it seems like the more tragic the loss, the more it stays to the front of your mind; ever present in your thoughts, always reasoning as to the “whys – of it all”. It’s easy to deal with the loss of a loved one after a lengthy illness but when loss comes sudden or just too soon, it’s quite a different story.

You know that I lost my mother as a teenager from a car accident on our road. They say most accidents happen within 10 miles of your home. It was even closer than that. Her loss has been the biggest void in my life. There is nothing that can compare to your mothers love… Nothing!

I know she too, lost her mother young (they were the same age at the time of their deaths) she talked about her mother, the same way I do mine.  The loss is greater than a mind can absorb.

I don’t want to dwell on the negative here. She added so much positive to our lives as children. I could not have asked for a better mother. Her death effected each of us in a very different way. It troubled me for a very long time. My older sister Shirley suddenly stepped up and decided to be everyone’s mother and she still checks on each of us almost daily. She sends all birthday and anniversary cards; to everyone. I tried it for 6 months and its a lot harder than you can even imagine.

She makes sure that all the kids have everything they need. She buys and food clothes, constantly. Trust me she isn’t rich, but she spends like there’s no tomorrow when it comes to our kids. She only had one daughter and her daughter has fits about it sometimes, she fusses far too much. Especially when you realize that she is sick the majority of the time. I don’t know why she feels this is her responsibility.  I guess, she feels they were cheated out of grandparents.

My older brother Ralph has a mind like a steel trap. He remembers every finite detail of every thing that we have ever done. So I’m sure for him, her loss may be more than anyone’s.  My dad was tough on Ralph. He worked hard our entire childhood. And my dad treated him like they were the same age. Dad took Ralph everywhere with him. That really wasn’t good. Mom was his refuge. He loved her chocolate fudge and when he was in the military he would ask her to send it. Which she did. My mom made great chocolate fudge. Mine has never turned out like hers; ever.

My sister Sharon (hates for me to talk about her on the web – she’s a very quiet person that likes her privacy, so please don’t tell her I mentioned her here) was always overly emotional as children, she would start crying hysterically before she was to be sentenced for her latest crime. My mom would feel sorry for her and not punish her, so my older sister and I would get in really big trouble. I tell my kids, “This is not the person I grew up with… she’s old now and trying to get into heaven.”  I still think karma should bite her in the butt for that.

I think her death affected my youngest brother the most. That’s why he wants to stay in a toxic relationship when this is the worst thing he could ever do. He can’t deal with losing someone else. Its sad really. He was only fourteen and didn’t have time to learn to cope with these things adequately. I feel sorry for him.

Death is a mean mother, she takes the wrong people too soon, in most cases anyway. Some we could argue not soon enough. But when it’s a female role model the loss is greater than life itself. Thank God he gave us, “Memories.” I think it should be added to the 5 senses group. Since it plays one the the biggest parts in who we are as people.

My mother was a great strong lady. My grandmother’s were great ladies too. So when you think about your mom, grandma, aunt, cousins that pretended to be aunts but were as closer than you could ever imagine they ever could be… write down what they meant to you and let them know before they pass away.  I would love one more day with my mom to right many wrongs; to say things that I should have said when she was here. I can only pray that she knows how much I truly love her.


Loss of Mother Poem

Now that I am gone,
remember me with smiles and laughter.
And if you need to cry,
cry with your brother or sister
who walks in grief beside you.
And when you need me,
put your arms around anyone
and give to them what you need to give to me.
There are so many who need so much.
I want to leave you something —
something much better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known
or helped in some special way.
Let me live in your heart
as well as in your mind.
You can love me most
by letting your love reach out to our loved ones,
by embracing them and living in their love.
Love does not die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away as best you can.

~ Author unknown


Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?

