Charlotte Engstrom, Feb 12, 1937-May 4, 2020.
Memories of my mother by David Binder
Mom was a strong, outspoken woman. Never short of an opinion, and never shy about sharing it. She had a loving heart. She always wanted to help. Family, friends, and even total strangers. When the Weight Watchers organization came to Atlanta she was the very first person they hired as a class leader. Holding that position for 30 years, until her retirement, she helped scores of people to achieve their weight loss goals. Always kind, supportive, and determined to help. My Dad passed away in 1982 from heart disease. Some local people will remember the terrible ice storm we had on January 14th of that year. That night a young woman had to abandon her car in the street in front of their home. Mom & Dad took this girl in, offering her food & drink and a place to stay warm until the road conditions had improved. That was the night Dad had his heart attack that finally claimed his life.
In tune with her helping nature, her first love was dogs. Our family had dogs for as long as I can remember. After her retirement, and wanting still to be able to reach out to her community, she began a dog sitting business. Taking other people’s dogs to stay in her home so they had a warm loving place to stay while their owners were out of town. She had client’s dogs that were treated like family. As her health declined she eventually had to move to an assisted living facility and then to advanced care. Her love and kindness for others didn’t end there. Her caregivers were treated like her children. Mom always showed love for the other residents. Befriending the staff and residents she felt her life had meaning. Mom always had snacks and treats in her room to feed anyone that came in her room. When Covid 19 finally crept into the home her worst time was being seperated from those she loved. I was fortunate to be friends with her social worker and was given the chance to Facetime with her a few times a week. I saw her steady decline after the Home went on lockdown. I’ll never forget the night I got the phone call to let me know that Mom had tested positive. From the first week in March until the 4th of May, I could see her progressive decline. But up until the very end she expressed love and concern for us and for others. There were many tears shed when she passed. The staff and remaining residents all expressed how much she will be missed.
I miss her terribly and think about her EVERY day.
David Binder, Loganville, Ga.