The Sunshine and Dad

I have spent the last week and a half with my beloved dad. It’s the time of year when mom and dad become snow birds and migrate to sunny Florida. This year it is just dad though since we lost mom last November. Today would have been her birthday. She would have been a very young 87. 

Traveling with just dad has been a wonderful experience and a treasured one at that. sitting amiably in the car chatting or sitting quietly, he is a man of few words, we just get along well. We took our time and enjoyed our trip driving south through several states enjoying the changing scenery that makes up our beautiful land. We even stopped and shared a pecan waffle at the Wafflehouse in honor of mom, because no trip would be complete without a pecan waffle and a cup of tea in her humble opinion. 

Since arriving in the beautiful southwest part of the sunshine state, I’ve shopped and dad has taken care of things he needed to. I’ve helped him with all his technical issues and we have gotten him settled. We have eaten so well that when I get home, I probably shouldn’t eat for a month!  Life here is on a different pace. It’s as if everyone is on a permanent vacation where he lives. I suppose they are. It’s a slower, more relaxed pace where people have time for one another.

I’ve gone to the beach, of course, but I prefer the pool. Going to the pool each afternoon I find the same group of characters. I call it social hour. Everyone catches up with the latest goings-on in the community. It’s truly an amazing place to be and they have made me feel so welcome. Just today, I had a glass of wine by the pool with these fabulous people. Such fun. And boy was it good!

The shopping is always good here but I was hoping to find a few more things at my usual stores which I didn’t. Had I gone to my other usual stores I may have but I don’t want to spend all my money. I look for bargains only. That I found. There are loads of high end stores but I don’t want to spend everything when I don’t have to. 

There is nothing better than the sound of the waves hitting the shore, in my opinion. Stress melts away instantly while just sitting there listening to the lapping waves and the sounds of the sea birds. I went only one day this time to the beach, but my stress from the long drive instantly disappeared as I sat there enjoying the sights and sounds for an hour. It was a cloudy day so I had the beach pretty much to myself. What a joy and spectacle to behold. 

Soon it will be back to the Midwest for me. Not that it’s a bad thing to go home but I miss this place when I leave it. This is my favorite place on earth. The sun shines so brightly here and the temperature is always warm and delightful. Knowing that I’m going home is like a double edged sword. I miss my husband and kids, I miss my own bed, but I don’t miss the weather. I especially don’t look forward to the winter. But life is what it is and maybe someday I’ll get a chance to love a life down here. It is my dream. Someday. 

Hi Mom, I Miss You

This used to be one one of my favorite times of year, wI think the weather changing to crisp, autumn days and nights in need of cuddles, but last year something happened that changed , your life forever. My mom, my best friend, my mentor, had a hemorrhagic stroke on October 21st.  That day will forever be the day my world was turned upside down, never to be the same again. 

My mom was a woman of great strength to all who met her. She exuded energy and ultimately life itself. Never did anyone imagine that in a blink of an eye all that life would be changed and then lost just 5 short weeks later when she would take her last breath.  This was the woman I looked up to always for guidance. She wasn’t allowed to just not be here anymore. What was I supposed to do now?

This year has seen many changes brought on by the catalyst of mom leaving this world for the glory of heaven. I have changed and I hope for the better. I don’t take days for granted anymore or the joy of my family. I’ve switched jobs and I am no longer scared of change like I once was. I am happier in some ways, but the fact still remains that I am now, a motherless child. 

It makes no difference how old you are when  you lose your mom, you always need her. I was very fortunate to have her as long as I did. I know, because of  her strength and teachings, that life goes on and that there is still beauty in this world. Last November I wasn’t quite so sure as the days turned into weeks in the hospital. 

I am blessed that mom was here for me when I graduated high school and college, got married, had kids, got divorced, got remarried and had another child. I am blessed now that she is in heaven watching over all of us, probably having a good laugh most of the time and shaking her head the rest. the bottom line is, I am truly blessed. 

I still cry just not so much anymore. It helps me get through the pain that lingers still and I’m sure always will. We have made it through all the firsts with the exception of just a couple coming up. Her birthday and the first anniversary of her death. I still want to pick up the phone and call her. I always will. I miss her voice so much. I wish I could talk to her and hear her reactions to my stories. I so miss her laugh and her little clearing of her throat. I just miss her, but she remains in my heart, always.

