Grandma Bertie died today. Bertie is the woman who blessed me with the story that is now The Santa Club.
About fifteen years ago when our oldest Jonathan was 6, Bertie asked if she could answer the question Jonathan had just asked. “Mom, is Santa Real”, Jonathan asked in Bertie’s kitchen while her and I were putting out cookies. Bertie must have seen my distress and offered to answer. Thank you God, I thought. “Please go ahead Mom”, I answered with a huge sigh of relief.
“Are you sure you want to know Jonathan”, she asked very seriously. With total expectancy of truth, Jonathan answered very clearly, “YES”. “OK then, Yes Jonathan Santa is real and now …..” She answered the question with total honesty and changed our lives forever.
Years later, I asked her if she had remembered that day. She actually said no. She said the one thing she remembered was that Jonathan was really young and asked very early. She didn’t remember because she really had no idea how much she affected those around her. How much she truly touched people’s lives.
She was and always will be affectionately mom. She raised five boys and one girl, loving unconditionally and yet with great strength. She then in turn loved five daughter-in-laws as her own, welcoming each one of us with a huge hug and kiss. Along with the eleven of us there are fifteen grandchildren (including two spouses of grandchildren) and four great grandchildren not to mention all the friends and family she loved as well. A big group to say the least and with her at the helm all held together with love. As you married folks know we marry our spouse’s family. I could not have married into a better family. I have always felt that I was as much a part of their lives as they are a part of mine and I believe that Bertie and Ralph are the ones to thank for that. Because of their open love and acceptance, everyone did the same.
As heartbroken as I am, I am truly honored to know that she loved me and that she thought I was a good wife for her son. I am honored that through The Santa Club the story of her love will never be forgotten. Ironically, Bertie passed on the day that our publisher signed contracts with our national distributor, New Shelves/The Cadence Group. The story that she started so long ago will now be available for every parent that needs help answering the age old question, Is Santa Real.
As the cycle of life goes on and we get older, loss becomes cumulative. More and more of our loved ones pass and it is harder for us. Maybe that is why children are so carefree, loss is not as much. Bertie’s loss will be felt by many. I know that Dad, and all of us will feel her absence in a keen way. I also know that we shall continue to feel her love and the gifts she gave us in a very keen way too. I will forever be thankful for her stories, her cheering at the kids games and for her guidance when it was needed whether I knew it or not. She lived life fully, and with gusto. She loved greatly and with such fun. You can ask anyone who knew her and they will have a story. She did not have a fancy wardrobe, or a fancy car. She didn’t have a title or a house you could envy. What Bertie had was so much more special, it was timeless. She had the gift of giving ingrained in her daily life; it was ingrained in her blood. Every book that we sell will have a part of her in it. Every child that gets the answer they seek will have a bit of Bertie to help them learn to give.
Today January 20th we lost our dear Bertha Maria Moss, affectionately known as Bertie. Have fun in Heaven mom. We know you are there laughing and smiling. Thank you. Thank you for your love and you many gifts of giving. XXOOO