Rest in Peace, Sweet Wibby

The last picture of Wibby, taken June 9, 2012

Dear friends of Wibby,

Yesterday morning, Wibby suffered a sudden and catastrophic cerebral hemorrhage; we lost her at 3:30 yesterday afternoon. She was at home with my family when it happened, and we called an ambulance immediately, but the doctors at the hospital told us that nothing could be done for her except to keep her comfortable. Apart from the initial headache, she was not in pain, and she was not afraid. All three of her children were holding her when she died; her last words before she lost consciousness were “Thank you.”

All my life, people have told me that I am my father’s child, and in many ways that’s true. But since his death, it has been my great good luck to have the chance to recognize how much I am my mother’s child, as well, though I still have so much growing to do to become the kind of person she was. I hope I can also learn to be for my own children the mother she has always been to me: deeply loyal (Wibby never forgot the name of a little girl in third grade who did not invite me to her birthday party), never critical, always proud, and full to overflowing with unending love. Wibby’s mother lived to be 97, and her grandmother lived to be 96, and I have always assumed I would be deep into old age myself before I lost her. She had so many more stories I wanted to capture in this blog, so many things to say that I hoped to record here as a source of solace for when, finally, she was gone. I can’t bear to think that already her funny voice and curious mind and fierce opinions are gone from this world.

Here in Wibby’s family, we are all in terrible shock right now, but we also know that this is exactly the way Wibby wanted to go– perhaps not quite so soon, but quickly, and surrounded by great love– and we are so grateful that she was her own inimitable self right up until the very last day. But those of you who read this blog will understand how much I miss my sweet, funny mama.

With a broken heart, Margaret


18 responses

  1. Margaret, Lori, & Billy
    I was shocked to hear the news yesterday. I am so sorry for your loss. But I am so thankful that you had this blog where we could keep up with Olivia. Every post brought a smile and I would think “she hasn’t changed”. Y’ all are in my thoughts and prayers everyday.

  2. There are no words. I am just totally in shock. And I am shedding tears of sadness for all of you right now as I read this. I am so very sorry for your loss, Margaret, Billy, and Lori. Your mama was a hoot, and was one in a trillion….The Good Lord above broke the mold when they made your mama. She was such a giving, loving person. I will always think of her fondly, and I will remember you all in my prayers as you grieve the loss of your beautiful mom. I know she must be dancing with your Daddy in Heaven right about now. I always looked forward to reading more Wibby stories, Margaret. I know she is so proud of all of you. May the angels surround you and comfort you all during this time. Again, I am so sorry.

  3. Dearest Renkls, I am so very sorry for your loss. The pain is always the greatest with those left behind. Those that have passed before us are comforted and living life eternal as we are promised. We live all our life to die well; Wibby did just that. Her days will always be considered too short because she said goodbye so quickly. Her days were joyful filled with the love of her family. I hope and pray I live the life of Wibby and pass into the last chapter just as easily for the sake of my own family. May God bless your family through your grieving times. PS So enjoyed the simpleness of your blog; your momma was proud. My love always……

  4. Wibby at a distance, on your blog and in conversation, the picture on the blog home page, her aging recalcitrance and humor, awed me, made me laugh, made me tear up. I can’t imagine how devastating her sudden absence is and will be for you. Thank you for having shared her with us for far too short a time.

  5. Both you and Billy are unique and special people. I am sure your mother was very proud of both of you. I am sorry that I can’t be of any help as you deal with this physically, emotionally and spiritually, but please be assured that I am thinking of you and your children, your husband, your brother and his family. I have already prayed and will continue to pray that God’s hand will bring you comfort and show you constant reminders of His love for all of you and your mother.

  6. I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. I spent 45 minutes just last week wandering through the blog laughing at her commentary. I will mourn her with your family and will wish for you and your family peace and joy in the many memories of her lovely insightful full life

  7. I am so sad for all of you, Margaret. I just loved the Wibby that I knew through her blog, as well as her outlook on life and the amazing children it produced. I am so sorry for all of you, but I’m so, so glad you got to spend this time with her. I am thinking of all of you in your sorrow. Love to you, my friend.

  8. It was my pleasure and honor to have the opportunity to know Wibby. She thoroughly enjoyed life and everyone involved in hers. On her last two trips to Birmingham, we were able to have lunch together and my 14 year old got to meet her at one of those lunch dates. He thought she was a really “cool old lady” – amen! She had a special way of closing that age gap. I will truly miss our conversations about our favorite books, our dacshunds, Auburn football, what to wear (or not to wear and how best to get away with not wearing it) and most of all keeping up with not only her family but all of ours too. I’ve told her several times before – and I will say it again – “I think I will aspire to be just like you when I am your age”. Her reply was always, “well, you’d better be sure about that – but I do have a good time”. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am certain that your dad is really enjoying her company again. Take care of Emma. Much love, Bonita

  9. I am so sorry for your loss..she was one of a kind and makes me proud to have grown up around such an amazing and original woman. Her stories are hysterical and I LOVE that you called her Wibby..some of my fond memories are from the Christmas in July celebrations..only something she could have come up with for sure! I will keep you all in my prayers. Thanks for sharing these wonderful blogs..
    Mary Ann Seifert McDonough

  10. I know the pain of your (our) loss but you can’t really know how fortunate you, Billy and Lori are to have had both Wibby and Bill for so long. I, too,am lucky to have such a chronicler.

  11. Finally heard the news.What a shock and a loss to everybody! Too soon, and no chance to prepare makes it much harder. Condolences to you and the family.

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