My earliest memories of Mom are of her caring for her own Mom who was quite sick from cancer.  Mom, with help from Dad, cared for Nummy in her home, never conceding to the dreaded disease until the end.

Mom smiling

Somehow, she was also there for my sisters and me, too.  I was not quite 6 when Nummy died, but I don’t remember Mom not being there for us, nor do I remember her not helping her Mom.  I know my Dad’s mom, my Grandma, helped a bit with us, too.

Family was the center of her life and she lived accordingly. She considered family in everything she did.  We never questioned her love for us because she lived it.

“Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart.” ~Author Unknown

My parents bought a farm a couple of years later, giving us more room and keeping us all busy.  Mom kept house, helped with all parts of the farm, and still found time  to keep her yard beautiful.

Dad was a mechanic and decided to open a garage at our home.  Mom became his secretary and, as she called herself, “Parts Runner,” the person who ran to town, sometimes several times a day, to get parts for Dad to repair cars and trucks.  When he added tow trucks, she added the CB radio to help track him on his calls.  She handled all the billing, phones, and much more.

We were involved in 4H, so Mom became a 4H leader, too.  She trained to be a 4H dog leader, then became a club leader, as well. When we needed lambs for our projects, she would help.  Cows needed clipping for show?  Mom was there.

School was important to her, Mom had quit then gone back, so we were all expected to do our personal best and graduate.  She made sure we had what we needed and encouraged us relentlessly.

I’m not sure where she found the time or energy. But she was always there for us.  A few times she took a part time job, in a retail store or cooking in the local diner, to help supplement our family needs.  Family was important to her and she lived her life for family.

Then she bought her own food truck.  Mom loved to cook and she was good at it.  People raved about her cooking and it was something to rave about.  The food truck was usually in our front yard for people traveling by, though sometimes she would take it to a special event like a dog show.  She could run a busy food truck with little assistance.

Mom helped me plan an incredible wedding, well within our budget, yet so perfect.  She handled the food, with a little help from relatives, and the decorations, plus was my wedding planner.  It was a perfect day, in large part due to all the work Mom put into it.

After the birth of my third son, I was trying to lose some extra weight and Mom decided she would join me in my venture.  We dieted together and even joined a water exercise class at the local YMCA together.  I loved spending time with her and felt so special when she was there!

“A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.” ~Author Unknown

Mom and Dad visited relatives in Florida one year and she decided that someday she would move to the sunshine state.  When my husband and I moved to Florida, my parents helped us and one year later, they joined us for a permanent vacation.

Vacation state, but never retirement for my Mom or Dad.  Mom was now able to do even more.  We joined a bowling league together and even won the league that year!  My brother and I laughed that he and I were helping the handicap while she was the able bowler.  She practiced diligently and continued to improve her game.

Helping set up the new laptop

Helping set up the new laptop

She also continued to work at various jobs.  She cleaned at a church for a while and then was able to find work at the bowling alley, again in the snack bar where she could cook. It was a good fit for her; she could work for a bit, then had time to bowl.

At one time, Mom, now nearing 70, was bowling in 4 leagues each week, plus practicing between.  She helped teach our children to bowl, too.

A heart attack slowed her for a short time, but she pushed herself to recover, even using the bowling game on her WII game system  to practice until she could get back to the real game.

For a glimpse into her personality, you need to hear the story of the morning of her heart attack.  It had hurt quite a bit and my Dad wanted her to get to the doctor to see what it was.  My brother had a package being delivered that day and she said she would go after it was delivered; she didn’t want him to miss it.  No one could convince her otherwise so she did indeed wait.

The accident was a shock to each of us.  Mom was an excellent driver, even at the then age of 71.  She was taking her beloved toy fox terrier, Mickey, to the vet and something happened.  After 6 and a half weeks in ICU, Mom went to her final rest.  She fought a gallant fight back, but too much time in the hospital is never good.

Read A New Look at Mother’s Day here

She was a friend to so many and is so dearly missed by all.  But her love and zest for life and her love and dedication to family, have inspired each of us.  I see so much of her in my kids, especially in one daughter.  Her life on earth is over, but the inspiration and wisdom she gave us continues.  Love you, Mom and looking forward to that day when we are all reunited!

Mom with Bethany and Robert

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