Saying Good Bye

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 65 Comments

Caroline Rose Hartman, AKA Mom. 

On March 13th, my mom died in her sleep. I’ve been doing all right…trying to honor her memory and take care of things in a way that would make her happy. I donated her clothes to the nursing home she stayed in and the rest of her “stuff” to a charity that raises money for cancer patients.

I have also tried to make a pointed effort to see the bright side—no more pain, no more illness, no more unhappiness…

You see, my mom wasn’t always cheerful. She was a generous lady with a big heart, but she was also one of the most insecure human beings I have ever met.

Here at the IWSG, we admit to our insecurities and face them square in the face.

my mom and I at the beach
My mom spent a lifetime trying to hide from hers.

I suppose, somewhere deep in her psyche was the belief that she was only loved if she was perfect.

My dad once told me I could never fully understand my mother. I was raised without any rejection. No matter what I did or didn’t do…my mom loved me.  


To my mom, her kids were perfect.

I used to joke that if her offspring ended up in prison, mom would brag that we ran the entire cell block. I predicted she’d stop people in the grocery store and show them our mug shots and brag— “That’s the Hartman Gang…if you want to get someone shanked, my kids can get it done.”

My mother hated that joke.

She swore she kept high standards for her kids.

But she didn’t. We all screwed up; she defended us.

Mom didn’t always get that from her family.

I know she always felt like the least pretty, least successful member of her clan.


My mother wasn’t a simple character who could be explained in a single post. I will simply say, she was always a mom, and I am who I am because I was blessed to have her raise me. 

Join the IWSG Here!

Thanks to our leader, Alex Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts for the April edition of the IWSG  Christopher D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!

Now, onto this week's good thing check-in!!

Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

I have a new great nephew!

Rogan Lance Hartman joined the world, weighing in at
8 pounds 3 ounces. He's a gorgeous little guy!
Huge congrats to my nephew, Ryan and his wife, Danielle!

It's coming!! And to celebrate, I've asked contributors to chime in with their best/worst movie picks-- in honor of our ninja leader, of course!

This week, Erika Beebe is sharing her picks. 


Hero Lost
Mysteries of Death and Life
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology
Release date: May 2, 2017

Favorite All-time Movie?
Cinderella’s motive has always made sense to me. So when Ever After came out, and Drew Barrymore stepped up to play my favorite fairy tale princess, I was all in. I watch it every chance I can when life seems heavy and I need to sigh and catch my breath.
Current Worst Movie?

The Sea of Trees. The cinematography was great. The character themes seemed real.  The trailer though, seemed very misleading.  When I sat down to watch the movie, it didn’t seem quite so serene and meditative in the same sense I was picturing in my mind. Just the opposite actually, with crazy unbelievable twists. In the movie’s defense though, I turn lots of movies off when that one horrifying scene emerges—the “I’m going to take your life away,” scene and there’s nothing you can say or do about it. Yeah. One outcome. The end.



65 comments:

  1. She might not have seen it, but your mother was extremely successful in how she raised her kids. (At least you!) Thinking and praying about you.
    Don't think I've ever seen Sea of Trees.

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    1. That is the one thing she would quickly brag about- her kids, grandkids, and greats. I used to tell her I was the jewel in her crown-- me being the most modest and all.

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  2. My condolences. How sad that your mother didn't receive the support she needed while she was growing up, and how beautiful that she made sure you did. She broke the chain.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. My grandmother was a wonderful lady, but she had a lot of kids very young. I once teased her that she should have hugged my mother more as a child and my grandma got very serious and admitted she'd thought a lot about what she'd do over...and giving more praise and hugs were at the top of her list.

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  3. Your mother might not have liked that prison/cell block joke but it's a wonderful example of how much her staunch support, her absolute acceptance meant to you. Please continue to take care of yourself.

    All the best to your family and the new great-nephew!

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    1. Unconditional love was what my mother excelled at, that's for sure.

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  4. So sorry for you loss, but what a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing!
    You were blessed!

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  5. My heart goes out to you. She sounds like an amazingly human woman I would have loved to know. And how could she not be? She produced you. =) Yay for the nephew!

    *waves at Erika*

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    1. My mother was a blessing to everyone she met, if even for a moment.

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  6. What a heartfelt tribute to your mother, Elizabeth. Hugs & prayers!

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  7. Hugs and prayers, and congratulations too, to the clan.

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    1. New babies are a great reminder that life keeps moving forward.

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  8. I am so sorry, Elizabeth. I've been out of the loop since the new year. Such a lovely tribute to mom. I lost my mother 18 years ago and it still feels like yesterday. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her in one way or another.

    Sending you a HUGE cyber hug!

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    1. Thanks, Michael. I never realized how much a part of my life my mom was until she was gone. Who do shop with...nag at? I suppose I have years of advice and memories to rely on.

      Thanks for the cyber hugs.

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  9. Losing your mom is one of life's hardest times. I still miss mine and for over a year after she died, I picked up the phone at 4PM to call and say hi. My condolences to you, Elizabeth.

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    1. I'm beginning to realize that. Moms have their fingers in every part of our lives. It's strange not to be hearing from her. It's just so quiet now.

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  10. Aww ... *hugs* I lost my mom when I was 14, so I never got to know her as two adults. It can be quite the shock when we realize our parents are humans just like anyone else.

