Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Oldest, Most Precious Friend Lives On In Me

Although my mom passed away nearly seven years ago I still think of her everyday and especially on her birthday. Today I am going to speak to her cute little twin, Joseph, who is still alive and doing fairly well. Their birthday was yesterday but I had jury duty so this is one day late. I saw him a year ago last fall for the first time in 39 years and it was like visiting with my little mom all over again. They looked more and more alike as they got older. 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. The Lord does carry you and give you the daily strength you need. Looking back now, I know I could never have done it alone without His divine intervention. I needed His help daily.

Anyway, I am missing mom today. I remember one time she and I were spending the night at my brother's and we read the 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 91th birthday yesterday, Uncle Joe. I know Mom would be happy
to know that we will talk together today!


LA Adams said...

What a beautiful tribute to pass on to the next generation who doesn't know her. She'll live on in your memory and theirs. There is nothing more beneficial than those who generously use their talents to let us see the others from the past.

Julie Harward said...

Ohhh, he is so sweet! I love the poem you wrote for her, just beautiful! She was a very pretty lady and I know how it feels to miss a Mom who has passed to the other side. Come say hi :D

Sister Susie said...

It doesn't seem to matter how old I get, I still feel as an innocent child when I think of my parents; even though I am now 58 and they are temporarily separated from me by death. It doesn't matter how old you are, you are still a child when it comes to your parents. An amazing thing, however, is in the hereafter, we will all be as youth. I would think it to feel awkward to approach my parents as parents at that time. Will we still be their children?

Please pray for a friend's friend, Diane. She is only 47 and has had a stroke.

Blessings to you and yours,

Marie said...

A beautiful post Bonnie. A lovely tribute to your mom. I know you say you don't look like your mom, but I do see a very strong family resemblence there. I wish that I did not live so far away from my mom. I had always planned on living close to her and helping her out in her old age. I would have her here with us, but for the fact that she refuses to fly and she likes being in her own home. I worry about her on her own, but she is a very stubbon lady. Your mom was blessed to have you for a daughter. Blessings like that work both ways, because I can tell that you were blessed to be her daughter as well. xxoo

Caroline Craven said...

Bonnie - that was a very loving post about your mom. I know what you mean by doing all you can for an ailing parent and it never seems like enough. I would love to move in with mom and dad (not sure they would love it) and take care of them, but, of course, that isn't possible, practical or proper. On the upside, if Laura wants to know what she will look like and a much older woman, all she needs to do is look at Gma. Jo. That first picture of your mom looks just like Laura.