Greetings from Ashland. June 24th will mark the first anniversary of the day I lost my best friend, as well as my wife, my lover, the mother of my children and my all around favorite human being. Needless to say, it has been a very hard year experiencing emotions and thoughts never before encountered: dreadful loneliness, despair, loss of purpose. But also some positives: appreciation of all her wonderful qualities,the great years we had together, awareness of the shortness of our time here and of the very few things that are truly important in our lives. I am forever grateful to all of you for having made such efforts to help me through this past year. I think of all the cards, the phone calls, the visits, the invitations, the emails– the unceasing attention I have received. It has made it less painful to know that so many of you still think about her and want to do what you can to lighten my grief. In the manner of a memorial for her first anniversary, I thought it would be a nice tribute to her if some of you would like to write a few thoughts, or memories, or even an anecdote about Louise to share with others. My son Todd said he would be happy to take any such memories and put them together and publish them in a section of his web site so everyone could enjoy them. This way we could keep her memory alive. If you would like to help with this, you could just respond to this email with your contribution and we could send it out to everyone on her anniversary.
Things I miss about my Louise…
I miss her getting up in the morning and telling me in great detail about her most amazing and often hilarious dreams.
I miss the many times we talked about her worries about our children as they grew into adulthood and then our grandkids and about how proud she was of all of them.
I miss her telling me so many times over the past fifteen years how she felt she ought to have a job; until she remembered that they would want her to come to work EVERY day; and then we would have a good laugh.
I miss the many hours she spent on “her” couch cutting out recipes, sorting recipes and watching cooking shows.
I miss our spring trip to the nursery to pick out our flowers, and then planting and watering them in the evening.
I miss her telling me all about her yoga class, her hospice patients, her girlfriends from the church choir, and her painting companions.
I miss our many long searching discussions about God and religion and the unending quest for satisfying answers.
I miss the incalculable number of hours we sat together on the front porch watching the birds, the flowers, the storms, the clouds; listening to the frogs and the thunder and the birds.
I miss her telling me about the constant stream of books she was reading in such detail that I felt that I had read the book myself.
I miss watching her develop her overwhelming passion for painting, sometimes being absorbed for hours and days over one painting till she felt got it right.
And very unfortunately and with great pain, I miss the last nine months of her life when I was privileged to progressively nurse her and feed her and dress her and wash her and do for her what she had done for so many others during her nursing career. This time was without doubt the hardest, most painful and happiest time of my life. I feel I was finally able to show her and the world how much I really loved her.
As with the rest of the world, I miss her ever present and bright smile.
Finally and not surprisingly, I miss her abiding presence which always created a profound atmosphere of peace, love and friendship.
Peace be with you Louise,
From the community of love and friendship that Louise grew…
Rachel Bauer Moore
It’s been a year since you were taken from us (prematurely). Know that we miss you terribly, especially Dad, whom despite his friends, projects, business ventures, and hobbies, now has an emptiness that was once filled by your presence. We’ve tried to fill that emptiness, but no one can replace you or your companionship. You’ve missed a lot in the past year, Mohican wasn’t the same without you, and your grandchildren have grown so much! Hayden and Zoey have started playing piano (like you suggested) and are doing very well. Hayden was accepted into an accelerated 4th grade program and we are so proud of him. We almost had another baby, but I guess it wasn’t to be, and I had to have surgery. I have noticed that although I think I inherited most of my genes from Dad, I am more aware now of the qualities that I have inherited from you. But isn’t that the point to parenting? To take a little piece of yourself and know that it will live on through your children and grandchildren? In that sense, you will be immortal.
I Remember Louise
I am not a good story teller. Louise was the one who remembered people and places from way back. For the past month I have been looking through albums, travel journals and memorabilia searching for a compelling story. Mostly the photos and things brought back to me what we had in common. At different times in our lives we both loved music, art, reading, guys, children, cooking, travel, flowers, birds. Nothing ‘storyish’ there. To find something worth telling, I had to think about our differences.
I remember the first time I really took notice of Louise as a person….that is, a creature with a mind of her own. She was about 3 or 4 and I was three years bigger and older. Like any first born ‘princess’ I would have tried to show her who was boss. And like any baby sister worth her salt, she would have responded with a good loud scream ….alerting Mom or Dad of an injustice. I don’t think I escaped punishment very often since our parents were very strict disciplinarians.
