You are a Beautiful Soul

Mom, you are a beautiful soul too. This was evident while planning her memorial service, especially as family and friends gathered to remember her.

You are a Beautiful Soul

Remember that you are a beautiful soul when you start feeling less than your perfection. Because when your life is done, it’s the memories of your beautiful soul that remains.

The First Decision

It was just me when Mom breathed her last. My husband passed three months and three days earlier. My sister had moved to be close to the birth of her first grandchild, and I had moved to a new life in North Carolina. That sounds as lonely as life can be, but there is a unique peace amid loneliness. It allows deep healing.

Waiting until the Saturday after Thanksgiving also gave me time to process the loss of my husband and mother. It helped make it a true celebration of her life. After that, the first decision of place was easy.

Texas, Alaska, and Florida cousins
Texas, Alaska, and Florida cousins

Mom grew up in Winter Haven, Florida. It was where she worshiped, and it was my birthplace. So many relatives were close, and those far away could get time off work. It seemed a perfect time.

Holiday Realities

My wedding was six years prior, also right after Thanksgiving. I conveniently forgot about the difficulties during the planning phase. It’s a time when businesses other than retail aren’t always available.

Catering became a hurdle in the week before Mom’s memorial. Suddenly, the restaurant closed for the holiday weekend. Scrambling over the phone with the church administrator, she found a last-minute substitute. Then the plan for dessert fell apart. A change from coconut custard pie to various cakes solved this latest snafu. Some of these calls were while I was at a gas station on my way to Florida the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Oddly, I wasn’t flustered by any of it.

Everything worked out beautifully. Some expected to attend but didn’t show, and a few new, treasured guests were able to make it.

Time Gave Me Space

Compared to my grief at my husband Wayne’s memorial, I felt almost blissful this time. Instead of hiding in the back room for grieving family, my sister and I welcomed guests in the church narthex. my son Larry and IHere’s a photo of my younger son, Larry, and me by the sign-in book. Since Mom had been using a weekly calendar as a diary, I chose to use the 2022 book, placing it next to her framed photo.

Many people mentioned how lovely the service was. Part of the success came from a long phone conversation with Pastor Reich. So many small details flowed forth as he asked me questions about Mom’s life. It was like a review of everything that I loved about her. He wove her personality and small acts of kindness into a fabric that was her life. It was then I realized, Mom, you are a beautiful soul.

I told my mother how much I loved her many times while caring for her during the last few years. And she reciprocated.

Take the time this week to tell someone you love them. Give them a warm hug if you can. If they are too far away, wrap your arms around yourself and say, “You are a beautiful soul.” And know that you are a beautiful soul too.

Love,
Dawn

Sue Linebaugh Anderson Obituary

As I started placing the Sue Linebaugh Anderson obituary in the Lakeland Ledger, I realized there was no reason I couldn’t post it here as a blog post. So now I can write everything I want to include about my Mother’s life, including links to other blogs in the future. So if you feel inclined, please leave a memory in a comment.

Sue Linebaugh Anderson Obituary

Sue, 93, passed away peacefully on June 4th, 2022, after a brief illness in Boone, NC. She was born on Bastille Day, 1928, in West Palm Beach, Florida, at her maternal grandparents’ home. Furthermore, it was the 4th birthday of her older brother.  Grandmother Frankin, “Dashie,” was devastated over the untimely death of her son, Benjamin Franklin. The doctor hoped a birth would lighten Dashie’s depression. It worked, and Sue became very close to her Grandmother Franklin, spending summertime in West Palm Beach.

Soon, she, Floyd Jr., her parents, Claribel, “Frankie,” and Floyd Linebaugh returned to their Winter Haven, Florida home. The same year Bok Tower Gardens near Lake Wales was dedicated. Then, less than a year later, the stock market crashed.

Sue attended local schools, graduated from Winter Haven High School in 1946, spent a year as a Cypress Gardens Southern Belle, and attended a Business School in Washington, DC.

Getting Married and Moving

Sue met her husband, Norman “Swede” Anderson, at a Winter Haven vs. Haines City high school football game and married a year later in Winter Haven. They resided amid a citrus grove on Lake Crystal in Dundee for forty years. Sue taught aerobics through the Haines City Recreation Department for ten years. Their next adventure was retirement in La Garita, Colorado, in the high-altitude farming San Luis valley. Sue cared for Swede until he passed away in La Garita, Colorado, in 2015. In 2016, Sue returned to Polk County with her daughter Dawn Anderson and son-in-law, Wayne Simons. She spent her last months in Watauga County, NC.

The Family Who Mourn Her

Survivors include her sister, Carolyn Harmon, daughter Lila Rogers (Steve), grandchildren Elizabeth Opala (Joe) and great-grandson Elias, Michael Rogers, daughter Dawn Anderson, grandchildren Larry Marciano, David Marciano (Starlight), and great-grandchildren, Charlotte and Benjamin Marciano. Nephews Bill Harmon (Cheryl), Blake Harmon (Cindy), Rush Harmon, Reed Harmon, and niece Jill Snively. Niece Linda Harmon Morgan predeceases her. Additionally, Michael Roads, Swede’s nephew, mourns her passing.

There are many more relatives and friends whose life Sue touched in multiple states and countries.

Her Religious Life

Although Southern Baptist by birth, Sue joined Grace Lutheran Church in Winter Haven in 1960. She was active in Circle, taught Sunday School to preschoolers, and served on the altar guild until moving to Colorado in 1989. Similarly, Sue was an active Saint Peter Lutheran Church member for 26 years. Upon returning to Polk County, she rejoined Grace Lutheran in Winter Haven. Her memorial service will be later this year.

More Blogs About Sue Linebaugh Anderson

The morning of her passing
Mom’s Celebration of Life

Your Most Important Relationship

Your most important relationship is how you feel about yourself.

Perhaps you are thinking, “I’ve heard that one before!” Regardless, it bears repeating. The love we have or don’t have for ourselves affects the quality and success of all other relationships.

Early Relationships

Parents certainly rank up there in importance. We are born pretty helpless compared to other mammals. We all depend on mother’s milk, which is uniquely perfect for infants. Even if that doesn’t work out, the baby formula helps us grow. It’s the care and comfort of our caregiver that makes us thrive.

If there are older siblings, they can be important too. But are they confident of the love they receive? Is there enough love to go around?

What’s Different for You?

We need a particular set of circumstances to thrive. However, the basic need for food, water, and shelter are the same—the type and amount of affection need variation.

For instance, my older sister was the first grandchild near our paternal grandparents, who lived next door. When I came along twenty months later, the female caregivers in my life were overwhelmed. Dad took up the slack.

My favorite photo is of Dad giving me a bottle when I was two weeks old. He’s smoking a pipe with cherry-flavored tobacco. I’m propped up on his knees as he’s relaxing in bed. My face lights up, fixated on his smile and the smoke drifting upward.

To this day, I love the smell of cherry-flavored tobacco. Furthermore, I find the scent of cigarette smoke pleasant.

Accept All Aspects of Yourself

Even if it’s politically incorrect to enjoy the smoke, I’ve learned it’s okay for me. I also realized I didn’t particularly appreciate smoking myself. Still later, extensive allergy testing revealed an allergy to tobacco.

Start developing your most important relationship now. If you are unsure how to start, consider journaling. First thing in the morning is the best time to connect with the love that remains inside you. You are worthy.