Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today is My Mom's Birthday

Although my mom passed away nearly five years ago I still think of her everyday and especially on her birthday.

This is the poem I wrote for her memorial service program.
Mom was a tiny little thing and so cute!
Unfortunately I look nothing like her at all.

My mom was so wonderful...truly a best friend to me, especially when I was an adult. We enjoyed doing everything together and I was so blessed to live near her except for about five years when we were first married. Mom was a devoted wife (oh my gosh...a wonderful example of a selfless wife, always doing things for my Dad!) She was a super mom and was always there for me, she never let me down. She was the best at supporting and loving unconditionally.

Mom would love these flowers, her favorite color was always purple!

She suffered so much when my father passed away...she lived 24 years as a widow and never adjusted to it. In 1991 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. What was supposed to be a fairly routine brain surgery (yeahrite!) turned out rather poorly and she was unable to live alone for the rest of her life. We could not have her at home with us due to her surgically induced disabilities and that was one of the most heart-breaking experiences of my life. She had done absolutely everything for me and I could not take care of her when she needed me.

I guess if there is any lesson in that it is that you should never promise you will never do something that you might just have to end up doing. She lived in a skilled nursing facility for 10 years. And 2 separate board and care facilities for the last two years. Fortunately, it was very near our home and I visited everyday for about two years and then a little less often, like every other day until she died. What I learned from that was that service truly does increase your love. I would never have loved my mom as much as I did had I not had the opportunity to do the basics for her. I also learned that no matter what you do for an ailing parent, it never feels like enough. So you just have to do your best and feel good about it in the end. And you also have to find balance in it so you can carry on a life of your own. In my case that meant, continuing to work, raise kids, have a life with Jim, Church...the whole enchilada.

Anyway, I am missing mom today. I remember one time she and I were spending the night at my brother's and we read that little bedside book Marilyn had, "Love You Forever" together lying in bed in the morning. It was the first time either of us had seen it and we both bawled our eyes out. It was so sweet and it turned out to be our story.

Jo-Jo Bean
"I'll Love You Forever
I'll Like you for Always...."


Bonnie said...

So sweet! We love you and miss you too Jo JO bean. It's nice to have a Jr. Jo Jo bean now (Hazel) to keep her memory alive!

Lanette said...

You carry on her legacy of being a great mother and grandmother. She had such a great smile - you could tell she adored you Bonnie! By the way, saw Jim today at Simpsons party - he's skin and bones!! he says he eating the soup you left and oatmeal and I believe him! I think he had some tortillas and beans but he misses his sweetie and not just because you feed him!

Bonnie said...

Any comments we see from me that sound like someone else are from Jen. The computer cannot figure out which one of us is writing. Silly computer!

Jim said...

I love you Jo! Thank you for your love and support and especially for a beautifully daughter. You have a great legacy.