But this one time was different. I don’t remember what I did to deserve her ire, but I do recall what happened afterward. I had turned to walk away and then an afterthought made me turn to face her again…probably to give her some more of my big sister guff. But little Louise had decided to act on her own behalf: instead of calling for Mom she picked up a hairbrush and pitched it very accurately at my forehead. The lesson was not lost on me. I don’t remember another big fight after that.
With me Louise was always very direct. When she had a bone to pick, she told me what it was. But we never held on to bad feelings for very long. Neither of us wanted to break the bond that held us….that holds us….together.
June 24, 2015
As I’ve watched the tributes roll in, I’ve wondered what to say. What is a fitting tribute to one’s mother, the one who gave me life, taught me how to live, and reminded me at the appropriate times “I brought you into this world… and I can take you out of it”? When I wandered in my early adult years and experimented in living a life that was decidedly not what you taught me, then found my way again, I think of you when I tell others “I always had my good upbringing to fall back on” with a wink and a smile. Thanks Mom. So many in this world don’t have such blessings.
I feel some melancholy when I realized during your illness and impending departure that, as ‘my mom’, I took you for granted as a fully realized human being. I feel like I got to know you as an individual in those last years. It was only in hearing all the condolences and compliments from others that I fully understood the fullness of your life and legacy. Your primary goal in life was to raise a family the best you could. Well, you did. You did an awesome job. I wish you could be here to continue enjoying your grandchildren, but I am grateful you at least got to meet them.
I think about you every day. I miss you terribly. While Dad and I have commiserated together, you are always there, a silent subtext to every conversation, every meal, every time we relax on the porch. You often come to the surface and we try not to dwell on our longing for your company. I often remember that last good day when your cousins came to visit. Even though I could not physically be there, I can enjoy the pictures and we are still eating the amazing Buffalo mustard!
It’s been a rough year with it’s own ups and downs. The kids are thriving. Becky and I are growing in love as we strive to follow your example of a great marriage. Dad and I are spending Wednesdays or Thursdays together and he’s been showing me the Ashland County parks that you and he enjoyed so much. You live on as a part of us.
I was blessed to have such a loving, welcoming and cheerful mother-in-law. From the day we met she made me feel very welcomed and loved. I saw her zest for life and admired how she found joy in the simplicity of life and its immediate surroundings. She saw beauty everywhere, took the time to soak it in, and on some occasions put that beauty onto canvas using her creative talents. I had the fortunate pleasure to really get to know her on a deeper level during her last year with us. We had numerous meaningful and profound conversations during our time together and for that I am grateful. She was truly and deeply proud of the family she has and the love between them. I cannot think of a better blessing or greater legacy to leave behind.
Louise…there are so many things that come to mind when I think of you.
- You loved your family.
- You loved life.
- You took care of yourself (yoga, tai chi, etc.)
- You took time “to smell the roses.”
- You wasn’t afraid to try something new.
- You had so many talents and loved sharing them with others…
- your sewing,
- your soaps,
- your painting,
- your cooking, and
- your writing, to mention a few.
- You found something nice to say about everyone.
- Our walks
- The boat trip you, Adrian, and I took when we missed the “pick up” point and thought for sure Adrian was going to have a heart attack…but all’s well that ends well
- Our weekend camping trip with Dan and Theresa, trips to gardens centers, museums, the Food Dock, Aladdin’s…
- The ladies’ afternoons out at Punderson to paint ceramic pieces (thanks, Louise, for arranging them)
- The time you and I were both on crutches
- The great recipes (Louise, you’re the only person I know who would cut out a recipe and try it. If it was good, you passed it on – the overnight lasagna – and if it wasn’t you threw it out!)
- The many times you offered support and/or advice when I was dealing with a tough situation regarding Cathy
- The wonderful crafts you prepared for the little ones the summer of 2013 at Mohican
Most of all, I was so honored to have spent so much time with you during the last difficult years and to see how courageous you were. You taught me to embrace every moment of life with your constant smile and words of encouragement. THANKS, Louise!
Bob & Cindy Hausmann
Unfortunately, we truly never knew Louise with the exception of brief visits now and then or via the family reunions. But as is obvious by so many emails and updates, she touched the lives of many. Her artwork was exquisite as seen by the cards Adrian had made. Her love for her family was precious. Her admiration for Adrian was what every husband dreams of. All the above is only part of the legacy she leaves behind in the many many lives she touched. She truly made the world a better place to be!
