Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Grace Kelly Fabian
May 20, 1911 – July 4, 2004

Mother's Day is fast approaching so of course I'm thinking about Mom more than usual. She was 93 when she died five years ago.

Grace was a kind, loving, affectionate, playful, funny and dignified woman. She raised eight kids with my wonderful dad and even outlived three of them. She showed us how to grow old gracefully. She had pride in how she looked up until her last day on earth, but never whined about wrinkles which, I have to admit, she didn't have in excess. Even on her death bed she looked better than many 65 year old men and women.

Here is a short story that I wrote five years ago for her memorial.

When we were children, Mom used to bless us before we went to bed. She would gently caress our heads with her hands and while making the sign of the cross on our forehead with her thumb would pray:

May the blessings of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you now and forever and ever. Amen.

Then she would kiss us. As time went on, the blessing evolved. In the past few years it became more elaborate.

May the blessings of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and all those you love, with alert minds, good memories and the wisdom and love of God in your mind, your heart, your soul and your body. Amen.

But Mom added more than just verbiage. She would, in good humor, hold our heads firmly in her hands like a vise, impress the sign of the cross hard on our foreheads, grab and squeeze our ears as she said Amen and plant a huge, noisy kiss on our crowns. Sometimes, when a few of us were together, one of us was elected to be the "victim" while the rest of us stood close by to receive the blessing through osmosis.

At Dinner with Mom on Sunday, June 27 [this was exactly one week before her sudden death] my brother Jack generously volunteered to be the recipient. Mom began the blessing as usual:

May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and all those you love, with alert minds...and...

She forgot the rest of the words. She paused a moment, chucked softly to herself, and with her eyes still closed in prayer reverently continued:

...and stuff.

I miss the feel of her hands on my head. I do feel so very blessed.


  1. Thanks, I have a big knot in my throat. What a great grandma she was too.

  2. Such a lovely tribute to an amazing woman. xo

  3. Oh Jane.....thank you sooooo much for this tribute to my Aunt Grace!!! Grace was my Godmother and NEVER once forgot a birthday - always sending me some type of religious gift...no matter that I really wanted a Baby Tears doll (and I have to say we all got a huge chuckle out of seeing the Nun outfit she sent me that my brother-in-law wore for Halloween!)...except for my 16th birthday, she sent a wonderful very stylish leather handbag from Macy's! Aunt Grace is the spitting image of her sister Agnes (my grandmother) and you're right - not a wrinkle among them. You made me cry. Love you.

  4. I love these photos you've shared-- some I've seen, others new. But I especially adore the story of her blessings and can "see" her holding your little heads in her hands and giving you that kiss. What a wonderful, poignant and beautiful memory to have.

    Mother's Day is a little funky for me. I love all this story reminds me of.

    So, for those of us who are motherless daughters, Happy Mothers Day -- and stuff!


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