“Last words” get our attention. Soon before he expired, St. Louis de Montfort said this to his unseen adversary: “In vain do you attack me – I am between Jesus and Mary!” For him, death was the last battle and Christ the victor.
The last words of my beloved mother-in-law, Katie, were recounted by her daughter Betsy at Katie’s funeral in 2017. Katie was mother of 5, grandmother of 16, and great-grandmother of 16. And that’s not counting her family’s spouses, ex-spouses, friends, neighbors, and friends of neighbors who thought of Katie’s house as a home-away-from-home. Her son, Tom, once humorously nominated her for the “Nobel Prize in motherhood” (click here).
Katie was an inspiration to everyone lucky enough to know her. In honor of Mother’s Day, I want you to know her, too!
From her daughter’s eulogy:
“When Fred Rogers was a child and there was a tragedy, his Mother would say, “Look for the helpers, there will always be helpers. If you look for the helpers, you’ll always know that there is hope.”
“Mom was a helper. She wasn’t a paramedic, although she did her share of patching scrapes and taking kids to the ER for stitches or with broken bones. She wasn’t a firefighter, although she put out more than one fire. She wasn’t a police officer, although she did a fair amount of restoring social order in her lifetime. Mom saw the value in fun and had a great sense of humor. She always had a water gun at her kitchen sink; she was prepared for any child’s sneak attack.”
Betsy remembered Katie taking in a friend’s child so his mother could focus on an injured sibling. And when some baby squirrels fell from their tree, Katie became their surrogate mom, rising at night to feed them. “I am so lucky to have had a mom who would get up in the middle of the night to…nurture someone, or something else’s babies.”
Near the end of her life, Betsy said, Katie “had some pretty scary hallucinations. She thought that everything was going to burst into flames. After she calmed down, she asked what I thought was going on. I told her that I thought she might be dying. She said, ‘Well, I can do a better job than this!’
“The day before she died, she hadn’t been talking…. I told her that her nurse was coming in to help change her. Then, clear as a bell while kicking off the covers, ‘Oh here, let me get up.’”
“Mom, you can’t get up.”
“Um, mom, because you’re dying.”
…Well, this is great!” …St. Peter, St. Paul, here I come!!”
A few minutes later she said, “This is going to be fun!”
And soon, surrounded by her family, she was gone.
Katie’s remarkable last words are true to her character. She died the way she lived, claiming her citizenship in heaven now, today; reminding us earthlings every day of the joy of heaven that is ours now, and for eternity. Katie Folsom, rest in peace.
Photo: Katie in 1973.
Katie was a jewel! Thanks for letting us know about her.
Rose, thank you so much for this memory. That final conversation was incredible and a treasure I hold dearly.
This gives me such hope! Thanks for sharing. Happy Mother’s Day !
Oh yes. Can’t wait. She’s a jewel in the Crown. May I be one too please God !!💕💕
Thank you Rose for sharing your mother in-law Katie with us.
Katie’s smile warmed my heart.
Her spirit of Joy is even contagious now as I read your memory of her.
What a blessing to have been a part of her life.
Your mom Sylvia, bright a warming to my heart as well, seeing her in the dirt and knowing that was where her favorite spot to be. Another blessing to have been a part of her life as her daughter. Thank you for sharing your mom with us as well.
My mom was a good mom, she did the best she could.
My mother in-law was a blessing as well.
Have a Beautiful Mother’s Day Rose and a great week ahead.
Judith Marie Dihel
That is one of the most beautiful sentiments I have ever heard. Such peace and joy before she died. Thank you for sharing. It made me strive to draw closer to the Lord during my time here on earth. Absolutely beautiful and heartwarming. Blessings and Love, Judith
Thank you for sharing her last words. Very special.
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day to you too
Novel view: : “This is going to be fun!” I thought my baptism at age 60 was going to be a solemn occasion. It was fun! Our beloved pastor saw to that. Looks like I have more to look forward to.
Happy Mother’s Day Rose, great story about your M-I-L.
thanks Rose for shring aboutbeautiful spirit, Katie.
happy Mothers Day to all.
I loved reading about Katie. Thank you so much for sharing her. Happy Mothers Day Rose.
I also loved your mother. She reminded me of my mom. Gardening with a winter cap on!
What a beautiful description of Katie. Thank you, Rose!
Sharon G Witzell
Thank you. Sorry I had to miss yesterday. Was in the car traveling home from visiting my 90 year old mother.
Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories. I realize & understand family memories are never forgotten. Wish you a good Mother’s Day, and hope you have a good week-end.
Karen F Coombe
Dear Rose, what a special remembrance of your Mother and Mother in law, Katie; definitely made me tearful. You and your family have been truly blessed and now have two wonderful advocates in Heaven. Thank you for sharing these memories.
Hope you enjoyed a great Mother’s Day. Hugs and Blessings, Karen
What a great story. Full of hope. The way it is supposed to be.
Thank you for sharing this story, Rose. I always tell my family members when they walk out the door to “Be safe and have fun!” I hope I remember to do just that when it is my time to go (for good) just like Katie.