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    1. You're so right about that! I didn't truly realize just how human my mother was until the last month of her life. She'd had some really tough times and was finally speaking honestly about what was on her mind. In hindsight, I think she knew her time was drawing short and she was making sure to wrap things up.

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  11. So sorry to hear your Mom has passed. My condolences to you and your family, Elizabeth. My mother has just been diagnosed with cancer and I'M the one who is scared to death. My Mom's spirits are positive. God please give her the strength. She's 81.

    Memories keep our loved ones alive in our hearts. All the best to you, my dear.

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    1. My heart goes out to you. Cancer is so scary. My father died of cancer, but not until after a heroic fight. He was given months, but he stuck around for years. Tell your mom to hang in there! Hugs and prayers to you, Victoria.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart is with you. I'm glad you had a mother that could love you unconditionally. That is a true blessing and I hope that's a memory of her that you carry.

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    1. She did love us. We sometimes took that love for granted, but even then, she never held it against us.

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  13. I am so sorry! She raised a wonderful daughter, and no doubt her other kids are just as awesome.

    "mom would brag that we ran the entire cell block" This made me laugh.

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    1. Yep, the others are awesome too. MY siblings are some of the best...after I forget all the years of nooggies and such.

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  14. This is a beautiful tribute to your mom. I love the cell block joke as well. She was obvious a great lady and an even better mother. My condolences to you and your family. Take care. *hugs*

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  15. Sorry to hear. Too funny about the mugshot joking though haha Congrats to the clan on the new poop machine too.

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  16. I really am sorry about your loss Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing your tribute to her. Thank you also for sharing my movie picks this week. :)

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  17. She was a strong character, and passed that trait on to you and your siblings. Love to you and your family x

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    1. She did have a strength. I always told her I got my stubborn nature from her.

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  18. Sorry to read about your mom's passing, Elizabeth. She was obviously an amazing lady and had such a kind face. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take good care. Lots of love.

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  19. My heartfelt sympathies go out to you. When my mom passed, I felt the separation of her crossing over and now I had to step up to the plate. The beautiful memories I have stored up in the treasure trove of my heart helped me as I dealt with the loss. May your memories of your mother be a bridge also for you.
    Take care of yourself.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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    1. Well said, Pat. When I feel bad, I remind myself that she is on the most amazing journey ever.

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  20. I was sorry to hear of your loss Liz. I am glad you have such wonderful memories of her.

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  21. Sorry to hear about your mum, Liz.

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  22. My sympathies to you and your family. You are a terrific person, so she did something right!

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  23. Your mom definitely did something right with raising you. I'm sorry you're hurting.

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  24. So sorry to hear about your mom. That must be hard.

    I'm also a fan of Ever After, but haven't heard of Sea of Trees.

    E is for Experiment: Turning the USS Eldridge Invisible

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    1. Thanks, Tamara.

      I've never heard of Sea of Trees and I haven't seen Ever After. I'll have to put Ever After on my watch list and skip the trees.

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  25. I loved reading this post about your mom --she sounds like an amazing person.

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    1. One day I'll have to write her a book. She'd never guess it, but she was probably one of the most complicated people I have ever known.

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  26. Sorry for your loss, Elizabeth. Your mother sounds like a wonderful mom. Thanks for sharing her tribute with us.

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  27. Huge hugs and prayers for you, Elizabeth! Your mom's love sounds awesome. I'm glad she has peace and joy now in heaven, but I also hope and pray that you find comfort in both memories and present blessings.

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  28. Oh honey, I'm deeply sorry. My heart is pained for you. As you know, I know the loss. There aren't words. She's always with you, somehow, always, loving you.
    My love to you too.
    In Judaism we say, and I say now to you: May loving memories comfort you in the days ahead and may her memory be forever a blessing. (It is.)

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    1. Thank you, Robyn. I was fortunate enough to have her for far more years than you got to have yours, so I have plenty of good memories to make me smile. Hugs and love to you too.

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  29. So sorry for your loss, Elizabeth. Your mom sounds lovely. Love the picture of you two at the beach.

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    1. Thank you, Ruth. That was right before playing mini-golf...she beat us all.

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  30. I'm so very sorry for you loss, Elizabeth. And such a wonderful, honest, post about her and your family. I lost my mother when I was just 13 years old so can understand the sense of utter loss you must be feeling. That's such a beautiful photo of you both.
    Huge hugs from across the Atlantic.
    Suzy xxx

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    1. I was so fortunate to get to have my mom for so many years. Of course, it never feels like enough years.

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  31. I am so sorry for your loss, Elizabeth. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman, whether she realized it or not. Remembering her and being able to talk about her, definitely honors her memory. I'm wishing you and your family well during this difficult time. Sorry that I showed up so late. Sending you hugs.

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    1. You're never too late. I don't think she did ever understand her importance to people. I do like to remember those who have passed on. It keeps them close and like you say, it's a way to honor them. Hugs to you.

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  32. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your loving tribute to your mother shows how special she was to you... and how extra special YOU were to her. I love your "mug shot" anecdote. To be loved unconditionally is a gift few people receive in life. You're fortunate to have received that from your mother.

    That a new baby was born into your family reminds me of a picture that's hanging on the wall behind me. It shows a young child playing with a teddy bear, and the wording reads: "A baby is God's way of saying the world should go on."

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