Mother’s Day Tribute to My Mom

NOTE: Very Picture Heavy!

A funny thing happened during the last 50 years. I grew up. That wild child with the Harley who traveled the country and lived on a sailboat and did everything she wanted, is the now responsible adult.

Last year I realized my mom was suffering from dementia, and as her power of attorney I moved her into assisted living for her own safety. But I was so depressed everytime I visited her and I knew that her mental health was declining rapidly as well. In November Joe and I moved Mom and her dog ShaSha in with us. One month ago today I found her on her bathroom floor suffering from a stroke. The paramedics arrived almost immediately but a lot of damage had already been done. She is now living permanently in a nursing home that is 10 minutes from our home. Those of you that are friends on my personal facebook page have watched me fall apart and pick myself back up again as I make sure Mom is well cared for. We just got home from spending the afternoon with her and having a Papa John’s Chicken Cordon Bleu pizza delivered for our “Mother’s Day Picnic” as she was telling everyone there! So her spirits are good and she can talk ok, but her 88-year old body is ravaged from the pain and she sits in a wheelchair during the day. But I know she is well cared for and she is comfortable, and that’s the best I can hope for now.

I thought you’d enjoy seeing a glimpse of Mom’s wonderful life. She was a vibrant woman who enjoyed life and lived comfortably but frugally, having been born during the depression. She grew up in Iowa with 2 sisters and a brother. This is the earliest picture I have of Mom. I know where I get my love for cats!

This picture is mom as a little girl with her older sister and brother. Aunt Helen is on the left and Uncle Eddie is on the right. My grandparents are behind Mom.

I’m not sure when this was taken but I’m guessing she was in her 20’s. She was a beauty!

 

This is a great picture of Mom with her parents, her older brother and sister Eddie and Helen, and baby sister on the far right, Ferne.

OK I have to show this one. I always loved it! It’s at Mom and Dad’s wedding! How cute are they?!

This is another picture I just love! This is my older sister Sandie, Mom, Dad, me and Dad’s drums on the left behind Sandie. My folks were musicians and we had a parade of people in and out of our house when I was growing up playing jam sessions with them. It was pretty awesome. There were drums, guitars, organs, and all kinds of percussion, string and wind instruments around our house.

Here’s a picture of her with band leader Ralph Marterie in 1954. Sexy lady for sure!

Mom quit school during WWII and worked the factories like many other women of her generation. She returned to high school night classes and graduated with her diploma from the same high school I did 10 years after I graduated. I am so proud of her for this accomplishment!

Mom, my sister Sandie, and me at Sandie’s son’s wedding in 1986.

Mom, Sandie, Sandie’s son Scott and Scott’s son, Michael in 1988. Four generations!

Celebrating Mom’s birthday 2003.

Mom, Joe and me at our wedding.

Mother’s Day 2006.

Last year at assisted living with Mom and ShaSha.

Mom living with us and “working” (playing games) on the computer. She’s really concentrating! LOL

And doing “slave labor” at our house!

Pooped out after a long day. Her ShaSha on the left and Friday cuddled on her lap!

At Ulta! We used to go there every couple of months for facials and hair cuts!

Mom the day after her stroke, smiling for the camera (I wanted my sis and bil to see she was ok).

After moving to the nursing home and having ShaSha visit her for the first time.

My friend Lisa’s husband lives at the same nursing home Mom is at. She sometimes brings their dog to visit. Handsome is a HUGE Great Dane saying HI to Mom!

 

Last week ShaSha and me visiting again.

And a little video at the Mother’s Day Happy Hour on Friday!

Mom shares a room with a sweet lady named Alice. Mom’s name is Bea. They’ve already declared themselves A&B to everybody! They sit at the same table in the dining room and you’d better not split them up! It’s a relief to see Mom is getting along better. I’ve been a wreck trying to make sure she is cared for. I think things will be ok. Thank you for letting me share my memories of Mom with you.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, whether you have real babies or fur babies or both!

