My Mother, Betty J Gillman, Born September 18, 1941, passed on today at 930am in Traverse City receiving the best medical attention and surrounded by her family, and husband of nearly 48 years who loved her so very much. I hurt for him, never have seen him so saddened.
She was a strong woman. So much so, that her suggested 5 days of life expectancy three years ago easily became a high quality 3 years. So much so, she sometimes frustrated those who would try to bend her will.. even for her own benefit.
She was a generous woman. She had often the propensity to identify the homeless near her home and offer them money for food. She also spent incredible amounts of time and energy in her younger years raising money for the hungry through a myriad of organizations which do so. Her outward generosity was even multiplied in that towards her children as well.
She had a sense of humor. Perhaps my jokes are indeed funny, as she laughed at every one.
She was incredibly intelligent, Well read, and an information seeker. She made critical thinking quite important to us, challenging us to look from multiple perspectives.
She had class. Everything she did, had to be done right. To be sure, if not, it was not worth doing.
She was the best mom. All the problems she absorbed for the sake of her children, and the joy she brought the children of her sons, perhaps overshadowing the incredible effort it must have been to keep her 5 sons out of trouble. An effort well rewarded with all sons productive and generous contributors to our communities..
At least in my opinion.
My brothers and I were no less than a handful. As toddlers, we were little jerks, as teenagers we were immature jerks. As we aged, we became even more sophisticated jerks. She defended us when we needed defending, but discovered how to instill a conscience so that when guilt was necessary, it thrived.
And she was loved and respected by our friends as well.
I often recall these words spoken by not just one of my friends:
“Your mom is so cool.. How is it even remotely possible you can be such an asshole.”
I would always answer the same way.. “yeah she is.. isn’t she..?”
Truly, if I had to describe my mom, the woman who gave me life, gave me a conscience, saved my life at least once, and taught me how to think.. I would have to say yes.. she was really cool.
God Bless you Mom.. I will miss you so very much.