Ours was a unique relationship. As young “cousins” I don’t recall much of a connection. It was through Geraldine we began to see each other during our trips to Ohio. It didn’t take long for me to realize what she was all about.
Happy, smiling, LOVING to laugh, reminiscing and positive about EVERYTHING.
She was joy personified especially when it came to discussing her children, her grandchildren and that “man” who created her art studio……theirs was a life… oh so good and oh so blessed. How fortunate our lives crossed paths again…the pleasure was all mine. May you rest in peace Louise…yours was a life well lived
Your Mom!!! Your Louise!!! What a gift!!!
You’ve been in my mind, and many others’ often this past year, and it’s great you’ve provided a way for us to let you know some of our memories.
What first comes to my mind is Louise’s wonderful disposition — her serenity and smile made me and probably everyone feel good right away when we were with her, and I feel that peace and ease whenever Louise comes to mind — it’s the goodness in her.
Louise shared her life, not in a way to attract attention, but in a way to give attention: to others and their situations, to beauty through her art, to a deeper way of thinking about an issue and discussing it, etc. She was interesting to talk with.
She had many terrific gifts — which she gave first of all to you Adrian, Todd and Rachel — it’s so apparent in who you are! It’s clear she also gave her gifts unobtrusively to others as a grandmother, nurse, volunteer, an artist, friend, relative, etc. She packed a lot into her days on this earth.
It’s hard to believe someone with all that talent could stay so humble. Imagine my wonderful surprise when I looked at the back of one of her incredibly attractive, hand-painted cards to our Mom, and it said: by Louise Bauer. Wow! As equally special were her encouraging messages inside. Very special!
If someone wants to talk about courage, Louise and your family comes to mind. I do believe that when it comes to risking it all for health and humanity, Louise is the most courageous person I know.
Thanks Adrian for winning Louise’s heart, and for sharing her with the rest of us — and thanks to you Rachel and Todd for sharing her too! She’s still with you and all the rest of us, and you and the rest of us will see her again!! What an incredible human being!
Thank you for re-sending it for those of us who “missed part of the whole” the first time.
It is so hard to think about one thing when I think about Aunt Louise! Her welcome and hospitality comes to mind because she was always so gracious! Even when she probably felt invaded. She went out of her way to please everyone and make people feel at home.
She was so fun! I’ll never forget when we came to visit and she had Uncle A get some sleds out “for the kids. ” And the next thing I know, she’s out there with us sledding down the hill! Or when she came to visit and played WII bowling with us! She so enjoyed life!
Then it comes to mind how she would always be up for a walk or swim. And just how healthy she was. Before it was the in thing. Never had tomato soup as good after having her homemade soup!
Can’t stop without mentioning her creativity! She was amazing! I treasure the vase she painted and brought me! And we loved taking a bath in her bath because of the ambiance it had!
Okay, so I could go on and I’m sure others could too! She was a blessing! And you did good Uncle Adrian bringing her into our family all those years ago!
Mary Lou Dibler
As we approach the first anniversary of our dear Louise passing into glory, we pause to remember her, in so many ways that she touched our lives for the better. She was not only my brother’s wife, but my friend. So many memories of times we shared….from the early days when Gordy and I spent the weekend in Milwaukee, when we were privileged to attend their wedding ………….the weekend that our Jason was so little, and Gordy came home from work and said “Lets go visit Adrian and Louise”. We especially remember how cold it was at their place then, we were sure Jason would come down with pneumonia! But of course we were so over protective of our little guy. Little did we know then that Jason would take off to Europe, a much more dangerous situation than in a cool apartment…. I remember well the time the boys and I spent in Hurst, West Virginia at their place if the middle of nowhere! Their Todd and our Jason were so little, but we all shared a very special time together. Then I remember the great times Louise, Adrian, Gordy and I were in Naples together. Only Louise could have talked me into trying line dancing, painting class, swimming in the community pool, walks along the wilderness trails, and fabulous parties with their southern neighbors. Of course our Bauer vacations at their place, or close by, are the things always remembered and cherished in all our hearts, and those of our kids and grandkids. So many of these events would never have come to pass, except for Louise and Adrian being willing and invaluable participants, being at the center of the planning, and actually the center of making these times happen. So many other fun times together….coming to Michigan when we were camping, canoeing together, family gatherings anywhere and everywhere, but especially our parties in Ashland, at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Daddy’s 90th birthday….close to my heart will always be the winter of 2014, when I was privileged to be a helpmate for them when Adrian was recovering from his surgery. It gave me a better understanding than ever of the patience and heart of a very special lady, who never complained, never gave up, never showed anything but a positive attitude even when it was harder than ever to keep on keeping on.
