Thursday, June 14, 2012

Even in Death, This Woman's Spirit Shined Through to Many

One of the most rewarding things about having our company are the great relationships we are fortunate to develop with our customers.  When Barbara contacted us back in May of 2011, there was an instant connection.  She emailed us about her 79 year old mother, June, who had been in a bad car accident resulting in her being bed bound during her recovery.  Barbara wanted to order some Annie & Isabel gowns to help with her mother's recovery since her mother was not able wear normal clothing. Barbara felt our gowns could provide a more stylish, dress-like option that she hoped would lift her mother's spirits. Lift her spirits they did!!  After initially ordering three of our designer hospital gowns, Barbara ordered five more gowns a few weeks later stating:

"Few things bring my mom cheer these days; but, wearing your darling gowns do.  Your colorful gowns are a big hit with my mom and the staff at the facility where she is working on her recovery.  They launder, fit well, are easy to put on, yet give the look of normal dresses."

June with her sweet and loving husband

In September, Barbara called us again, as her mother had some complications with her recovery, and she wanted to order more of our gowns.  We had several conversations over the phone and Barbara explained what a strong woman her mother was.  June survived polio as a child, was in a previous serious auto accident in 1987 and had numerous other medical issues in her life.  Several of her doctors had told her that "she was the toughest woman they had ever met."  June had now lost use of her legs due to some spinal fractures but she still kept up her strong spirit.  Barbara ordered her two Susan gowns so she could go out in public in style and look "dressed". 

With all that June had been through in her life, we could see that she was a fighter, so it was with great sadness that we learned that June had passed away in October of 2011 due to further complications from her injuries.  Here is what Barbara said about her mother:

"Following a car accident 8 months prior, my mother died peacefully on October 16th, 2011, surrounded by family, wearing one of her dearly loved Annie & Isabel gowns.  These wonderful gowns gave my determined mother the look of "normal" dresses during her long recovery effort.  In fact, she owned nearly every style.  Unlike traditional "ugly" hospital gowns, her Annie & Isabel gowns were stylish, easy to put on, laundered and fit well, and were crowd pleasers. Whenever nurses, patients and visitors asked Mom where she got her fun gowns, she'd gladly tell them about Annie and Isabel - this wonderful company out in CA." 

Barbara also shared some of her mother's eulogy and we wanted to share one small part about the passing of her mother because it is so powerful and a true testament to June's character and the close knit relationship she had with her family.  In the words of her daughter Barbara:

"It was the consensus of all who had the experience of caring for Mama, that she would pick the time and details of her death.  She was famous for reminding her caregivers, "I'm in charge."  or, to me she would state "I'm the mother here."  Thus, we all felt, she might be with us for a few more days.  About 15 minutes later, she sighed, hesitated in her breathing, I motioned to Gale, but we didn't talk or touch her -- due to the fact we didn't want to pull her possible traveling soul back.  With my hand still resting on her bed, we could see she was trying to decide if she was going to go ahead and cross over to Heaven or not.  And then in an instant, she took a deep breath, as if jumping into a pool of water.  As she did this, I felt her soul (spirit), leaving her body and passing through mine.  There was an instant release of tension in her and the room. As I felt her spirit glow and expand through me, it hovered for a few seconds in the upper-back corner of the room, looked back and down on us and her body in amazement; and then with a poof of air, she was gone."

Barbara, thank you for sharing your mother's story and life with us.  We were impressed by not only your mother's strength and determination, but also with the attention and love that you gave to your mother.  You both have touched our lives deeply. We cherish the emails and phone conversations we had with you and will always keep your family in our hearts.

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