Patsy Ruth Priesner, age 76 died Wednesday, October 11, 2023, after battling a long illness. She packed her things that morning as if she knew she would be “going home”.
To say my mother was high maintenance is an understatement. She always had her nails done, only wore clothing from The White House, or Dillard’s, and never ever had a hair out of place, even to walk to the end of her driveway just to check the mail. She kept her house like she kept herself, always neat and tidy. She loved to have her family over every Christmas to show off her two separate trees, which were decorated as if they were designed for a magazine. If you were to dare move just one ornament from one of those trees, she would sit and stare at it as long as it took for her to realize what was off.
She was a good Mimi to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She made a tradition of baking each one of them brownies for every birthday. As the years went by, her brownies often had extra ingredients, such as paper from the candy she baked with, bits and pieces of spatulas and once, even gravel from the driveway because she dropped them getting out of her car.
We ate them anyway, and that made her feel loved.
Her husband, Richard (Dick) Priesner, loved her immensely and spoiled her rotten. The number of displays of affection he had for her were often a little too much for me to bear as a teen with friends over. In the last few months of her life, he was still calling her “my girl”, “my love” and being obnoxious with his kisses. She ate up every minute of it.
If you knew my mother, you also know that she was stubborn, hardheaded, and very set in her ways. She refused to accept help from her caregivers for the last two years, which unfortunately resulted in several falls. She told me, “I will do it myself until the day I die!”
And that she did.
For those of us she left behind, I can only hope that from her we learned how to set our own rules, how to set boundaries and get what we want. How to be relentless, to fight for what we want, and keep things real. I hope we learned how to have grit, resilience and persistence.
To be fierce with our feelings, to fight for what doesn’t come easy, and to never be a pushover.
She did not want a fuss: she did not want a service. Hell, she didn’t even want me to call anyone (sorry Mom). All she wanted was for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to know that she loved them.
If you feel a need to honor her in any way, the next time you are at the beach, just watch the waves with your toes in the sand. If you can’t make it to the beach, have a shot of tequila. If you don’t drink, make some brownies with a little paper left in them.
And know, she now has the peace she has always wanted.