She was so transparent, yet 100% a loving, caring, great human being. She taught me much about just being myself, and doing the best I could do one day at a time. She and I had a heartfelt discussion about life, and God and heaven, and there is no doubt that she is up there now with our Lord, waiting for all of us to join her. Thanks, Louise, for all you were, and still are!
Louise was most definitely a very kind and loving person. This is most evident in the fact that she raised two amazing kids. That shows the effects of her love are still with us. I’m thankful that [Todd and Rachel] had a mother that caring.
To the family and friends of Louise
Your wife/friend/mother/grandmother etc., was such an inspiration. She remained amazingly positive and pleasant whenever she was in a social situation, particularly during those times when Adrian escorted her to the Esoteric club meetings. How she managed to handle the increasing challenges could only have been through her reliance on God’s caring love. Whenever I’d visited at the house she was so engaging and kind but was apologetic for not “being herself”! Good grief, that any of us could have held up to entertaining visitors while “not being ourselves” as did Louise. What an amazing friend she was, an unforgettable human in so many ways. Her art work left us with a beautiful legacy. It’s so obvious that her love of family and of life has passed on to the next two generations.
We are Sending you a picture of our daughter, Lara, on her new bike! The whole story is that it is actually your mom’s bike from Florida. Your dad put the bikes out for garbage men to take and Lara saw your mom’s bike and wanted it so we had it sent to her house in Michigan. She painted it and started fixing it up. When we got there Tom finished it up and put it back together. Every time I see her ride it it reminds me of all the evenings we saw your mom and dad go bike riding! They sure enjoyed themselves!! We miss seeing her but sure enjoyed meeting you and spending time with your dad this past winter. You can be proud of [your] wonderful [son]! Hi to [Adrian]! Please share the bike picture…
I keep remembering our visit to the northwest and going up to see the Bells. I think of Louise’s creative side as we drew and painted together; her always smiling outlook.
Tom and Carol Dunleavy (Marquette MI & next door in Naples FL)
Hi Adrian , think about you and Louise a lot! Really enjoyed seeing you this winter. Just so you know, Tom sent Louise’s old bike to Lara! It cost 90$ to send but she loved it and he wanted her to have it! She is now in the process of painting it and fixing it up. We will send you a picture when completed. My memories of Louise center around that bike. I remember the two of you going off in the evenings for your nightly ride. I also remember her going to the pool and just the little chats we had in the yard. Those little things are all special memories to us. See you next winter!❤
Tom and Catherine
Thanks Adrian for a beautiful reflection and tribute to Louise. I cannot imagine your loss but pray that family and friends will help in some way.
Love and support, Tom and Catherine
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year.
Whenever I had a question about the kids.. medical or otherwise, she was always there to give good, sound advice. She was so confident and strong in all that she did, I don’t remember her ever really doubting herself. She enjoyed life and took it one day at a time. She was so fun and often made me laugh. She was so humble and appreciated the little things.
But, above all of that, she was well loved by Adrian and her kiddos.. she knew love well. She knew how to love and how to show love.
I miss her deeply.
Adrian, I will always remember Louise’s smile. It was like her default emotion was joy. As a kid in Buffalo, where my family grew up just around the corner from hers, all of my recollections of her, be it at picnics, weddings, or family get togethers, recall her smiling. Louise was a joyful person, and she shared that gift with others. I can see it in the faces of her children and you. And even when she entered her period of suffering, her countenance continued to reflect her belief that life was worth living in a way that brought hope and encouragement to those around her. To my view, she was a reflection of Saint John Paul II in that respect. And now, when I think of her, I know she is looking down on us with that wonderfully large, full face smile, wishing us all comfort, perseverance, and good cheer.
Thank you for the books, they came yesterday.