My mom always said she would be my best friend someday when I was a teenager and I never believed her. Funny, she was right as always! I wish I was that smart with my kids!

Since mom’s death, I treasure my family even more than before. I drive even more safely. I don’t take unnecessary risks,  not that I did before,  but I’m not in a hurry to leave planet earth for a long time yet.  Maybe when I’m 90. Maybe, if the kids are okay. 

Missing Mom

When you are feeling just a little under the weather or downright sick, we all want our moms at those times. I’m just like everyone else in that respect and in the last few days it has been extra difficult. You see, a year ago my mom has her stroke and was in the hospital. I am reminded each day where I was and how she was doing this time last year. To top that off, I’ve been feeling under the weather enough to warrant mom care. But if you follow my blog, you know that won’t be happening anymore.

I am still grieving over the loss of my mom as we near the one year anniversary of her death. I still have another month to go but this is the really hard month, as I sort of relive all those memories of last year. I spent all my days in the hospital with her. I spent my time talking to her, praying with her and for her and finally realizing that her life here was at it’s end. 

Simply stated, last year sucked and I don’t want to relive it, but I am reliving it in a way, but nearly as an outsider looking in. I have a different perspective this time as I know the outcome. I still cry unbidden. I still speak to her as though she can hear me. I still wait to hear her voice sometimes, but it never comes. 

I still see her in my dreams sometimes. I thank God for those dreams. I recently had the best dream of my life. I was in my mom’s kitchen and she was making dinner. I could smell the potatoes cooking. Such a realistic dream. Mom where she always was, doing what she did so well. I could smell her even though I could not touch her. I was home. It’s a home I will never quite have again even though I gratefully have my dad and he lives in the house. I no longer have mom. Mom made it home.

I know many people understand the loss of one’s mom. This is my journey and I share it with you because that is who I am. We get only one mom in life. I did anyway. One fabulous and incredibly wonderful mom. I miss her each and every day. I will go on missing her as I don’t think we ever truly get over the death of our mother. They make us who we are and shape us into the people we become as adults.

Coffee Time Already?

It’s a glorious fall morning on this particular Saturday. I may be a lover of the warm weather, but there is nothing like bundling up with my fleece jammies on and fuzzy socks and enjoying a hot cup of caramel brulee coffee under a blanket. It’s soul soothing in a way.

This time a year ago, I was spending my time in the hospital with my beloved mom. Yesterday was the 1st anniversary of her hemorrhagic stroke, a day that would change my life forever. When I was called by my daughter, I was told that grandma was in the ER and my husband and I went straight there. We never imagined what we would find. As I headed to the room to see her, still not sure what had happened, I was told I could not go in. I was still calm despite my fears.

My dad and brother were already there, of course. I’m the last one to be called since I have a family of my own and my brother is single. The boys, as I call them, are very close and very similar to beach other. I’m the girl, and mom and I were always close, very close. She was my best friend. 

We were shuffled off into a little room so that the doctor could talk to us about the stroke. The fact that mom was coherent when she came in and the cardiac workup was negative but that she started to lose her cognition and deteriorate rapidly finally led them to know it was a brain bleed, and unfortunately it was a big one. She was put on a ventilator and received what we referred to as a brain drain to keep the pressure down in her brain.

She amazingly started to recover slowly. I was so happy even though I knew, being a 20 veteran nurse, that she would never truly be exactly who she was before, but she was doing so well. She was sitting up and eating and talking after a long week. But then everything changed. 

Little did I know in October 21,2015 that on November 25,2015 at 12:38AM my beloved and blessed mom would leave this world. She fought and fought hard, but she had too many complications that mounted up against her. 

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her. I don’t cry as often, but I do still cry. I can’t tell you how much I miss her. I miss her laugh, our long talks, her hugs, her advice wanted and unsolicited, her smell, her little cough, her hands. I miss everything about her. 

The pain is still there, but not so raw. I don’t think you ever get over the death of your mother. Not truly. Sure we move on and learn to live life again, but life will never quite be the same without her here. The good thing is, I know I have a angel watching over me because I know my mom has to be in heaven. She was the most beautiful and holy person I knew. I thank God for being blessed with such an awesome mom for all the years I had her here. If you still have your mom here, go give her a hug today. You never know when it will be the last hug you will get.

