I’m gonna veer off the beaten path today and speak about Jo.  Jo was my mother in law.  She was such a vibrant, loving woman.  She was a collector of quilts and needlework and loved the needle arts as much as I did.  I think that is how we bonded.  She was not a maker but she really appreciated them.  It is because of her that I sell my art, she was so supportive of my talent.  I would make her Scarlet Letter Samplers, so much harder than my usual fare.  I would make her embroidered gifts long before I tried to express myself through hand embroidery.  I used to make christening outfits and she bought a couple of them too, she used to say even the princes of olden days wore christening gowns.  The longer the better.  She framed them and they were on her walls.  Everything I made she loved, she was so very supportive.

She loved my son and my son adored his nana.  The sun rose and set on him.  She adored him from the very moment he was born.  I remember when he was little and did something that was exasperating I would call her looking for advice.  Her advice always was he’s a prince he’s allowed to do anything he wants.  She was always, always interested in his interests and his life.  She was very generous too.  Her family meant everything to her and she showed it.  I would always go home with treasures from her house.  A blouse she bought that didn’t fit or a bunch of nesting boxes.  We had our issues but what mother daughter relationship doesn’t,  she was my mother longer than my mother was my mother and I loved her dearly.

My divorce was 8 years ago but we maintained a telephone relationship.  She would always ask about my job, ask if I was ok, ask about Brian and ask questions about Dixie.  I loved to talk to her.  I loved her.  Last year I went back to Long Island for a wedding and I got to visit with her and Rudy one last time.  It was a beautiful time.  It was so nice to see her.  So much had changed but yet so little.

She had fallen in February and had broken her leg.  I had left her a few messages but she was hospitalized and then in a rehab facility.  I did not know she did not have a phone in her room so I called her and spoke to her briefly on the floor nurses phone.  She was still beautiful Jo and she asked me to write her a letter and mail it to her home.  I told her I would.  This is that letter written after her death.  I told her I loved her and she said she loved me and that was it.  She caught the coronavirus and passed away.  She is with her lovely sisters, Kate and Dorothy,  and Uncle Micky and Uncle Hank.  And I will always have my memories of my second mother Jo.  I hope she has met my mom as I know they would have so much to talk about.  Godspeed.  I love you.


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