I have a book and what she wrote in it – a gift for my 22nd birthday on June 10th, 1969 – the year we graduated – and a week after the graduation. The book had a script from her in it -her wish for us both and I would say we were able to follow it. Liz just learned to scan so I will have her try to send it -it will be a week or so b-4 I can do it but I will dig everything up.
I think you are doing so well by sharing your real feelings around your loss of Louise and thank you for sharing with me-it is a privilege for me-you were so lucky to have had such a great relationship !!!
I have a real hope the sunshine this long weekend up here stays. I heard from Arlene on Sunday – I had called you both on Saturday to let you know I was thinking of you.
I am glad she is coming to the reunion and hope it goes well.
Take care Friend!
You are very special to a lot of people so hang in there.
Precious Louise, you are missed. You always had kind words for everyone. I especially enjoyed hearing about the interesting new books you would read. They were always out of the usual realm of books. I love your artwork and have enjoyed sending your note cards to cheer others. You will always be an inspiration.
You have many friends and relatives that think of you often and I, for one, think of you on a daily basis.
As I sit each morning at the breakfast table I watch the birds at the feeder pecking at their seeds and remember how we oftentimes sat on your porch enjoying the same scenario.
And as we sat quietly, we often reminisced about our childhoods – how different our worlds were and yet how similar. Those were peace filled times.
At that same table, while having my coffee/breakfast, I have the flower pot you so beautifully painted. It’s now filled with flowers which enhance the flowers you painted on your pottery. As I look upon your work of art I realize it’s a reflection of your own beauty which brings a message of tranquility and peace with each sip of coffee I take.
I can’t help but think of you when Dan and I have our “happy hour” while camping. There were a few times that I recall while camping with you and Adrian that we almost didn’t get dinner on the table because we were enjoying our own “happy hour.” We didn’t solve the problems of the world but If we had it to do over again I’d definitely encourage more happy hours.
These are just a few of my memories but ones I’ll hold on to. Until we see each other again……love you, Theresa
To Adrian, Todd and Rachel and all of Louise’s loved ones and all who loved her,
As someone who married into the family, I have vague but fond memories of those early years getting to know so many “new” relatives! Because my own family is so small, sometimes the size of the gatherings and the number of faces and names was a little daunting. But there are some whom I particularly recall from the early years for their extra warmth and kindness to a “newbie”……and Louise, of course, is one of the special ones. Although I think it might have been several years into our marriage when I did meet Louise (and as you might imagine, I still met cousins for the first time at aunt Ann Tubin’s funeral last winter!), I vividly remember her welcoming smile and warmth and a certain generosity of spirit about her always. and of course, her easy laughter and sly sense of fun that made you feel a part of whatever story she might have told or whatever she was laughing about. It really wasn’t just that Louise put laughter and happiness out there in the world; she drew you into it almost as if you were a co-conspirator to the gaiety!
There’s so much that is inspiring in memories of Louise; the delicate and joyful paintings (we so love the note card keepsakes Adrian sent at Christmas), Louise’s amazing strength and Amazing Grace in her battle against her disease, her genuine kindness to all, and her can-do attitude. But to quote the song “the way we were”, it’s the laughter we (I) will remember………
Jackie (Mrs. Ed) Kochalski
Aunt Louise had such a sweet spirit. She always had a ready smile and seemed so relaxed and comfortable with life. Never a complaint did I hear leaving her lips. She lives on in her beautiful works of art and in our memories. She will not be forgotten.
(In going over in my mind thoughts of Louise, I found some mostly recent memories and took a walk with her, thinking of the things I loved and admired most…)
Her inquisitive mind, interested and knowledgeable about so many subjects.
Her quiet love of beauty, manifested by her creativity in all her different art pursuits.
Her determination to always improve herself, getting her nursing degree despite setbacks, taking art classes to learn how to perfect that next technique.
The way she was always interested and concerned about others; generous and giving of her time and a listening ear.
And especially I see the way her eyes sort of crinkled at the edges when she smiled or laughed.
She was a delightful Soul that I was fortunate to share some time with.
(Thank you for bringing her into our family.)
Adrian, There are two things I especially remember about Louise. A few times when Judy and I came to visit, Judy would be out looking at your garden or something else. Louise and I sat on the porch and visited and visited. She was very easy to talk with – something I don’t find with a lot of people. The other is Louise’s calmness and sweetness when she was going through that most difficult time with her cancer. A beautiful, sweet spirit and her faith in God were evident.