelled today to stop by, haven't for a long time. I am glad to have the opportunity to send a hug your way and let you know that I share your sadness. My mom was my best friend too and I miss her being here, every single day. In spirit though, she is always by my side.

Take care dear Karen and again, my sincere and heartfelt sympathy.


heebnvegan said...

Thanks for your heebnvegan comments. It's good to hear from you again. Have a happy new year! :)

VeggieGirl said...

Still missing you!!

Peter Matthes said...

I hope you are doing well Karen.

Obviously a lot of people are thinking about you.

Tanya Kristine said...

aren't you so lucky to have a mom like that? You are very blessed Kleo. I am sorry for your loss sucks like that.

Candi said...

I come back once in awhile to read about your mom's life. I really liked how you described here, even though my heart breaks for you. I can see how much she meant to many, many people and how wonderful her life was. You were lucky to have one another. This is a beautiful blog post. ♥

Georgie-Anne aka Anne said...

I am sorry to hear of your mom's passing. I lost mine in '08 as well. It is clear that you loved your mother dearly. Cling to that because that's the one thing that never dies.

Anne from Care2

Brooke said...

I love you KBP!

Vicki said...

Love and Hugs forever and ever

Greenearth said...

My heart is with you at this time.

Geraldine said...

Hi Karen, I happened to be reading some comments from older posts at one of my blogs today (I have 4 now) and noted one from you. HOW ARE YOU? Are you blogging elsewhere these days? I'd love to reconnect if you are.

I have a new happy blog, with a contest on right now at:

if you get a chance to stop by, that would be wonderful. I have thought of you many times in the past couple of years, I hope everything is going great for you. I've missed you!

Many hugs, G

PS: This post is so touching, I got teared up reading it again.