Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Mom's 90th Birthday Anniversary

Although my mom passed away nearly six years ago I still think of her everyday and especially on her birthday. Today I was able to speak to her cute little twin, Joseph, who is still alive and doing fairly well. I saw him last fall year for the first time in 39 years and it was like visiting with our little mom all over again. They looked more and more alike as they got older. I love that my good friend's becoming a grandmother for the first time with twins either today or tomorrow. What a blessing twins can be.

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...."
Happy 90th birthday, Uncle Joe. I know Mom would be happy
to know that we talked together today!


Marie said...

Happy Birthday to your Uncle Joe, Bonnie! What a wonderful tribute to your mom and a beautiful post. I am so lucky that my mom is still with us. She is tiny like a bird as well and was always so beautiful. I take after my dad, fat and homely, lol. Aren't you glad for the Gospel in your life that teaches us that this life is only a blip in the scheme of things and that we can be with our families in eternity!

The Gathering Place said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I loved your tribute to your mom. Looks like we have some things in common. I love decorating, but I just an amateur. It is hard losing parents, isn't it? Mine have been gone for twenty-two years and I still miss them a lot!

Shaun at Oak Den said...

We will always love our mommas, won't we? No matter how old we get.