It’s About Time for Coffee

Good morning all! I’ve enjoyed a relaxing morning so far and am so glad you’ve made it here for coffee. I’ll admit, I started my coffee early this morning, as I seem to be awake very early these days. Hubs thinks I’m crazy to wake up as early as I do but he’s a VERY good sleeper in the early mornings. He doesn’t sleep well at night and needs his sleep. Me? I am out like a light these days. It’s nice for a change.

Coffee gets my motor running in the morning. I don’t need a pot. I just like my 1 or 2 cups unless I have company. Marz, my BFF neighbor, often shares coffee with me once the kids are at school. It’s wonderful. We can share the worries and joys of our world’s as well as solve all of the world’s problems all over a cup of joe. 

Whenever my oldest BFF and I go shopping, we have to have one specialty coffee somewhere. This, again, allows us time to solve all the world’s problems over our special java. Since we’ve known each other nearly 30 years (scary thought) we’ve solved a lot of problems, dried many tears and laughed over many funny stories over coffee. It never gets old.

When I lived up north, I used to share coffee by the potfull. I had a beautiful sister-in-law, Amy. We were well known for spending many hours drinking our cafe with cookies on my old porch or her basement. It was just what we did. We went to a family restaurant to escape the world and drank carafe after carafe. Amy passed away 3 years ago and I miss her still. When I see butterflies, certain flowers and hummingbirds, I think of my dear friend. I miss those hours but treasure the memories deep within my heart. 

Coffee in our American society is a social gathering. It’s a means of friendship and communication. In my Irish family, we drink tea. Many hours were spent with my mom over a cup of tea and cookies or biscuits, as it were. I’m missing my mom and will be thinking about her a great deal over the coming months. 

Thursday. The 15th, would have been mom and dad’s 56th wedding anniversary. It was the first one without her here. We all went to dinner with dad. He said he’s forgotten “that was today”. This week is his birthday and onward we go with birthdays and holidays. 

Family and friends should be cherished. Life is shorter than we think it is for we know not the time or place when this life will end. I’ve learned and relearned, assessed and reassessed things in my life over the last year and the one thing that is clearer than anything is that we truly need to love one another. Treat those people in your life gently and with care. Treasure them and tell them you love them each and every day or as often as you get a chance. Never let the opportunity go by to show them how much you care and appreciate them. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m doing my best. 

Where Did the Summer Go?

Each year as August rolls around, I ask myself this question. It always seems that once we celebrate the Fourth of July in all its glory, the summer flies by. This year is no exception as time marches forward in spite of our wish for it to slow down ever so slightly. 

In just a couple short weeks the college kids will be heading off to school, my second daughter among those headed away for the first time. Just after that, school starts anew for the rest of them and summer 2016 will be one more in the memory books. 

I have to say that for my kids, my husband, and myself, this has not been a great summer. Most of June I spent in and out of the hospital and the month of July was spent still recouperating from my surgery and complications. We didn’t do anything fun or exciting. We didn’t go anywhere or explore any new fun adventures. We stayed home. We bonded, at times, a little too much, but usually just The right amount! The best part was that most of us were together and grew out family bond. That is worth it’s weight in gold, however. 

If it weren’t for my family, I certainly don’t know how I could have managed. My dad, God bless him, even made me an Apple pie, from scratch! I taught him how to make it several months ago and he’s perfected it now. My beloved aunts have sent notes, recipes and even a piece of apple pie back with my dad, just for me. My cousins and one of my aunts came to visit me. I truly am blessed to have such a loving, caring and wonderful family near and far. It’s their love, actions and prayers that have helped me recover from this wretched surgery and infection. 

This is not to say my friends haven’t been there because they have been. But this is to remind us all just how important family is. The apple pie from my aunt was made by my 93 year old aunt. She lives 90 miles away and sent it home with my brother and my 85 year old dad. Family and love conquers all of given a chance. Respecting the elders in my family and caring for them means that even though my mom may no longer be with us, my family picks up the pieces and holds me in their hearts to care for me like she would have when I need her most. This summer I needed her like I’ve never needed her before. Having my aunts call and write to me has meant more than they will ever know. Their love has carried me through when I was missing my mom the most.

