I Miss My Mom

Monday, December 12, 2011


My mom passed away three weeks ago. I'm not sure why yet why I'm talking about it or what I'm going to say. I think I just feel like I need to acknowledge her before I go on talking about diet/exercise/health as if nothing has happened. I'll just see where it leads me.

My mom was born 77 years ago in an old wood house in a tiny little town. She was the youngest of seven kids; the next youngest, and her only still-living sibling, is a sister seven years older. Mom was an unexpected "accident" and always felt that her own mom didn't really want her and was in fact "embarrassed that people knew she was still having sex at her age." But her father, she always said, had the knack of making her feel like she was the most important person in the world to him, and when he died, she felt like the only person who ever loved her was gone.

She married early, a fella who, for whatever reason, lied to her about some very important things that crushed their relationship early on. Their marriage was annulled, right after my oldest sister was born.

Five years later, she met my dad... on a blind date. :) He was on hiatus from the Air Force after four years and was deciding whether or not to go career. They fell in love lickety-split, and after knowing each other only a month, he decided to go career, and she suddenly had to decide whether to marry him or let him go. She married him! :)

They wanted to have more children right away, but it took five more years for my other sister to be born... then just 22 more months for me. We three were very much intended and wanted by both of our good parents, and we have always known it. That is such an amazing gift.

Everything wasn't always peaches and cream for my folks, but they loved each other and stuck it out through thick and thin. They celebrated their 53rd anniversary this year.

About 25 years ago, my dad became rather health conscious. After smoking for most of his life, he up and quit. He also quit drinking beer, only drank a little wine with meals, and started eating more carefully. He kept fairly active, bowling in leagues and with my nephew (who was the only grandchild living close by), doing the yard work, etc. He is still fairly healthy today.

My mom, on the other hand, began suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments that eventually forced her to stop many of her activities. She continued smoking (rather heavily) and didn't really look after her eating, drinking, or activity habits. She relied on prescription drugs to manage her various issues and wouldn't consider any natural remedies or treatments. Some other issues over the years, such as a broken leg that didn't heal right, delays in surgeries that forced her to stay off her pain meds for extended periods, a broken hip, and significant loss of muscle tissue, forced her to become even more sedentary.

I know it frustrated Dad a great deal that Mom seemed unwilling (and eventually unable) to make an effort to help herself, especially since he was trying so hard. He could have given up; some people would. But he loved her so much! He hated seeing her waste away, but he stuck by her and took care of her until the end. She died at home, with him right beside her.

I spent the two weeks following her passing with my dad and sisters. My dad shared some very deep and tender feelings about her that I don't think I ever knew he had. I always knew he loved her, but I just hadn't seen that tender side. It was a comfort to me, knowing how unloved she'd felt at times in her life, to realize how deeply he had loved her. I hope she knew and understood it, as well.

While I am still grieving and missing her, I am grateful that her physical pain is over. She suffered for such a long time, and we all felt helpless to give her any relief. And I will forever be grateful that I was able to make two trips to to see her earlier in the year (traditionally, it had been just once a year at Thanksgiving). She will always be with me and continue to influence my life for good.

I thank each of you who are reading this for the sympathy and kind thoughts you are sending my way. Please know they are appreciated.

Please also let this story remind you how important it is to continue to look after your own health, not just for your sake, but also for the sake of those who love you and who want you to feel and be the best you can be, and who want you to be around a long, long time.

I love you, Mom.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a wonderful loving tribute to your mother and father. Yes we ALWAYS carry our loved ones with us. We lost our beautiful son 6 years ago and I feel that he is still VERY much with in a different way. Hugs to you and thank you for sharing your beautiful mother and father with us. I just read that you are leaving Spark...but I have a feeling you might reconsider. Remember healthy lifestyles are full of psychological food too...and Spark is a safe haven for that. God bless you and I'm STILL hoping you might reconsider staying with Spark. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3451 days ago
    I saw the title of your blog on my feed so I stopped by. What a beautiful tribute blog to your Mom that testifies of your parents deep love for one another. What an example of "hanging in there" in sickness and in health they are to the rest of us.

    I will pray that the God of comfort (who can comfort like no other) will keep you,your Dad and family close during this difficult time.

    3473 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8639152
    Kel, I'm so very sorry for your loss. My mom's been gone for almost six years and I miss her so much. But what a great job you do of honoring your mom. Her voice will always be with you.
    emoticon emoticon
    3473 days ago
    This is a beautiful tribute to your mom, and really to your dad, too. I send my condolences to you and your family. emoticon
    3477 days ago
    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon
    3477 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9779212
    Sorry to hear of your mom's passing. Your tribute to her, and your dad, was're very fortunate to have had parents who's love was so real...May you and your family be comforted by happy memories of your mom and the love you have for each other...

    3477 days ago
    WOW, what a great story about your Mom and Dad.

    So sorry to hear about your family's loss, especially this time of year. Stay close to your Dad this season....he'll need it
    3477 days ago
    What a terrific tribute. Your mom would be both proud and pleased.
    3477 days ago
    i lost my mom three years ago, i understand you... emoticon
    3478 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5707126
    emoticon and emoticon my friend. As you know she is no longer in pain. I lost both my parents at a very young age and still miss them very much. You are very blessed to have had her with you and that you have all felt that joy of being loved. emoticon
    3478 days ago
  • KARENE10
    Beautiful tribute to your Mom. I'm sure that she knew her husband and children loved her. emoticon
    3478 days ago
    Kelly - I think about you often and wonder how you are doing!

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a parent (awhile ago now) and it was difficult. My heart goes out to you.

    It comes across what a wonderful family you have and how wonderful that your mom helped create that after having such a time herself growing up. I'm sure it was hard to watch her give up, for not just your Dad, but for you as well.

    I hope that you are doing okay and I'm glad you blogged about your mom - I enjoyed reading about her and your dad.

    Again, my thoughts are with you and yours!
    3478 days ago
    That is a wonderful tribute to your Mom.
    Read, "The Power of Now", Tolle
    Suggestion from someone who has lost too.
    3478 days ago
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