Overwhelmed with Love, Help and Support

On Tuesday, it will be 4 months since my dear mother (Isabella Payne) died. In that time, I've been overwhelmed with support from all angles - close friends, old friends, colleagues, charities, people I didn't know well, some I didn't know at all and of course my loving wife and family.

I'm not easily impressed, although I was touched by all the love given and help offered; especially by some friends I hadn’t seen in over a decade.  I couldn't use the majority of the support, but just the fact that it was put forth so genuinely was of great comfort.

In addition, many of the wise words, advice, emails, letters, cards, texts and video's as I was going through this surreal experience helped immensely. I was also glad to see the thoughtful donations given to my mom’s favorite charities, including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and American Diabetes Association.

One of the most memorable moments occurred at my mother’s Memorial on May 11, which was attended by approximately 250 people. Numerous individuals whispered in my ear; telling me what my mother meant or did for them.

Through it all, my caring cousin, Andrea Nolley, was there for me. She was my rock in the USA before my mother died, during her sickness and the 4 months since she passed. I'll forever be grateful for all that she did and continues to do. My mother loved her like a daughter.

Living in Sweden presented a huge obstacle to getting all the estate particulars done in the USA, but since my mother was very organized, the main tasks (financial part/house cleaning) went smoothly. She had a will and was with the same lawyer for over 25 years, which made the process much easier.

The final piece of the estate puzzle (closing on my mom’s house) was settled a few weeks ago. I sold it to a family friend and couldn’t be happier to have the house in the care of someone we know.

And how fitting that after everything was done in the USA, I received a beautiful hand drawing of my mom. What a lovely gesture from a talented artist and good friend.

Thanks to everyone who supported me and the many that offered help. Your kindness warmed my heart and was crucial in helping me navigate a most challenging summer. My appreciation is high for each and every one of you.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

1982 - The night I scored my 1000th point in High School. I presented the game ball to my mother.