I’m doing much better and I have no doubt that I’m the next few weeks I’ll be fully recovered, but I’m still weak and I still have pain. I’ll get there though. Now most days are good days. Now, it’s time to put this summer and this chapter behind me and look forward to brighter days. I will never forget those who have been so kind to me throughout this summer though. It is through God’s grace, family and friend’s care and support that I am recovering and doing so well. It has been a journey I hope never to revisit. My mother always said when you have your health, you have it all. She was so right. 

Now it is time to look forward to one daughter pursuing her dream to become a nurse, one daughter going aeaybfir the first time to study pre-med and sociology then my youngest kids will be starting the school year at home. Number 3, my amazing artist and hilarious child will begin driving this fall, Lord help us! The youngest child, my beard devil, will be in 4th grade already. As we all day as adults, “just where did the time go”? Wasn’t my 20 year old just in preschool last year? 

Time is a strange thing. Not only does it stop for no one, but it also will heal wounds. Just look at me! I’m much better than I was 2 months ago. I bet you thought I was going to say it heals wounds of the heart. That’s a subject for another day. For now, I will look forward to what is left of this summer and the beginning of a brand new school year with brand new adventures to be had. There’s still a little bit of summer left for me to enjoy!

The Normal Life

If I close my eyes, I think of what a wonderful life I’ve been blessed with. You see, the last few months have been unusually difficult. I keep waiting for the storm clouds to disintegrate and the warm, blue, sunny skies of a normal life to take over. I’m beginning to think that day may never get here, or may never arrive at all.

Six months ago, I lost my beautiful, vibrant and brilliant best friend, my mom. She and I had differences from time to time, but what child doesn’t? We always worked them out.

Just after mom died, dad was misdiagnosed with cancer. Luckily for all of us, he had an abscess that looked like cancer. He healed well with antibiotics. When that was through, dad had a very important eye surgery. He is now able to see where he could not before surgery.

And then there is me. I have been sick since March, Easter week to be precise. I’m still sick, but hoping and praying that the end is near. I’m tired. I’m so tired of the pain. I’m tired of just feeling sort of alright. I am tired of my house and relying on others. I’m tired of new problems cropping up. I’m just so tired.

So when I close my eyes, I imagine myself free from pain, free from my house, usually swimming or running or playing like I did as a kid. I see myself able to focus on life for more than 5 minutes. I want to run outside and play with my kids. I want to take my dogs on a walk. I just want to relish my normal life. The same life I took for granted. I will never take it for granted again. That is a promise after this ordeal.

My home is a sanctuary to me, but now it’s become my prison. It’s become the place I wish I wasn’t. I’m trapped. I can’t enjoy my summer because of how I feel. I couldn’t go swimming, my favorite thing to do, because I have a drain in my belly.

The summer will be over and still won’t be back at the job I love because of this, or so I fear. Will I ever heal? I will, eventually. Right now, though, it’s so difficult. I’ll keep my eyes closed and keep dreaming, perhaps. I’ll dream of ordinary and how in love and miss ordinary.
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And Of These Roots…

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Our family circa about 1978 or so at Mackinac Island Grand Hotel

Many years ago, in 1955 and 1960, my father and mother came to this country.  They had known each other in the old country.  In fact, they had known each other since the age of 12.  The old country I speak of is Ireland.  The land known for it’s 40 shades of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.  Well, that’s what Americans think of. When I think of Ireland, I think of family, specifically, my family.  I am fiercely proud of the family I come from, or rather was adopted into.  It is the greatest family I could ever ask for.

My mother came from the midlands of Ireland.  Specifically, she was born in Mullingar, County West Meath, Ireland.  She was the eldest of 5 siblings, of which there were 2 girls and 3 boys.  My mother, who was so full of life, was adventurous, athletic, slim and feisty.  She had the hardest time sitting still.  In fact, resting never seemed to be part of her vocabulary.

Mom grew up a tomboy, but with 3 younger brothers to keep in line, it’s really no wonder.  With her athletic abilities and small stature, she had to be quick, and she was.  Did I mention she was also the tiniest of the 5 siblings in her house?  Her dad was 6’4″ and her mother was 5’10”, but mom topped out at a mere 5’5.5″ and in her 86 years on this earth, she maintained her height.  Good bones.  No osteoporosis for her!  Man do I wish I shared her genes.  We lost my mom to a hemorrhagic stroke 6 months ago.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her so much.  I long to hear her laugh and talk to her just one last time.