Today, my mother would have been 72 years old.  Born in LaCygne, Linn, Kansas and was killed in Springboro, Warren, Ohio in a car accident rushing, as usual, to work at Cassano’s Pizza. They needed her at a Dayton location, not her usual place in Franklin. It was basically a dead end job, one she worked for a great number of years, with few raises [usually about a nickel on the hour, if she got one at all] or a bonus of any kind. A job she kept primarily to support 5 children on her own.

She married twice, both marriages to alcoholics. The why on that I’ll never understand.  She had 5 kids with my dad [a roofer and over-the-road truck driver], and gaining a step-daughter Linda Ann, with her second husband, Bill, an extremely stern man with major issues on life. Bill worked at a company in Middletown, Butler, Ohio for years; now out of business due to Middletown’s failing economy as so many companies are today; hardly seemed worth all the effort that he had put into it.

Both my father and step-father are past away. I can’t really understand what would make my mother fall in love with them; they were nothing alike except for being heavy drinkers. I guess it was the bad-boy effect or something??? I really stopped analyzing it years ago. Many women fall for the wrong man all the time. I’m just glad I took lessons and learned from her mistakes. My husband has never smoked or had a drink in his life. He is the best man I have ever known; Bar None! I’m sure if you ask our children, he is the best father they could have ever asked for. Better than any man alive or dead.

I have so many wonderful memories of my mother. She took a firm hand when needed and stepped back when she thought it better. She loved to cook and can, but her passion in life was gardening. She would rather be in her garden as to be anywhere. I can remember her having to work 12 hour shifts and then go to her garden shortly after she arrived home. She had a strong presence in our home, she always let us kids make our own mistakes. For some of her children; too many if you ask me. But who’s counting?

It’s not clear as to why people blame the parents for the sins of their children or visa versa. I believe we are all responsible for our own actions.  I’m not saying that upbringing does play a part, but when do we step up and take responsibility for our own actions? Take what they have taught us and make to most with what we can.

I’m trying really hard to remember the little things now, like the way she dressed and why, and the way the smelled. She had a tiny bottle of perfume that sat on her dresser for years, a gift from someone in the family, I think, too expensive to wear, except for the most important of special occasions. So strong that whenever you opened the bottle the entire room smelled like the contents, as if it was just wiped under your nose. She always said, just a drop is all you need. And, I’d reply, I’d hope so… shew… LOL

She loved peonies and to grow her own grapes to make jelly. Canning was a sport at our house. She loved to can and freeze vegetables. I can remember making hundreds of jars of pickles and jellies, while cutting dozens of ears of corn off the cob to freeze. Cutting up bushel baskets of peaches to freeze and fires in our yard with my Grandma Dorothy and mom just laughing and having a great time boiling a galvanized tub full of corn. My fingers were so sore and burned from that corn, I’m not sure how or why it was worth it, but she did love to do it.

She loved to visit family as well or to have them come by. People used to enjoy stopping by for coffee and just to chat. My mom never carried tales as she called it. She was better than Vegas. She would get so mad at people for over sharing or carrying tales as she put it. If she talked about anyone, they were either in the room, in big trouble or on their way to the hospital. I only wish, she would have shared more. My dad certainly had no secrets or bothered to keep them a secret. I find it funny now when I go to a family reunion of sorts, how often I get shushed. I’m thinking when or why did this become a secret? Then I have to laugh.

I can remember making Easter Bunny cakes with her every year and how she would try to think of new ways to make it look different each and every year. She would talk about her childhood and how her mom decorated food when she was a young girl. Grandma Elvia, she said, always piped the yolks back in to her deviled eggs and made her bunny cakes fancier than anyone else. I’m sure it was just my Mom being biased about her Mom’s cooking; none better. I only wish I had repeated this event each year with my kids. I don’t like the mess, so they rarely even decorated Easter Eggs at our house. I’m happy to report that my daughter-in-law is a big fan of the bunny cake and has carried it on with my grandchildren. So it’s not a dying art after all. My daughter Mandy is big on making things with her kids and everything they do is photographed and placed in a LIFE book. Thank God that she didn’t keep one for herself. She’d remember that she didn’t get to do most of that stuff when she lived at home. Brandy, is a little more like me… she don’t like the mess either, but she still does a lot of messy projects with the girls. I know they will remember their mothers with the same love and gratitude as I.

