The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘My Mother’

On This Day in 2007 – Visit with Mom

The date was April 29, 2007. Bob and I visited with Mom at Concordia Nursing Home in Cabot PA, where she had been living for the past 2 years.  Most of our visit took place inside the home, in the living room.

MomVisit200704_002Bob took this picture of Mom and me during our visit.

Mom seemed alert this visit.  I talked with Mom about the company store in Cadogan, Mr. Kettering and his granddaughter Laurel.  Cadogan PA is where Mom lived most of her life.  She worked for several years at the company store, when my brother and I were youngsters.  Mr. Kettering was the owner of the company store.  Mom remembered going to Pittsburgh with Mr. Kettering on shopping trips for the company store.  She remembered that Laurel and I were summer playmates, saying that Laurel and I would play together in the store’s basement and in the attic.  I mentioned that Aunt Sis had telephoned me too.  It looked like Mom’s eyes lit up when I mentioned her sister’s name.  Before leaving I gave Mom a hug and told her that I loved her.  Mom told me that she loved me.

I am so thankful that I have these memories.

Thirty weeks plus one day later, on November 26th, Alzheimer’s Disease claimed the life of my mother.  I love you, Mom.  I will always love you.

 

My Parents’ Wedding Day

My parents were married on June 7, 1952. Mom’s sisters, Eleanor (“Sis”) and Gladys, and Dad’s niece, Connie, were in my parents’ wedding. Aunt Sis was Mom’s maid-of-honor, and Aunt Gladys was one of two bridesmaids. My cousin, Connie, was the flower girl.

Beautiful Bride

According to the wedding announcement in the local newspaper, Mom wore “a gown of white marquisette over satin with cathedral train. Lace trim around the waist was extended down the front in apron form, and matching lace around the shoulders gave an off-shoulder effect. She carried an orchid mounted on a white Bible.”

Mom was a beautiful bride.
Mom remained beautiful, both inside and outside, her entire life.

My parents on their Wedding Day

Both of my parents are deceased. Dad passed away in February 2004; Mom passed away in November 2007. If they were still alive, Mom and Dad would be celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary today. I know their marriage had its ups and downs, but Mom and Dad stuck it out. They believed that marriage was for life.

On the Anniversary of Mom’s Death

In ever loving memory of Mom

P5040002

God made the perfect mother,
Compassionate and kind;
With more love and affection,
Than you could hope to find;
He gave this lovely lady,
A heart of solid gold,
And after God had finished,
He must have broken the mould.

Mom lost her fight to Alzheimer’s Disease the Monday after Thanksgiving five years ago.   The date of Mom’s death was the same day as today, November 26.  Five years ago Bob and I had spent the Thanksgiving Day holiday with Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law at their home in New Hampshire.   We returned home on Sunday, November 25.  I received the call early Monday morning that Mom had passed away.  I can still feel the anguish, today, that I felt on that day.

I’ve always heard that angels in Heaven can look down on people on Earth.  I hope that is true, Mom, so that you can see how much your family has grown since your death.

Mom, in August 2008, you were blessed with a second great grandchild.  Your great granddaughter’s name is Anna.  Your great grandson, Kaleb, is now 7 years old; Anna is 4 years old.  Kaleb is autistic. We are so proud of his achievements.  Kaleb interacts well among people and is doing very well in school.  I have photographs of you holding Kaleb, when he was a baby.  I am happy that you lived to see the birth of your first great grandson.  Anna is a lively girl.  Anna was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease a couple years ago.  The disease reappeared in the form of Lyme’s Arthritis.  Please keep special watch over Kaleb and Anna, Mom.  I pray that Kaleb continues to do well in life and that Lyme’s Disease does not curtail Anna’s activities throughout her life.

Your grandson, Michael, recently celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary.   Michael, Kailey, Kaleb and Anna make such a lovely family don’t they Mom?

In October 2011 your youngest granddaughter got married, Mom.

Emily made such a lovely bride.
I wish you could have been there, Mom.

In December 2011 you were blessed with a second great granddaughter, Mom.  Her name is Elise.  Sometimes when I look into Elise’s eyes, I see your eyes.

Emily, Dan and Elise

 

Elise has grown so much since I took this photograph, Mom.  It is hard to believe that she will be a year old in one month+one day.  Your granddaughter, Emily, recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary.  Emily, Dan and Elise are a lovely family aren’t they Mom?  It is hard to believe, isn’t it Mom, that your youngest granddaughter is married and has a baby of her own.

Mom, you always wanted me to marry and have children.  Well I certainly did get married, Mom.  You would  say to me that you didn’t mean that I was to get married three times.  One time would have been enough.  You would tell me that I should have skipped marrying my first two husbands and just waited for Bob to come along.  I don’t know if fate would have led me to Bob, Mom, if I hadn’t followed my life’s path.   I believe you would agree with me.

So, Mom, I am married and I have a child just as you always wanted.  I am so very thankful that you lived to welcome Bob and Stacey into my life.  I am even more thankful that Bob and Stacey met you.  I know, Mom, that you loved Stacey as a granddaughter, not as a step-granddaughter.  In September 2011, Mom, your oldest granddaughter got married.

Stacey and Michael

I wish you could have been there, Mom.  Stacey’s wedding was held, outdoors, in the most beautiful setting.  Your granddaughter, my daughter, was the loveliest of brides.  Standing proudly at her side, Mike made a very handsome groom.

