September 2nd, I learned my mom had died. It was completely unexpected. What a blessing it was to have my friend, Rosie Janis, here at the time I received that call. She comforted me, made lots of phone calls for me, finished my laundry so I could pack, and even spent the night with me, so I wouldn't have to be alone. I also want to thank Susi Brunk and Connie Back for reaching out that night as well. Needless to say, I hit the road to my childhood home early the next morning leaving behind my Stampin' Up! work and "life as usual" to be able to focus on family and planning Mom's funeral with my siblings. I am forever grateful to the people who came to celebrate Mom's life with us as well as those who expressed their sympathy and support…friends, family, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, childhood friends, too many to name. Your phone calls, texts messages, Facebook posts, cards, flowers, and memorial gifts are all greatly appreciated. I especially want to say thank you to the many people who shared their personal stories and memories of Mom.
Here are just a few things I'd like to share with you about Mom. Mom was the 8th of 10 children and grew up on a farm in Ottawa, Ohio, and made sure we got to spend lots of time on the farm after we moved away from that area when I was a young child. Mom made all our birthdays special with family dinners and gifts. We didn't have lots of parties or big, fancy birthday celebrations or expensive gifts, but we knew it was our special day. Mom loved Malley's ice cream, a Cleveland favorite. She did, however, love it when I would send her a selection of Graeter's ice cream from Cincinnati including her favorite Black Raspberry Chip. She even admitted one time (only one time), that Graeter's is better…tough for a Clevelander to do, I'm sure. Mom was a dedicated nurse for 58 years. She even worked the week before she died at the age of 79. She was passionate about nursing and caring for others. Her 8 grandchildren were her pride and joy. She would always try to convince her sisters that SHE had the best grandchildren! She loved her church community and supporting the school children. Mom encouraged me to be creative growing up and made sure I had craft supplies for whatever craft I wanted to try. She loved seeing me take my love for stamping and card making and make a business of it with Stampin' Up! She was so thankful when I'd send her her own "stash" of hand stamped cards I made as she loved to write notes and send cards.
A few of the lessons Mom taught me include 1) There is good in everyone, 2) What goes around comes around, so you better do good, and 3) Being a giver will always bring you more joy than being a receiver, but don't deny others the opportunity to help you for they too should know the joy of being a giver.
Mom, I love you and miss you. I know that you are happy to be reunited with Dad and all your family and friends who went before you. I know you are at peace. You are forever in my heart.
I look forward to getting back to work and "life as usual". There may be days that are sad, but I know Mom and Dad are watching over me and reminding me that I will be okay.