My mom always let us decorate the Christmas tree… every year, she never touched it. No matter what or how we decorated it, she left it as was. Something, I wish I had done with my kids. I was always, very persnickety when it came to my tree. For me, it was the tree that made my Holiday, it had to be perfect. One of the biggest mistakes, I ever made in this life, was to re-decorate the tree after my daughter Mandy had put it all together. I was sick and she did it for me. It was beautiful. Mandy being a minimalist didn’t see the need to put all of the ornaments on it, as I had always done. So I added them. I was wrong and for that do ask her forgiveness.

If the tree wasn’t perfect, I hated to go about the usual Christmas stuff; it just ruined my Christmas, I have no idea why??? As if the tree has anything to do with the reason for Christmas.  Somehow it just does for me and it still does a little more than I care to admit. Now since I’ve had to go to this tiny tree and leave most of my ornaments in the box… I haven’t enjoyed my tree at all. Then I remember what the trees looked like whenever I was a young girl and then say, “I’m very lucky to have such a beautiful array of ornaments to choose from.”

My mom was a sweet and wonderful woman. She didn’t deserve the men in her life. I only wish she would have had the fortitude to walk away from them sooner. I wish she could have had an easier life than she did. My mom, to my knowledge, never received real flowers, ever. Not to my memory anyway, I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. The flowers in our vases were all plastic. Yes, how awful, plastic flowers. Yuck. I’m not saying she didn’t enjoy them, because I know she did. Sad to think about really, but I guess it was a sign of the times.

When you’re a woman, you can’t really boast of great deeds that you have done, maybe one woman in a hundred-thousand has laid claim to some sort of great world changing event, which she may or may not have under her belt, but to most women our children are our WORLD. To my mom, her children was just that, her world. Whenever we made mistakes, little or big [royally screwed up], no matter, she always to our part. Right or wrong, she stood by us. Isn’t that what a mother is supposed to do? Protect her children at all cost? Why she had 5 kids, I’ll never know, because she certainly could not afford them, so it must have been out of sheer love and the need to be loved and for no other reason I can think of. If you wait until you can afford children, you’ll probably never have them. I guess that’s just as well. Because a mother is a mother, she finds a way to care for her children.

That is what my mother did, and what I did, and what my daughter’s are doing. So with tears in my eyes and love in my heart, I say to her, I love you Mom. Thanks for always being there for me, Thanks for making me the person I am today, with the ability to be strong, to stand alone or to be apart of a loving family, by my choice. I lost you far too young, but you are never far from me. I will be putting real flowers on your grave today; I only wish I could hand them to you in person. I will stand at your grave side thinking of all the things I should had said, things a child never says to their parent because they are just kids. Never knowing how fast it all goes away.

I’m not going to read this and re-read this to make sure I don’t have any mistakes or said something wrong; I really don’t care about that at this moment. I will spend my day, thinking of your life, your home, and how much you loved us. I only hope that when I’m gone, my children will know who I was, what I believed and why. It’s true that I’m no one special, but I hope I am to them and that will be my life and legacy. Just to know you were loved by someone, is what this life is all about.

Thank you again Mom, for giving me life; a life well lived.

There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you.

A sister is a little bit of a childhood that can never be lost… ~ UNKNOWN

Me                                                                                 You

The supply of good women far exceeds that of the men who deserve them. ~ ROBERT GRAVES

Autumn memories…

Winter memories…

Spring memories…

Summer memories…

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each others hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family grief s and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~ CLARA ORTEGA

Then Now
A better person

In the cookies of life, sisters are like the chocolate chips. ~ Unknown