Dad grew up in the west of Ireland.  Mom’s family moved to the west when she was 12.  It was through business of their father’s that my parents met each other.  Dad hadn’t noticed mom so much, but mom had already put her sights on him at a young age.  Dad was one of 8 siblings and dad was towards the younger of the lot.  He’s such a brilliant man and it all started when he was a kid.

Dad was the kid with his nose always in the books, as they say.  Always studying, studying, studying.  Mom thought “this one is going somewhere”. She also found him extremely cute with his jet black hair and hazel eyes.  He was the one wearing glasses in all the photos of long ago. I’ve seen the photos.  Such a cutie patootie.

Mom would go out to the Walsh farm for her holidays and was very close to dad’s sisters. It didn’t mean she wasn’t noticing the cutie though.  I may be adopted, but let me tell you, the apple didn’t fall far from that particular tree.  My husband and I have known each other since I was 10 and he was 12.  He had jet black hair and still, obviously, has his beautiful hazel eyes.  Kind of strange, isn’t it!

So, eventually, when they were of dating age, mom and dad were “courting”.  The thing is, education came first for both of them.  Mom’s family wasn’t a wealthy family so she went off to England and studied nursing.  She eventually studied Midwifery and delivered many babies.  I loved listening to those stories so much.  Another one of the things I miss so much about mom being gone. Dad, went off in a different direction.  He stayed in the west of Ireland and went to university to study medicine at University College Galway.

Okay, my husband, Canadian born, studied medicine at University College Dublin.  Yes, another similarity.  Also, my husband and my dad are not tall men.  They are both Irish, even though my Hubs was born in Newfoundland, so I married a good looking Irish guy.  Well, I think he’s gorgeous and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.  I promise, the 2 really aren’t that similar, but those are things I just happened to notice.  I have similar taste to my mom.  That was all I was implying.  Seriously!

Mom and dad were married much later than one would think.  Even though they knew each other for many years, dad made absolutely certain he could afford to marry her and take care of her well before he asked her the magic question.  They were married at the tender age of nearly 30.  Yes, can you imagine? She was beginning to thing he’d forgotten about her altogether.  They did have their happily-ever-after for 55 amazingly wonderful years.

Can you imagine knowing someone for over 70 years and then losing them?  That’s what my dad had to go through last November.  He did it with grace and peace like he  does everything in life.  He is the strongest, smartest and most faithful man I know besides my husband.  He taught me so many things in my life.  It’s because of my parents that I am who I am today.  I may not share the same genetic material as them, but as far as I’m concerned, I might as well.  I think living with the best parents in the world, although also the toughest, created me.  It formed me into a loving, generous, hardworking and faithful woman.  I am just a branch, but a strong branch, thanks to my roots.

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Hubs and me aged 19 and 17.  Oh, those were the days!

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post hosted by the lovely genius otherwise known as Kristi from www.findingninee.com.  We link up and share our work each week to finish one sentence.  Go check out the rest of the blogs and find out about our roots this week!

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Saga: The Family of Us

 

We all have a saga when you come to think about it.  The very word saga is an epic tale about something.  A twisted course of events detailing so many things in the lives of it’s inhabitants.

Saga | Definition of Saga by Merriam-Webster

a long and complicated story with many details. : a long and complicated series of events.