In May 2012, Mom, I became a grandma.  You never thought it would happen, did you?  You have two more great-granddaughters, Mom…TWIN granddaughters.  Oh boy, just now, your face appeared before me.  I saw the look of delight in your eyes, a look that just lit up your face at the mention of twin great granddaughters.  Oh, how happy you would have been.  I wish you could have been here when Harper and June were born.  Those two girls complete my life, Mom.  You will know what I mean.  Harper and June have brought so much joy and happiness to my life.  Sometimes the love I feel for those two little girls makes my heart feel as though it is breaking.

Stacey, Michael, Harper and Juniper

Your granddaughter, Stacey, recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary.  I took this family portrait a few days ago.  The twins were 6 months old.  Both Stacey and Mike are wonderful parents.   The four of them make a lovely family, and I am proud that they are my family!

Jared was the last of your grandchildren to get married, Mom.  Jared and Sara got married in July 2012.

Jared and Sara

If it is true, as I wrote earlier, that angels in Heaven can look down on people on Earth, you would have witnessed a wedding ceremony centered clearly around Jared and Sara’s belief in God.

It might be a while before Jared and Sara bless you with another great grandchild.  You might have heard that Jared and Sara plan to wait two years before having any children.

Mom, you would be so proud of the men and women that your grandchildren have become.  You would be proud of the lives that they lead and how well they care for and love your great grandchildren.  You have five great grandchildren, Mom.  Imagine that!  You would be so very happy of how well our entire family, both immediate and extended, get along with each other.  We have such a wonderful life, Mom.  My only heartache is that you and Dad are not here to share it with us.

To My Mom

To My Mom
Mom and I in July 2003

TO MY MOM

Mom, just want to say
I miss you everyday.
I still see your smile
Even though it has been a while.
I’m sending you all my love
I hope it reaches you up above.
You are my shining star
Although you are so far.

– written by Patty G.

I stumbled upon this poem, while surfing the Internet. I wasn’t intending to post anything for Mother’s Day. This poem, though, reached out and pulled me in. The poem says so well what I would like to say to Mom on this Mother’s Day.

Surprise!

“Had the most wonderful surprise last night…..TOBY CAME HOME!!! :)”

This statement was today’s status for one of my Facebook friends, who is actually one of my cousins. The moment I saw Ann’s Facebook status, a memory rushed over me.

The year is 1975. I was in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. I booked a flight home one weekend, without telling Mom that I was coming home. A friend picked me up at the Pittsburgh airport and drove me home. Some of my blog readers know my friend; my friend’s name was Sherry Pleacher. It was late evening when Sherry and I arrived at my house. I don’t recall seeing any lights inside the house. All the doors were locked, and I didn’t have a key. I wanted to surprise Mom, so I didn’t knock on the door. Instead, I climbed through a window into the house.

Once inside the house I stood still, listening. I didn’t hear any sounds. I remember thinking that Mom must be in bed, asleep. I tiptoed to the telephone, which hung on the wall in the hallway. I can’t remember how I did it but I dialed some number, which made Mom’s telephone ring. I expected Mom to come downstairs to pick up the telephone when she heard it ring. The telephone rang at least a dozen times. Mom didn’t come downstairs to pick up the telephone. I stood still, listening. Again, I didn’t hear any sounds.

I decided to go upstairs. I tiptoed up the stairs. The stairs were wooden. I remember grimacing as I heard creaking with each step. Once upstairs I tiptoed to my parents’ bedroom. Even with the lights off I could tell that Mom wasn’t in bed. I knew Dad had gone to the cabin that weekend. Could Mom have gone with Dad to the cabin? How disappointing! I flew home to surprise Mom, and it was me who got the surprise! Mom wasn’t home…or was she? As these thoughts were going through my mind, I heard something in another bedroom — my old bedroom. The sound was muffled, as though someone was coughing but holding their hands tightly over their mouth.

I tiptoed to my old bedroom, turned on the light, and saw Mom underneath my bed! We were both so happy to see each other! Mom crawled out from under the bed, as fast she could. We hugged each other tightly. Apparently Mom heard me when I first entered the house through the window. That’s when she crept from her bedroom into my old bedroom and proceeded to crawl underneath the bed.

Sitting in Mom’s Upstairs Hallway

Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease in February 2003. Alzheimer’s is an awful disease. It destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Mom left this world to be with her Lord on November 26, 2007.

During Mom’s early stages of Alzheimer’s, it was helpful to me if I could sometimes find the humor when Mom had problems with her mind. One such occasion was on April 14, 2004. My journal entry that date reads as follows:

“Mom thinks that I sit in her upstairs hallway. She asked me how many hours I sit there and if I am allowed to talk while sitting there. I tried to explain to Mom that I am not physically sitting in her hallway, that what she sees are pictures of me [sitting on a dresser in her hallway]. I don’t think she understood what I was saying. I told her if the pictures bother her to ask Mike [my nephew] to put them away. Mom said it didn’t bother her, that she liked me sitting in her hallway.”

A few years earlier (in November 1997) I was photographed at a Glamour Shots photo studio. I LOVED feeling like a movie star, if only for a day! One of the photographs that sat on Mom’s upstairs hallway dresser was from that photo session.

That photograph is now displayed in our house. I put the photograph in a double hinged frame. The second frame holds a photograph of me when I was 19 1/2 months old. The photo frame sits in the living room on top of our CD/DVD cabinet.

 

                GlamourShot   Toddler

Every time I see my Glamor Shots photograph, it reminds me of Mom and how she thought I was physically sitting in her upstairs hall. The thought makes me smile.

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would have been my mom’s 81st birthday. In November it will be 2 years since Mom passed away. I miss you, Mom. Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday, Mom
Mom and I
Mom your life was full of loving deeds,
Forever thoughtful of your family’s needs,
Today and tomorrow, my whole life through,
I will always love and cherish you
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