Eight Bells* for Florence Marie


Saying goodbye is hard to do.  Last week my grandma Hagedorn passed away. She was 97 and a half years old – a beautiful woman, deeply special to me and with so many talents.

Life is like a patchwork quilt,

And each little patch is a day.

Some patches are rosy, happy and bright,

And some are dark and gray.

But each little patch, as it’s fitted in

And sewn to keep it together

Makes a finished block in this life of ours

Filled with sun or rainy weather.

So let me work on life’s patchwork quilt

Through the rainy days and sun –

Trusting that when I have finished my block,

My maker will say “Well Done.”

(author unknown)


Humble, hard-working and kind, Grandma taught me to bake, cross-stitch, use a sewing machine … and to always think of others.  She tried teaching me to quilt – a futile effort – but I loved her patience with me.

She left no life untouched,

an inspiration to many.

She left no work undone;

her patchwork quilts were many!


From “The Death of Ivan Illych” by Leo Tolstoy:

“People have frequently complained of the manner in which death interrupts their work or play. Casanova, on his death bed resented being thrust out of of life before the end of the show; and Simone de Bouvoir states that the reason why death fills us with anxiety is that it is the inescapable reversal of our projects.”


Grandma was frustrated with growing old and losing friends who passed before her, as one can imagine. She abhorred nursing home life and the loss of her independence – though she relished every visitor and chance of adventure that came her way. Her life projects began as a young girl in southern Indiana and ended with a large, happy family in tow. We all loved her so much – she taught us songs, poetry, about FOOD and the art of giving. She taught her children and grandchildren to carry on and keep the candle burning. She absolutely carved the path for a life lived well.

(Above photo was taken at our wedding in Rhode Island, the year 2000)


“There’s a lid for every pot.”

On relationships, by Florence Hagedorn


Sydney Rey beautifully wrote, “I truly truly thought that Great-Grandma would live forever. I know that sounds ridiculous but I really did. She was beyond human in my mind. She taught me to bake, she is the reason I still shamelessly defend the consumption of butter – and a lot of it – she taught me songs, obscure card games, and how to make bath-tub gin (I wish I wrote that one down!). She was stubborn and strong. She was everything she was and nothing she didn’t want to be. She was a role model and a hero of mine so many ways.”

Florence Marie Hagedorn made us all better people. She loved *everyone* with all her heart and will never be forgotten. Her love and caring nature, devotion to family and grounded spirit lives on in all of us.


Grandma’s home in St. Meinrad, Indiana – the home I spent so many days of my childhood!


Thank you for reading these simple words about a special lady.

Rest in peace my dear Grandma  •  6/28/1919 – 2/6/2017


*Eight bells is a nautical term, used to signify that a sailor’s watch is over.

(a ships bell rings on the half hour; a “watch” is 4-hours, thus eight bells)


**Top image was taken as I left the funeral site. The beautiful home in the photo is of no relation to me, other than it represents how beautiful Southern Indiana can be. Rolling hills and gorgeous farm-homes.

Good people. Lovely.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Connie says:

    What a blessing to have Florence in your life

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Lynne Rey says:

      Thank you Connie xxx


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