Given this definition, isn’t that what our families are all about?  Take my family for example.  First there are the characters.  There are my Hubs and I, AKA, the parents.  The kids, we will refer to them as Boo, Bear, Bug and Boy.  This is my immediate family.  We each have our own lives outside of our home as well as the life we share when we are gathered together.  Our characters each have personalizations that make them each unique to who they are, but to complicate that, when they are with different people, they have different personality quirks or traits that they may not have with others.
When you filter in more characters, such as in extended family, which there are grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, dad for Boo, Bear and Bug, as well as Stepmom, and Step family for them, the saga instantly becomes that much more confusing and entertaining as well as epically more interesting.  You see, every family has a story.  Each family’s story is unique.  I will make my family’s story as simple as I can and try to simply give you the bare facts so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with the details.  My Hubs always says he needs a flowchart for my extended family, so I’m afraid with 37 first cousins, not including their spouses, I will have to leave them out.  Just hope they all know how much each of them knows how much they mean to me and how much I love them.
Many years ago, on my mother’s side, her parents met, fell in love and had her first.  She was followed by 3 boys and another little girl.  Mom met dad when her family moved from the midlands of Ireland to the west of Ireland at age 12. Both mom and dad’s fathers, had some business together so that’s how my parents met.  Mom started going out to to dad’s for holidays when she was young.  She grew fond of dad and his family over that time.  Dad was one of 8 children.  He was always a student and so was she.  At 18, they each went off to school. Mom went to England to study nursing and dad went to University to study medicine.  They kept in touch and mom found him a job for his summer leave from school in England.  With me so far?  I told you this is the simplified version.
Mom and dad finally married at the tender age of 29 and mom got to move where dad already was. The United States.  He had become a Yank.  6 weeks after their marriage, she was able to join him in Illinois where they could finally start a life together and a week later, she turned 30.  Imagine leaving everything you had ever known to go to a whole new world.  Her initial reaction was amazement at how large everything was.  Three years later, my brother was born.  Six years after my brother, they adopted me.
My brother and I had a wonderful childhood.  My brother was the perfect son with perfect grades.  Then there was me.   I was the artsy one.  The musical one.  The one not interested in the books.  I luckily grew out of that in time.  My brother was the tennis player, the book worm, the amazing student.  He was understood by them.  I was the sunshine in the house, but I was also the one that could try the patience of a saint.
I had a long time boyfriend from the time I was 12.  That would be Hubs.  Yes, I thought the sun rose and set with him.  Lucky for both of us, I still do.  Unlucky for him, I broke up with him after many years of dating him.  I was young and thought he didn’t love me.  How dumb was I!  I also had never dated anyone else.  I wanted to see my other options, I suppose.  I was a young and naive 19 year old.  Regardless, I broke his heart and dated several others until I found the one that made my heart soar. My first husband.  The father of my girls.
Seasons change and so do we.  First Husband and I grew in completely different directions, but we still get along.  We do have 3 amazingly talented and beautiful girls together.  We dated for 19 months, engaged 9 months and married for 13 years.  Even the divorce was amicable except for the feeling of having my heart ripped and shredded from my body.  I think that’s just what divorce does though.  I vowed that would never happen again.
I married my better half, my soulmate July, 2006.  Yep, that’s Hubs.  The same one I wrote in my diary about at age 12.  The same one I broke up with at 19.  He was at my first wedding, but more importantly, he was in his proper place at wedding number 2.  He was my gorgeous groom.  He and I were always meant to be together.  We do complete each other.  We compliment each other without a doubt.  Today, for example, he calmed me like no one else can during my panic attack.  He knows if he sees tears welling in my eyes, I need him.  He puts me first and cares for me always.  I often tell him I don’t deserve him.
We create new chapters in our saga each day.  Writing them down is an amazing tool to share with your family and close friends.  You have the completely and utterly abridged version here, but I am working on a version for my family that has many more details.  They’ve asked and I’m working on it.  I challenge each of you to think about and possibly write down some of your own family saga.  Is it an epic tale of love and surprise? Perhaps your family had more pain and suffering, or a life with privilege, or mental illness, or physical disabilities  to overcome.  Whatever your story is, it is a saga and no one else has the same saga.  Keep it to share with future generations.  We get one chance to make this life, and one chance to write it out. Do it today.

Having Coffee on Mother’s Day

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how grateful I am for family, my family. This Mother’s Day was a hard one. It’s the first one without my dear and lovely mother. I miss her so very much, but she is with me still, in my heart.

My brother commented that now I’m the only mother in our immediate family. That shook me a little bit. My dad looked a bit sad today but said he was fine. My husband, who lost his mom 11 years ago, made my day extra special. These men are my fiercely brave protectors. They are my rocks. Words could never describe my love and gratitude for them. I am who I am because of them.

My children made my day today by spoiling me! How could any mother be so blessed! My oldest daughters made special, amazingly delicious brunch delicacies. I have more than likely gained 10 pounds from sheer yumminess today alone. My son made me gifts that brought me years of sheer joy. All four tidied up twice today and showered me with love.

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I miss my mom everyday but I know she is in heaven looking down on us all. I miss her voice, our long conversations that could solve all the world’s problems. I miss her laugh which would light up the room. I miss her hugs that would envelop me and let me know all was alright. I miss her hands. She could do anything with those hands yet they were beautiful. Mom, if you can read this in heaven, happy mother’s day. I love you and will always until the end of time.