XO Jody

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20 Responses to Mother’s Day Tribute to My Mom

  1. Connie says:

    That was a very touching tribute to your mom. God bless her and you!

  2. victoria says:

    I’m all choked up now. This was beautiful. My mom has been sick, dementia and other illness for 10 yrs now. She was my best friend. I love this tribute to your mom!

  3. Jill says:

    Oh Jody this is sooo beautiful! I’m totally in tears and I’m sooooo glad that you shared this! My Granma passed from a stroke in 2006 suddenly and she was the light of my life. I miss her so much everyday and I’m so glad that you get to spend time with your Mom! This brought back wonderful memories for me as well. My Granma was 85 when she passed! Fully with it and living in her own home. Very independent and active. Hugs to you and your family! xo

  4. How adorable! I love old pictures like that. The youngest picture of my mother is when she was about 10, with crazy freckles and boy hair, swinging upside down lol. I have it in my bedroom. I’m so glad she likes it there Jody!

  5. anissa says:

    this was lovely and i got all teary-eyed reading it. you and your mother are lovely ladies and you are blessed to have her and to realize how precious she is. thank you so much for sharing with us!

  6. Mark E. Stevens says:

    Jody that was a fantastis tribute to your mom. I really enjoyed the pictures. I’ll admit I did get a tear in my eye. Would you please give Aunt Bea/mom a hug for me and that I love her. Take care Jody, I Love you Mark.

  7. Michelle says:

    Jody, this is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us, and I loved all these great pics of your mom. It is so hard to see our parents changing and losing the vitality they always seemed to have when we were younger. But I am sure your mom is so proud of you and loves you so much. Hugs!!

  8. Enjeliqua says:

    Hi, I found your blog through your Etsy profile while looking at your nail polish colors… Never did I imagine I would be sitting here crying my eyes out over your mother’s day post about your mom. It really hit me because of my grandfather. He was like my father, we were always together, two peas in a pod. From the day I was born in April 1980 until the day he passed away Feb 2012 we were together. So I can only imagine how close you and your mom are and how difficult the falling apart/picking yourself up cycle is because I’ve been there too. My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 5 years ago and it was already in the advanced stages. The pain of being the one to make decisions that were unpopular with his children (they loved reminding me I was *only* his granddaughter), the pain and cycle of everyone else trying to care for him when he really just needed to be in a nursing home (he got lost in the city 3 times while driving a car he was allowed to buy). Of course the pain of trying to make sure he had what he wanted and was as happy as I could make him when he finally went into the nursing home. And lastly the pain of hoping he’d remember my name when he saw me. Sorry, I know I’m rambling… at any rate I just wanted to say that even though we don’t know each other I know some of your struggles and I hope you continue to find the strength to enjoy the time that you do have with your mom and that she continues to live as happy and healthy a life as possible. *hug* E.

    • Jody says:

      Enjeliqua, that was a beautiful story. I do thank you for sharing it with me. My heart goes out to you. You’ve been a beautiful grandchild and he will always love you. XO Jody

  9. Olga says:

    What a beautiful and moving post, especially the pictures. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  10. Kellie says:

    I found this a few months late but, it was beautiful nonetheless. You’re lucky to still have your mom – I lost mine to cancer in April 2010 at only 63yrs. She was only sick for about 18 months and it broke my heart watching the disease steal her from me; being the one there day in and day out, making the decisions – so, I know what you’re going through in that respect. It was hard but, they’re memories I’ll never forget, good and bad. Not a day goes by where I don’t find myself, in a daze, thinking about her or even talking to her. 🙂 I miss her so much.

    Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with your readers. It’s nice to see the love your family shares. Give your mom a big kiss for me. 🙂 xoxo

    • Jody says:

      Kellie thank you for sharing. It is so hard when our parents get old and frail. We never expect that to happen when we were little kids. And I will certainly give my mom and big kiss from you! XOXO

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