July 2, 2017

I awoke this morning just as the birds started to sing.  Today, July 2, 2017 would have been my mom’s 93rd birthday. I was her lark up at the crack of dawn and she was my night owl just getting busy when the moon came up.  Mom dearly loved the moon and knew exactly what phase it was in each day of the month.

Sadly, Edie Albright passed away on February 25, 2017.

Pictured above, is Edie blowing out the candles on her cake on her 65th birthday while all of her grandchildren cheer her on.  I think I made the angel food cake since it is not decorated with delish frosting and perfect cursive writing.

In March, I wrote a letter to you and about you:

 

As I fly into the clouds, away from my childhood home in Peoria, I find it hard to believe it has been over a month since you passed. I am just now beginning to remember you with fewer tears and more smiles. I was not ready to let you go mom. You were my hero and my most influential role model. You did not have millions of followers on social media, but you were a woman of influence. At 92, with mounting health issues that were affecting your independence and quality of life, you had communicated to me that you were ready to go.

Edith Unsicker Albright, grew up on a farm near Tremont Illinois as one of thirteen children. She was her high school class valedictorian and graduated from Methodist School of Nursing as the president of the class of 1945. She met and married my dad, had five children, and worked for over 25 years for the Visiting Nurses Association. In retirement, she was recognized for her decades of volunteer service picking up food for the Heart of Illinois Harvest. Edie spent 62 years at the same address and stayed connected with her large family, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and patients during her long and active life.

I did not realize the extent of Edie’s influence in the lives of so very many until she died. A few of those expressions of condolences included, “she saved my life and was my role model for what a good mother should be” and “I am grateful for my many memories of her and for the lasting imprint she made on my life.” A neighbor wrote, “In my 50 years in this neighborhood, I would often get discouraged with conditions and I would see her diligently working in her yard which would encourage me to do my best. So, in a way, she was my role model.” Her grandson posted on Facebook that he was heartbroken at the loss of his grandma. He stated, “Just weeks ago she was making me breakfast in her kitchen. Today the world lost a great woman. She shared with me life lessons and provided a window into history. She was ahead of her time – a working mom and fiercely independent until the very end.”

Your giving spirit, goodness, and grace will live on forever. You modeled for so many how to live life and demonstrated that each of us has the power to change the world in positive ways by our actions and deeds. Your personal impact on those you touched during your long life was truly an influential legacy.

Your loving daughter,

Jan

When Edie and I were hanging out together, we always made time to stop in at the DQ for ice cream!

Grace and I stopped at the DQ on my birthday this year and each of us had a soft serve cone in honor of mom!

What a special woman you were!  We are taking time to grieve so we can celebrate your amazing life.

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