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Elisabeth (Edwards) Mower

Mary (Underhill) Mower

 

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dale w. mower
185 norfolk street
bangor maine 04401

dale@mower-family.com

in memoriam - ancestors recently lost 

In life, we are lucky if we are touched by people that leave a unique imprint on our hearts and minds. We are left with a void that can never be filled when these people depart this life on earth, but they truly live on long as we have memories that we can call upon in time of loneliness, despair, sorrow or joy.

I want to reflect on a couple such women that have passed on recently, but who touched my life profoundly, albeit in different ways.

harriet elizabeth (vickery) mower

H. Elizabeth Mower, my grandmother, was one of those persons that who once touched your life, you never forget. A very intelligent woman who could talk about any subject...and no subject was off limits, from the weather to contraception to world history. She was a very well read woman, a voracious reader.

To be honest, I never truly came to appreciate Grandmama Mower until later in life, at a point after I was married and becoming a father. I regret that I hadn't realized the depth of this woman earlier. Grandmama was the definitive matriarch of the Mower family residing in Bangor Maine. It was on my 13th birthday that my family moved in with my grandparents to help assume the responsibilities of running the family dairy farm. Accordingly, she and I clashed at times as I stumbled through my turbulent teenage years (not my best), especially as I was loud and a definite rebel in a very conservative, right-wing environment.

My early recollection of Grandmama was of a woman of compassion, caring for her mother-in-law and her own mother in their last years, as well as providing that same care to her elderly Aunt Marcia Parker a few years later. I recall her riding down to Augusta to spend countless days in the Maine State Library when my grandfather was serving in the Maine State Legislature. I remember big molasses cookies which I always thought were her specialty - cooking was never her strongest suit. I remember endless knitting, crocheting, tatting, quilting...the hands always busy. I remember her working on crossword puzzles - always in ink! I remember watching Lawrence Welk her Saturday nights, always after the traditional baked bean supper. I remember here name was always "wife" to my grandfather, I don't think I ever heard him call her by her given name.

Grandmama - a link to the past that will be sorely missed, a true friend in the present that will be sorely missed, and a guiding hand for the future that will be sorely missed. Grandmama - who knew more of history and life than I shall ever learn.

I'm glad that I finally got to know her better and we had a good time talking, I'm glad I was able to laugh with her. I'm glad I knew her, loved her and I'm glad to be able to say that I miss her.

Following is a poem entitled "My Great-Grammie" that my daughter, Meaghan, wrote upon the occassion of the death of H. Elizabeth Mower. It was read by cousin Father Scott Mower at the memorial service held graveside at Maple Grove Cemetery on 10 Apr 2002.

Her sea blue eyes are fixed on the yard
She sits in complete silence for a second's time
Her window still is lined with letters and cards
Her face shows a great happiness, a feeling of sublime
She is my great-grammie, the best let me tell you
She always asks bout your day and how you were
About the weather, and sports too
About school, and recent events that had occurred
She is my great-grammie, a delightful woman
Full of energy and great love
She was a compassionate and caring woman
And now we're left to look above
And see our angel shining down
That beautiful figure that shines so bright
And we have no fear because she'll always be around
Just make sure great-grammie is in your prayers tonight.

jane agnes (thebeau) mcdonald

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE EULOGY WRITTEN BY DALE W. MOWER ON THE OCCASION OF THE DEATH OF "MOMSY" ON 8 AUG 2000.

"Momsy" was a very stubborn, demanding woman with a fiery, mean streak. Beneath that though was a deeply religious lady with a heart of gold (some days this just didn't show). She was a complicated person. Her tastes were simple, but the person she was - well, you had to spend time with her to understand; even then you couldn't expect to fully comprehend.

Jane led a very hard and difficult life, starting with what we believe was a very unhappy childhood that she never really talked about. Along the way, life threw many challenges at her. Some caused her to stumble; but she never lost her Catholic faith.

I think she would say that there were three bright chapters in her life.

The first being her children. She wasn't always there emotionally for them. She knew she wasn't perfect; admitted that she had made mistakes. She had difficulty expressing love, but loved her children. Jane was not the kind of mother you went to for support and advice, in fact most of the time it was the opposite. But she tried her best, the best she could give at the time.

The second is her second marriage, to Francis V. McDonald, on October 22, 1976. Franny gave her a happiness she had yearned for. He helped her heal past wounds and taught her how to love again; he gave her a direction in her life. They spend many happy times together - especially enjoying horse racing. Their time together was much too brief. After Franny's death, Jane always weighed what Franny would do when making a decision. She must be so happy to be joined with him again.

The third and brightest chapter was her grandchildren. What a proud grandmother she was. She put each on their own pedestal. She particularly enjoyed following their athletic achievements - her only regret being that she couldn't see more of their games. Whenever she had news of any of the grandchildren she would be bursting at the seams waiting to share it. She loved talking with her grandkids and being a part of their lives.

In fact, it was this love for her grandchildren that caused her much concern in her last few months - months filled with much sickness and suffering, and many hospitalizations. She never wanted to become a burden and was prepared for death - but for the fact that she wanted to have more time with her grandchildren. She knew the end of her suffering would cause them hurt and pain. But she would want to reassure them that she is happy in her new home and that they have a new angel watching over them!

We miss you "Momsy" and "Nana" more than words will ever be able to tell - you have left a void that is still trying to heal.

 


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